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LONDONDERRY TOWNS AND PARISHES

There are four provinces in Ireland, Ulster (9 counties), Connacht (5 counties), Munster (6 counties) and Leinster (12 counties). County Londonerry is located in the Ulster Province and is one of six counties that make us Northern Ireland, Great Britain.

For reference it is also important to understand how counties in Northern Ireland have been divided up into Administrative Divisions throughout history. A brief knowledge of other common names is beneficial to the researcher to Londonderry. The following terms: Baronies, Civil Parishes, Poor Law Union, and Townlands are defined below.

Baronies: Until the end of the nineteenth century, county Londonderry was subdivided into baronies. Barony names may offer some value to the genealogical researcher but in most cases the Poor Law Union or Civil Parish name is of most value.

Poor Law Union: In the 1830's workhouses, or Poor Law Unions, were set up to try to deal with the most destitute in the county. They became the bases of the registration districts used for state records of births, marriages and deaths.

Civil Parishes: Civil Parishes were the original units of administration of the medieval church in Ireland and were used right up to the end of the nineteenth century for local and central government. Because of this, they are extremely important for Irish genealogy, providing, for example, the only means of connecting a placename to the Roman Catholic records which cover it.

Townlands: The townland was and is the smallest officially recognised geographical unit in rural Ireland, varying in size from a few acres to several thousand. Townsland Indexes were kept and recorded throughout the 1800's.

Civil Parish Names - County Londonderry

To see a map of the following parishes, click here!


Last Updated: 01 September 2001


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