Summary of sources to consult when researching townlands


Note that the sources listed on the main page [and covered in the talk] relate mainly to the two right-hand columns in this table. Estate records and school records, if available for a particular townland, can provide further useful information. The sources listed in the left-hand column can help set the townland in its wider regional context - see Ballinascreen Historical Society website for examples of relevant publications.


Local Histories.

Place Names


Collections of Photographs.

Ordnance Survey Memoirs

Parliamentary Papers.




Estate Records.

School Records.



Tithe Applotment Books 1820/30s.

1831 "Census" Returns.

Townland Valuation 1830s + Maps.

Griffiths [Tenement] Valuation c.1859 + Maps.

Griffiths Revision Books c.1860-c.1930 + Maps.

1901 Census [Enumerators Returns].

1911 Census [Enumerators Returns].

1935 General Revaluation of N. Ireland
plus subsequent revisions & revaluations + Maps.



Civil Records

Church Records

Gravestone Inscriptions

Family Papers & Wills



These leaflets cover the most popularly consulted archives, indicating their range and content and how they can be accessed within PRONI. You might find the following useful.

Tithe Records     Valuation Records     Census Records: Nineteenth Century      1901 Census   

Church Records    General Register Office, Northern Ireland     Wills and Testamentary Records    [See also: PRONI Online Will Calendars]

Landed Estate Records       National School Records


When using many of the above sources it is necessary to know the administrative divisions in operation at the time when a particular document was created e.g. the Tithe Records and the 1831 Census Returns were created at a time when the Barony and Parish were the key administrative units. Sources such as the Griffith's Revisions from the 1860s and the 1901 and 1911 Census Returns were created at a time when the District Electoral Division [DED] was the key administrative unit within the Poor Law Union. Of course, the administrative unit which was common to both systems was the townland. Note that after the introduction of the compulsory registration of all births, deaths and marriages in 1864, the Poor Law Union doubled as the Superintendent Registrar’s District and the Dispensary District doubled as the Local Registrar’s District.

Barony – Parish - Townland

Poor Law Union - Dispensary District - District Electoral Division - Townland

Superintendent Registrar’s District - Local Registrar’s District - Townland

Copyright 2009 W. Macafee.