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[Bill Macafee's Website]

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A Sense of the Sperrins

This material was prepared as part of my contribution to the course A Sense of the Sperrins run by Sperrin Gateway in conjunction with the Open Learning Programme of Queen's University, Belfast. The course took place on four Saturdays from 22nd February to 31st May 2014. This material relates to the second Saturday, 29th March, and the two sessions The Sperrins in the 17th Century and Local Records (1850s-1920) as a tool to reading the past. In both sessions I concentrated on how to use primary sources and databases [in Excel format] to research localities within the general area covered by the Sperrins - read more. Click here for details of some background reading.


Any locality studies will require maps. Ideally you should have copies of the OS 1:50000 Discoverer Series Maps, particularly sheets 13 & 7. These maps now have a townland map on the reverse side of the OS map. Below are some maps that I prepared relating to the Sperrins area.

Baronies & Parishes Baronies & Parishes of County Tyrone
Townlands Bodoney Upper Donagheady Cumber Banagher Killelagh/Maghera
Townlands Bodoney Lower Termonmaguirk, etc. Learmount Dungiven Ballynascreen

Seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries

Primary Sources
1630 Muster Rolls for Sperrins Area.
1660 Poll Tax Returns for Parishes of Urney & Donagheady.
1660 Poll Tax Returns for Parishes of Termonmaguirk & Clogherny.
1660s Hearth Money Rolls for Sperrins Area.
1740s Protestant Householders' Returns for some of the Sperrins Area.*
1766 Religious Census for some of the Sperrins Area in Co. Londonderrry.**
* Note this database only includes the parishes of Derryloran and Kildress in Co. Tyrone. Note also that only the parishes in the Baronies of Keenaght and Tirkeeran in Co. Londonderry have names listed by townland.
** Note that this database only includes the parishes of Ballynascreen, Banagher, Bovevagh, Derryloran, Desertlyn, Desertmartin & Dungiven.

Nineteenth & Early Twentieth Centuries

Primary Sources
1831 " Census" for Sperrins Area. [Mormeal 1831 Census details.]
c.1860 Griffith's Valuation for Sperrins Area.
Landlords of Sperrin Townlands in Co. Londonderry, c.1860.
Landlords of Sperrin Townlands in Co. Tyrone, c.1860.

Primary Sources
Example: Townland of Mormeal, Parish of Kilcronaghan [Moyola Valley]
c.1860 Griffith's Valuation
1859 Griffith's Printed Valuation [Printed Page - Note farms 8 to 11]
c.1860 Valuation Map
Search for c.1860 Valn. Map on the website & locate farms 8 to 11.
c.1860-c.1930 Griffith's Revision Books
Search Griffith's Revision Books 1860-1911 at PRONI. [Farms Nos. 8 to 11]
1901 & 1911 Census
1901 & 1911 Census. [Excel File]. Can you find farms 8 to 11?

Townland of Glenroan in the Parish of Bodoney Upper in the Barony of Strabane Upper, Co. Tyrone. [Glenelly Valley]

Go to the askaboutireland website and do a Place Name Search for Glenroan in Co. Tyrone. This will provide a copy of the Griffith's Printed Valuation page for the Townland and a copy of the accompanying Valuation Map. Locate one or more farms/houses in the page and on the map.

Have a look at this Excel file which will list the heads of the family living in each of the houses in the townland 1n 1901. If you click on either the surname or the forename of a family, this will take you to the 1901 online census where you will be able to get further details of that family and the house in which they lived.

Click on this PRONI link to access the Griffith's Revision Books. When you get there type in Glenroan in the Placename box and click on Search. This will take you to the books which will help you to link up the names and farms of c.1860 with those of 1901. Note that .Books 5A to 5D cover the years 1864-1907.

My Databases
Databases compiled from 19th Century Census Substitutes
Databases compiled from 18th Century Census Subtitutes
Databases compiled from 17th Century Census Subtitutes
Maps & Photos
Copyright 2021 W.Macafee.