Portal:Irish townlands project


Irish townlands project

Townlands are the smallest geographical division of land used in Ireland and have unique value for those working on Irish genealogy. Identifying the specific townland associated with a person's vital events can be the key to differentiating between many people with the same name and helps avoid incorrect identification. This project provides lists of Irish townlands, by county, which project participants can then easily turn into Place pages. As place pages for each townland are created and categorized, this project page will serve as a portal to access descriptions of all Irish townlands.

Project introduction

While a Wikipedia article exists to describe what a townland is and provides a list of townlands, there is currently no site on the internet that describes or provides coordinates of townlands. Providing access to descriptions of townlands as well as the ability to link facts in people and family pages in WeRelate with these highly specific locations is particularly valuable to genealogists researching people with Irish origins for three reasons:

  1. Person names in Ireland are very homogeneous. With common surnames, tens, sometimes hundreds, of people with the same name were born at roughly the same time within the same county and frequently several within the same parish, making it very difficult to contextualize and correctly relate people without specific place information.
  2. Historically, Irish legal and religious administrators were confronted with the same problem of differentiating people with the same name, and they frequently characterized someone by indicating their townland in historical records (such as Tithe applotment books, eviction notices, and parish records).
  3. Researchers working back to the Irish origin of an emigrant may find that when ancestors were asked to provide a place of origin on immigration and related documentation that they replied with their townland name (which may be mis-recorded in other countries as their parish or village). Searching for these locations on the Internet currently brings up no information (or misleading information).
Project resources: Sources
  • The County townland lists which can be accessed from this portal
  • The Historic 25" Ordnance survey map, accessible here, see Steps
  • The OpenStreetMaps townlands project at [1]
WeRelate Irish county townlands category pages
Featured Irish townlands


Note well: Somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of townland names refer to more than one place, even within the same county. In many cases these places can be quite close together but in other cases they are not. It is important to do background research to situate the townland within an appropriate place hierarchy and ideally, only create the page once the geographic coordinates and boundaries of the townland have been determined with an Ordnance Survey map. Additionally, townlands can share the name of a village or town without sharing the same boundaries and therefore constitute a separate geographic entity (although the townland may be best described within the Town or Village page of the same name).

Simple steps for creating Irish townland place pages


Help Files & FAQ's
Civil parishes category pages, by county
WeRelate Portals
Community | Maintenance | Person | Family | Article | Place | Repository | Source | MySource | Image
Questions? Concerns? Leave a message on this talk page.

Template code for townlands pages

Opening paragraph:

'''TOWNLAND NAME''' is a [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Townland townland] in the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_parishes_in_Ireland civil parish] of ''CIVIL PARISH DETAIL'', County XXXX. The townland has also been recorded as '''TOWNLAND ALTERNATIVE NAME'''. Historically, the townland was within the Barony of XXXX, and the XXXX Poor Law Union. It is XXXX acres in size and bounded to the north by OTHER TOWNLAND(S), the east by OTHER TOWNLAND(S), the south by OTHER TOWNLAND(S), and the west by OTHER TOWNLAND(S). The townland is within the Roman Catholic parish of XXXX, and the Church of Ireland parish of XXXX.