Hi folks. The Rochester (NY) Irish Festival is this coming weekend (Sept 9, 10 & 11) - hope to see you there. I'll be at the Rochester Genealogical Society table most of the weekend and will be giving the following presentations:
Course I - Searching US Records for your Irish Ancestors, Celtic College at the Rochester Irish Festival, 1:15pm, Saturday, September 10, 2011
Dual Citizenship for Irish-Americans, Celtic College at the Rochester Irish Festival, 1 pm, Sunday, September 11, 2011
Course II - Searching Irish Records for your Ancestors, Celtic College at the Rochester Irish Festival, 3 pm, Sunday, September 11, 2011
Administrative divisions and place names are a challenge in Irish genealogy. You may come across a place name related to your family, but then have trouble finding where it's located. Irish Place Names is a free site that lets you enter a place name and see what admin divisions it belongs to. You can also search on county, province, barony, civil parish or poor law union.
Note that like Irish names, the spelling of Irish place names is often more of an art than a science. One of the outcomes of Griffith's Valuation was to specify standard spellings and boundaries for place names. Unfortunately, due to stubborness and illiteracy, spelling variations persisted - so be flexible.
Here's a breakdowon of Administrative Divisions & Place Names:
o Province (4) - Connaught, Leinster, Munster, Ulster
o County (32)
o Connaught - Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo
o Leinster - Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leix (Queens), Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly (Kings), Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
o Munster - Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford
o Ulster – Antrim(NI), Armagh(NI), Cavan, Donegal, Down(NI), Fermanagh(NI), Londonderry(NI), Monaghan, Tyrone(NI)
o Barony (270) - collection of civil parishes (or parts), http://www.seanruad.com/ for baronies within counties
o Civil Parish (2,508 - these are not church parishes) - Repositories often catalogued by civil parish, http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/counties/civilmaps/index.cfm for parishes within counties, http://www.seanruad.com/
o Townland (~64,000) - Smallest official geographic unit, but doesn't have it's own government. http://www.seanruad.com/, http://www.searchforancestors.com/locality/ireland/townlands.html
o Poor Law Union (163) - Poor Law Act of 1838, unions of townlands responsible for poor. Each had a workhouse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irish_Poor_Law_Unions for PLUs within counties.
o Superintendent Registrars’ Districts (245) – used in Civil Registration Indexes, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bifhsusa/irishregnc.html for districts within counties
o District Electoral Division (3,751) - a division of the Poor Law Union, important when using Griffith's Valuation DEDs within counties