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I have been searching the various sources about townlands that are available via your email of 5th September.

I have found the relevant townlands for some of my ancestors and the civil parish and barony.  However, one of the sources says it shows adjoining townlands but I cannot see this when I search, just the townland I am searching.

Most of my relatives come from the barony of Clanmorris, civil and catholic parish of Kilcolman and various townlands. Another relative comes from Bekan, which appears to be a townland, a RC parish and a civil parish in the barony of Costello.

Are these townlands/baronies adjoining?  

I am hoping to visit Ireland next year and am trying to find out where to go!


Thursday 19th Oct 2023, 08:52AM

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  • Yes,  the Catholic parishes of Kilcolman and Bekan are adjoining, at least along part of their respective boundaries.  You can see how they are located in relation to one another on the map at this link (Bekan is to the east of Kilcolman, partially separated from it by the parish of Knock):

    At that site, you can also access the parish registers for Kilcolman which are available online (1836-1873).  You can use the map there to do the same for Bekan (1821-1871, with some gaps) by clicking on its name on the map.

    At this link, you can see a list of the townlands in the civil parish of Kilcolman, and to further links with info (and, in each case, a map) about each townland:

    Keep in mind, though, that civil parishes (an older type of division which evolved into just an administrative one) often do not have the same boundaries or names as the local Catholic parish.  Catholic parishes are often larger, and may include parts (or all) of several civil parishes.  As you can see from comparing the two maps at those sites, in the case of Kilcolman the boundaries happen to be roughly the same, as is the parish name.  The same is roughly true for the civil and Catholic parishes of Bekan, as you can see at this link showing the civil parish (though there may be some differences at places along the boundary, which is very irregular):

    Once again, there ls a list of townlands in Bekan at that link,

    In a given civil parish, there is often a townland with the same name.  The parish names came later, and frequently just took the name of some principal townland,  Normally, if you find a place name in a parish register, it is referring to a townland, not a parish.  In later civil records (like birth records, which started in 1864), the townland name is not always given, and the only place listed is sometimes the civil registration district (normally named after the largest town in the area), and those districts may cover several parishes (Catholic or civil).     



    Thursday 19th Oct 2023, 05:46PM
  • Thank you for the information.  Unfortunately I got a server error 500 when accessing the townlands links but I'll try and get round it and the information was useful in its own right.


    Saturday 21st Oct 2023, 09:39AM
  • The links to the site break down with some frequency.  I don't know why, but if you wait a day or two, they start working again.

    By the way, what townlands in Kilcoman parish are you searching?  One of my great-grandmothers was born and raised there, in a townland called Cloonmore Lower.


    Saturday 21st Oct 2023, 11:05PM
  • Thanks for the info.  I couldn't get into them direct so will try a little later in the week.

    Townlands I am looking at are Mace Middle, Knockatubber, Rockfield, Cloonanerrick.  These are all listed as addresses on some printouts I got some years ago via Roots Ireland.  I don't have the original documents.  They are all baptisms of the same family's children, so I assume they must have moved around wherever they could get work.  They eventually moved to Stoke on Trent in England. They were my great great grandparents and the one of the children my great grandmother.  It appears my great grandfather came from Bekan parish, but I have fewer bits of information for him.


    Monday 23rd Oct 2023, 01:06PM
  • Interesting.  Mace Middle is right next to Cloonmore Upper, with Cloommore Lower being the next townland northeast of Cloonmore Upper.  So, my great-grandmother grew up about 2 miles or so away from your ancestor(s).  Here's a direct link to the page for Mace Middle:

    Mace Middle (in Irish, "An Más Láir") is a humorous name, presumably meaning "the central buttock".  The term más, which means "buttock", was used in a number of places to refer to a low, rounded hill.  Rural people in Ireland could be (and can still be) very "earthy" in describing things (and at other times).

    Rockfield ("Ceathrú na gCloch" = "quarter [of land] of the stones") is next to Mace Upper, so about two miles to the southeast of Mace Middle:

    After the Famine and the many emigrations, people did take up tenancies which had been left vacant, so that might explain their move at that point.

    Those townlands are all fairly close to the town of Knock.  Knockatober [that's the current spelling = Cnoc an Tobair = "the hill of the well") is about 2 miles south of Rockfield, closer to the main local town, Claremorris:

    I couldn't find any townland name Cloonanerrick in the area (even in nearby parishes).  Some townland names did not make the official list late in the 19th century, or it could refer to a "sub-townland", which was a local name for a part of a townland.  Sometimes, sub-townland names were used in records where townland names are normally used.


    Monday 23rd Oct 2023, 11:31PM
  • Small world!  Many thanks for all the information.  Having another look at the Cloonaerrick record, I see the parish is stated at Ballandine, so it seems as if they moved out of Kilcolman parish as I can see from the map that that is a little way away.  I'm surprised they moved that far but I think that was the last child born to them.  I am not sure when they moved to England.  My first record is the 1881 census. There is one birth record I cannot find at all, but I know the child existed and grew up and married in Stoke on Trent, having been born in Ireland. I shall keep searching!


    Tuesday 24th Oct 2023, 01:46PM

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