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Irish Places and Irish History

 

Where Was That and What Happened Then?

The Key to Your Success – Understanding the Civil Structure and History

To know where to look for records, you first need to understand 
- civil divisions of Ireland – therefore where to look for records - overview of Irish history – what was going on that made your ancestors want to leave home

  1. Civil divisionshttp://www.rootsweb.com/~fianna/guide/land-div.html
    • Components (each category divides into the increasingly smaller subdivisions below it)
      • Provinces (4)
        • Counties (32)
        • Civil Parishes – not church parishes
        • Townlands (a surveyed piece of land - not a Town)
        • Townland sub-denominations
      • Administrative Units (often cross boundaries)
        • Poor Law Unions, contain Superintendent Registrar's Districts
        • Baronies
        • Estates
    • Finding Them in Maps & Gazetteers & Online
  2. Irish History
    1. These things you need to understand:
      • Ireland at the time your ancestors left because history affects the records –
          - what was recorded - who recorded it - why it was recorded - what survives, and - where it can be found;
      • Different groups emigrated at different times - History tells us who and why;
      • Being “Irish” means being from the island of Ireland; with Celtic-Irish, Scotch-Irish, and Anglo-Irish heritage; and different people with Protestant and Catholic religious beliefs (with some crossover).
    2. Migration from Ireland to America – 18th Century
      • 1717 Scottish settlers leave Ulster – poor harvest and rackrents
      • 1740-1741 Potato Famine - all Ireland except Connacht
      • 1760’s Agrarian violence – Ulster
      • 1771-1775 Decline in Belfast linen trade – 10,000 left each year, 1/3 to 1/2 of them Ulster Protestants
      • By 1790 1/6 of 3 million “U.S.” were of Irish birth or descent.
      • 280,000 were Ulster Protestants, 106,000 native Irish Catholics, 61,000 Descendants of Irish Catholics from Ulster and English settlers from Ulster and the South
    3. Migration from Ireland to America – 19th Century
      • 1815 Immigration and trade resume
      • 1815-1845 Many more Catholics & from South (could be double considering those who went to Canada first.)
      • 1815-1825: 28,600
      • 1826-1835: 118,4000
      • 1836-1845: 289,700
      • 1846-1855 1,442,000 (300,000 to Canada)
      • 1856-1865 582,400
      • 1866-1875 645,700
      • 500,000 left Ireland every 10 years until WWI