Place Name Abbreviations in Victorian (Australia) Birth, Marriage & Death Records

In birth, marriage and death records in Victoria, Australia, place names are most often abbreviated. These abbreviations can be somewhat cryptic and idiosyncratic. As I was researching my family history I made a list of these place names and abbreviations.

The PDF file is my compilation. If you click on the link below a PDF file should open up. Let me know if it doesn’t.

eBook Placenames & Abbreviations 13 June 2011

They may be of help in locating your ancestors in Victoria. If you find any mistakes or additions please let me know.


My Favourite Irish & Australian Family History Books/Sites Aug 2014

The books and sites I use all the time and love are:

A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland by Brian Mitchell and Index to the Townlands, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland 1851. Use them heaps and they are beside my PC, within easy reach.

The only blog I read is Claire Santry’s, Irish Genealogy News. I always get good stuff from Claire.

Best Irish sites Ask About Ireland and the National Archives of Ireland site.

For Australian research Trove is amazing. They are continually adding newspapers and it is all free.

Almost forgot Fin Dwyer’s fantastic podcasts. I listen to these in the car or if I’m cleaning the house!  So enjoyable. He is now doing guided tours of medieval Dublin and other places like Glendalough and Kilkenny. If I get back to Ireland I will definitely go on these tours.

Other occasional genealogical gems:

For Cork researchers just discovered . is free and I hope they keep adding records. Covers Dublin, parts of Kerry, some Cork and Carlow.

For those with ancestors buried in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery . All the graves are being transcribed and photographed. They have text as well as photo files.

I do use other sites, like Rootsireland,  but can’t say I love them . Rootsireland is now a subscription site. You have to pay for a specified period of time. I like this system as I could look at up to 1,000 records in one month. Cost about $30 AUD. This won’t suit someone who wants one or two records.

On July 8, 2015 The National Library of Ireland published online all the Irish parish registers. These records have only been available in the National Library of Dublin or in the respective parishes. They are the original records which are on microfilm.

A lot does depend on the priest’s handwriting and diligence and the condition of the documents. There is no index, which means you won’t be able to just search for a person. It is a huge advantage if you know the parish and of course the county or else trawl through them all!

The records are actually in much better condition than I thought they would be. The site has been made as user friendly as possible. It is called Catholic Registers at NLI. Unfortunately there are years missing and there is not a lot of genealogical information on them. I suggest that a subscription with Rootsireland for a month in which you can look up 1,000 records could really help navigating your way through these microfilm records. There are also still records that only Rootireland has. Not sure why this is. It is an impressive site.

Irish Manuscripts Commission


The Irish Manuscripts Commission has a lot of old Irish books online and free. These include the Calendar of Ormond  Deeds, The Book of Survey & Distribution and The Civil Survey and many other interesting books that could be useful for  genealogy in early periods. They plan to add more titles.

1641 Irish Depositions

I have just come across a link to the 1641 Depositions held in Trinity College Library in Dublin Ireland. These were statements mostly by Protestants regarding the rebellious activities of Irish Catholics around the time of the Oct 1641 rebellion where the rebels attempted to take over Dublin Castle.

One of the surviving medieval towers at Dublin...
One of the surviving medieval towers at Dublin Castle.

There are a number of Fannings mentioned in them different depositions. The surname is spelled Ffanning, Fanning or FFanninge.

It is possible to look at the original often illegible documents. But there are also transcripts of these papers below which is just as well.

So far I have come across Edmond Ffanning in 1642, Dominick Ffanning 1646 and a John Ffanning 1642. Dominick Fanning, the Mayor of Limerick, who was executed by Cromwell features in many as a rebel.

You can register for free and also save any you are looking at.

The link is 1641 Depositions.

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Results of Cromwellian Settlement in Co Tipperary Ireland

English: Castles of Munster: Ardfinnan, Tipper...
Ardfinnan Castle, Co Tipperary was built by Prince John in 1185. It was garrisoned by Cromwellian troops throughout the 1650’s.


English: Castles of Munster: Burncourt, Tipper...
Burncourt Castle Co Tipperary was destroyed in 1650 by its owner Sir Richard Everard to prevent its occupation by Cromwellian troops.

The Cromwellian Settlement of Tipperary by J.G.Simms can be read here at the Tipperary Library site. It is very interesting and informative. There are many out of print issues online here as well.

“The result of the Cromwellian settlement was that by 1660 at the end of the Commonwealth regime virtually all Tipperary was in the possession of Protestants” and according to Simms “the foundations of much later strife were laid in the Cromwellian settlement.”

There are quite a lot of out of print Tipperary Historical Journal articles which can be read online free through the Tipperary Library Local Studies site.

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Name Variations and Peculiarities in Irish Vital Records

Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland Robert Mathson

Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland” by Robert Matheson could help in tracing Irish ancestors in parish records. It can be viewed online.

The many Christian and surname variations in Irish records can make finding the right one diffficult.

These name variations are not just in spelling. Entirely different names are sometimes used synonymously by the same person or by members of the same family.

One of my gggrandfathers was sometimes called Bryan and at other times Bernard. In this book I discovered that Bryan was the anglecised Irish form of the English name Bernard.

Name Variations Ireland p9

Name variations ireland p10

Name Variations Ireland p11 Name Variations Ireland 12 Name Variations Ireland 13 Name Variations Ireland 14 Name Variations Ireland 15

Name Variations Ireland 12

Name Variations Ireland 13 Name Variations Ireland 14 Name Variations Ireland 15

Name Variations Ireland p16

Name Variations Ireland p17 Name Variations Ireland p18

Name Variations Ireland p19 Name Variations Ireland p20

Name Variations Ireland p21 Name Variations Ireland p22 Name Variations Ireland p23 Name Variations Ireland p24 Name Variations Ireland p25 Name Variations Ireland p26 Name Variations Ireland p27 Name Variations Ireland p28


Name Variations Ireland p29 Name Variations Ireland p30

There is a section in this book called “Alphabetical List of Surnames with their Varieties and synonymes” which gives the variant surnames.

Fanning surname variations in Ireland
Fanning variant surnames in Ireland and also in Australia.


Free Irish Genealogy eBooks

This site has a wonderful list of free eBooks for Irish family history.  They are not under copyright as they are old. Some gems here. Good reading on a rainy day.

There are nearly 350 eBooks listed at this site with links. Most are 19th century with some from the previous century.

On this site the eBooks are grouped under the following headings:

* History of Ireland* Local History* Guidebooks* Irish Diaspora – General* Irish Diaspora- North America* Family Histories* Disputed Inheritance Cases* Irish-American Family Histories* Irish-Canadian Family Histories* Irish Genealogy Sources

Some of the titles which look interesting are:

The History of Ireland 1844

Slaters Directory 1846

Irish Local Names Explained

The Irish In America

Irish Emigration to the United States

Biographical History of the American Irish In Chicago

The Irish in Australia

The Story of the Irish in Argentina

Irish Colonists in New York

***Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland

Below are two pages from one book which relate to Fannings

index to prerogatve wills ireland p161 faninge
Index to Prerogative Wills Ireland Sir Arthur Vicars 1897 p161
index to prerogative wills of ireland Fannin p162
Index to Prerogative Wills Ireland Sir Arthur Edward Vicars 1897 p162


Post Towns and Abbreviations 1888 Victoria Australia

The Post Office Directory for Victoria for 1888 is also on Google Books.

The Victoria Post Office directory – Google Books

While the abbreviations used in the Victorian Birth, Marriage and Death records are not necessarily the same as those used in the Post Office Directories for Victoria some may be the same. The Pioneer Index for Victoria covers the period 1836 to 1888.