Finding Irish Catholic and Civil Parishes and Townlands

To locate details of North Tipperary Catholics Parishes go to The Irish Times site. Click on a parish for details of its records. Hold the mouse pointer over the parish to see variant names. Click on a county name to view its parish map.

The Irish Times also has the North Tipperary Civil Parishes.

The Roman Catholic Parishes of County Tipperary are paired with their Civil Parish names in this site hosted by Rootsweb.

To find any Irish Townland or placename on The Irish Times site, key in the Townland and it will give you the county, Civil Parish and Poor Law Union.

You can also use the SeanRuad IreAtlas Townland Database to locate any Irish townland. By entering a Townland and a County, it will return all lines that contain the requested Townland and the requested County. You can search for individual townlands or look at all the townlands in a specific parish or Poor Law Union etc. It is case sensitive.

An excellent book for Irish family history research is the “Index to the Townlands, and Parishes and Baronies of Ireland” published in 1851. This has all the townlands that were used in Griffith’s Valuations. It has the advantage over the online database if you are unsure of what you are looking for. often have copies at reasonable prices or much cheaper than through specialist genealogy shops. I use this book frequently.

Many of the townland names are the same today so a search of Google maps can be useful to see where the townland is and to calculate distances to other places.

Using Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland.

Background on Griffiths Primary Valuation 1848-1864

Ireland’s Valuation office conducted its first survey of property ownership in Ireland from 1848 to 1864. This survey became known as “Griffiths Valuation” after Richard Griffith who was the director of the office at that time. The survey was used to determine the amount of tax each person should pay towards the support of the poor within their poor law union. This involved determining the value of all privately held lands and buildings in rural as well as urban areas to figure the rate at which each unit of property could be rented year after year. The resulting survey was arranged by barony and civil parish with an index to the townlands appearing in each volume. Griffith’s Valuation can be used as an excellent census substitute for the years after the Great Famine as censuses prior to 1901 were destroyed. ” This description of Griffith’s Primary Valuation is from Failte Romhat by John Hayes where he explores his Hayes family history.

The first column headed Townlands and Occupiers serves to identify the geographical address of each occupier of a holding within its boundaries. In the column headed No. and Letters of Reference to Map, in rural areas the number represents the order in which the valuator listed each holding in his manuscript field book. The lot number doesn’t necessarily indicate the proximity of buildings to each other. This can only be determined by studying the OS map carried by the surveyor as he measured and marked each holding’s boundaries; the map shows the field book’s corresponding numbers and letters. However in a town or city the numbers do represent the holdings consecutively adjoining each other on streets or lanes (as in Thurles town).

When cottager’s houses and gardens are included within the limits of a farm, the farmer’s house should have the italic letter a prefixed to the number of the lot in which it is situated; the cottagers‘ houses should have b, c, etc.

The size of a holding was frequently used as a rule of thumb to depict Ireland’s agricultural classes. The holder of less than five acres was labelled a “cottager or laborer”; small farmers usually held between 5 and 30 acres and the large farmer occupied more than 30 acres.

If a holding has been divided up then a Capital letter is used e.g. A B

When an occupier lives in another Townland his Townland of residence has to be noted next to his name in the Occupier column. (Edward Fanning has Thurles after his name)

The rundale system of land occupancy was where a tenement was subdivided by a group of tenants holding the parcel of land in common. Under this system each tenant occupies a portion of the holding for a house and tillage use, but the tenant is financially responsible along with fellow tenants for the full rent due on the entire holding.

Prior to the Great Famine, a farmer saw little harm in subdividing a rented holding to ensure the economic well being of each son as he married, and in some cases sons-in-law received as dowries of their brides some share of the farm.

Griffith’s Manual defines two classes of building, houses and offices. “House” includes all buildings used permanently as dwellings and all public buildings like courthouses. “Office” includes factories, mills, shops and farm outbuildings such as a stable, turf shed, cow barn, a piggery etc.

“Occupier” as used in Griffith’s is the individual or corporate body that rents, leases or owns a particular tenement. The named individual may not be the head of a household having a family living with him or her and may not even live on that particular holding.

The Notes above have been taken from  Is There More in Griffith’s Valuation Than Just Names? an excellent article on Griffith’s Valuation by James Reilly.

Where You Can Access Griffiths Valuation Online

At Ask about Ireland you can access all the Griffith’s Valuation and online records and original documents and even maps and you can print them out. This is a free service but the maps are copyrighted.

The CMR site has the Grifith’s Valuation  entries for Co Tipperary arranged alphabetically.

There is also some briefer general information on Griffith’s Valuation and Poor Law Relief at this Rootsweb Freepages site.

Measurements used in Griffith’s Valuations

Acres, roods and perches re used in Griffiths Valuation.  An Irish acre is equal to 1.62 US or English acres. A rood is an old English unit of area, equal to a quarter of an acre. A perch of area covers exactly 272.25 square feet The acres used in Griffith’s Valuation are “English” acres, as opposed to “Irish” acres. An English acre is composed of 4 roods, and one rood is composed of 40 perches. A perch is equal to a square rod and a rod is equal to 16.5 feet. Thus a perch is equal to 16.5 x 16.5 = 272.25 square feet, a rood is 272.25 x 40 = 10,890 square feet, and an acre = 10,890 x 4 = 43,560 square feet.

List of Ordinance Sheet Map numbers for Parishes

Directly underneath the name  of each townland at the head of the section for each townland in the Griffith’ Valuation books you will find the Ordnance Survey (OS) sheet number (also used for the valuation maps) for the map of that townland.

OS Sheet numbers for areas where Fannings lived in north Tipperary: Templeree OS 29; Holycross OS 41; Thurles OS 41; Two Mile Borris OS 42; Loughmoe West OS 35; Rahelty OS 41; Moyne OS 36 & OS 42; Loughmoe East OS 29; Drom OS; 28,29,34,35; Killavinoge OS 23; Bourney OS 17, 23; Moycarkey OS 47; Ballymurreen OS; 47, 48; Fertiana OS 41, 47; Glenkeen OS 34; Inch OS 41; Roscrea OS 12; Templemore OS; 23.

Location of North Tipperary Ireland Graveyards 1850

The location of all the North Tipperary graveyards listed in Griffith’s Valuations:

1. Parish of Drom, Townland of Drom, Map Ref 27, O.S. Sheet 35, 1 acre 33 perches.

2. Parish of Thurles, Townland of Brittas, Map ref 21 ,O.S. Sheet 35, area 24 perches.

3. Parish of Twomileborris, Townland of Borris , Map ref 13 , O.S. Sheet No 42, area 1 rod 28 perches.

4. Parish of Thurles, Townland of Thurlestownparks, Map ref 23 & 22, Christian Brothers’ Graveyard is 22, area 1 perch, 23 is Bridewell, yard and garden, area 30 perches.

5. Parish of Thurles, Townland Killinane, Map ref 2, O.S. Sheet 41, area 2 rod 3 perches.

6. Parish of Thurles, Townland of Garryvicleheen, sub-division 1, Garryvicleheen Street, Map ref 9/3, St Bridget’s Graveyard, 29 perches in area.

7. Parish of Shyane, Townland of Clobanna, Map ref 5, O.S. Sheet 35, 1 rod 2 perches.

8. Parish of Rahelty, Townland of Rahelty, Map ref 31, O.S. Sheet No 35, 1 rod 8 perch.

9. Parish of  Templemore, Townland Templemore Demesne, Map Ref 1, O..S Sheet No 29, 2 rods 9 perches in area.

10. Parish of  Templemore, Townland of Kiltillane, Map Ref 15, O..S Sheet 29, Church and graveyard, 1 acre 34 perches.

11. Parish of Moyne, Townland of Moynetemple, Map Ref 24, O.S. Sheet 36, 2 rods 14 perches.

12. Parish of Moycarkey, Townland of Moycarkey, Map Ref 6, O.S. 47, 1 rod 28 perches.

13. Parish of Kilnaneave, Townland of Kilnaneave, Map ref 19, O.S. 27, 1 acre 13 perches.

14.Parish and Townland Galbooly, Map ref 9B, OS 41, 30 perches

15. Parish and Townland of Ballymurreen, Map Ref 12, O.S. 47, 2 rods 36 perches.

16. Parish of Aghnameadle, Townland of Castlequarter, Town Toomyvara, Main Street, Map ref 4 24, O.S. 22, 17 perches.

17. Parish of Aghnameadle, Townland of Bunacum, Town Toomyvarra (Part Of), Main Street, map ref 4/1, 15 perches.

Traditional Irish Naming Patterns

It is a common Irish tradition in naming children to follow a naming pattern. Irish families did not always follow the pattern exactly but it seems that in nearly all cases their children were named after close relations. If a child died young it was also customary for the next child of the same sex to be given the name of the deceased child.

Knowing this naming pattern can help in looking for Irish ancestors’ names. For example if you have a Michael Fanning and his eldest son is called William there is a very good chance that he was named after his grandfather.


1st son was named after the father’s father

2nd son was named after the mother’s father

3rd son was named after the father

4th son was named after the father’s eldest brother

5th son was named after the mother’s eldest brother


1st daughter was named after the mother’s mother

2nd daughter was named after the father’s mother

3rd daughter was named after the mother

4th daughter was named after the mother’s eldest sister

5th daughter was named after the father’s eldest sister

These Christian names have been used over and over in my Fanning family: William, Edward, John, Patrick, Michael, Joseph, Thomas, Catherine, Mary, Sarah, Johanna, Teresa, Ann.

For many individual names there were different alternative names or nicknames for example Judith was used for Johanna and Sally for Sarah in my family.

In some records the given name is in Latin. I came across this in the records listed at Irish Genealogy and almost missed some records not recognizing them as in Latin eg Patritio for Patrick and Joannis for John.

Irish Nick Names and Alternative Given Names

In searching for Irish ancestors remember that the Irish used a lot of shortened or alternative names for example Biddy for Bridget and Sally for Sarah.

Rootsireland has a good section on alternative first names.

This can be confusing. Below are some that I have come across:

Female christian names:

Abbey, Abigail, Deborah, Debby for Gobinet or Gobnait;

Anty or Anto for Anastatia;

Bessy, Betty, Beth for Elizabeth;

Biddy for Bridget; Cis for Cecelia;

Daisy for Mary;

Dot for Dorothy;

Fanny for Frances;

Judith for Johanna;

Kitty for Katharine;

May for Mary;

Minnie for Mary;

Mollie for Mary;

Nancy for ?;

Nanno for Honora;

Nellie for Ellen, Eleanor or Helen;

Nora for Hanora;

Peggy for Margaret;

Sally for Sarah;

Male Christain names:

Anto for Anthony;

Con and Connor for Cornelius;

Darby or Derby for Jeremiah

Edmund, Edward and Edmond are used for each other;

Ned for Edward.

This very old book “Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland” by Robert E Matheson 1901 can be read online at The following pages deal with alternative christian names.

Christian Names cpt4 p1

Name Variations Ireland p27

Name Variations Ireland p28

Name Variations Ireland p29

Name Variations Ireland p30