Tuesday 26 December 2017

FindmyPast Ireland adds Irish colonisation maps

FindmyPast Ireland (www.findmypast.ie) has added a series of 68 maps sourced from the State Papers held by the National Archives in England detailing the colonisation of  Ireland by the English and Scots as far back as 500 years ago, though with most of the maps detailing settlements during the Plantations of Ulster.

The Irish Examiner has the full story at https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/new-collection-quite-literally-maps-the-colonisation-of-ireland-500-years-ago-464892.html. The article notes that one of the earliest maps shows my home town of Carrickfergus from 1533 (which is not in County Down, as the article states, but County Antrim), whilst many others detail the baronies in Ulster during the Plantations of the earky 1600s.

The maps will be available through the other FindmyPast platforms if you have the suitable subscriptions providing Irish records access.Through the UK platform you will find them at https://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/ireland-maps-and-surveys-1558-1610. The following is the blurb from the site to describe them:

Discover more about the records

In this collection, Findmypast has published early maps of Ireland from The National Archives series MPF 1. The maps were created during the reign of Elizabeth I and James I. They assisted the English in the plantation of Ireland, a time when the English crown confiscated Irish lands and redistributed the land to English planters or settlers. Most of the land confiscated had belonged to Gaelic leaders in Munster and Ulster.

The maps are beautifully decorated and were used to inform the settlers of the locations of rivers, bogs, fortifications, harbours, etc. In some illustrations, you will find drawings of wildlife and even sea monsters. Around the harbours, the cartographers took the time to draw meticulously detailed ships with cannons and sailors. Many of the maps also detailed the names of the numerous Gaelic clans and the lands they owned, for example, O’Hanlan in Armagh, O’Neill in Tyrone, O’Connor in Roscommon, etc.

At this time, map making was in its early stages as a profession, and they had not established the standards that we use today. For example, in many of the maps, North is not always at the top. Use the rotation option on the image to spin it around so you can have North at the top.

Map making was a dangerous career during this period. The cartographers were exploring hostile foreign territory. One of the creators of these maps, Richard Bartlett, was beheaded in Tyrconnell, Donegal, by the natives who were resisting the English plantation and did not want the English government to own maps of their lands.

Maps available

We have included a full list of the maps you will find in Ireland, maps and surveys 1558-1610.
Athenry, County Galway
Banagher, County Offaly
Bantry Bay, County Cork & County Kerry
Barony of Armagh, County Armagh
Barony of Castlerahan, County Cavan
Barony of Clanawley, County Fermanagh
Barony of Clankee, County Cavan
Barony of Clankelly, County Fermanagh
Barony of Clanmahon, County Cavan
Barony of Clogher, County Tyrone
Barony of Fews, County Armagh
Barony of Idrone, County Carlow
Barony of Loughtee, County Cavan
Barony of Lurg, County Fermanagh
Barony of Magheraboy, County Fermanagh
Barony of Magherastephana, County Fermanagh
Barony of Omagh, County Tyrone
Barony of Orior, County Armagh
Barony of Tiranny, County Armagh
Barony of Tullygarvey, County Cavan
Barony of Tullyhaw, County Cavan
Barony of Tullyhunco, County Cavan
Belfast Lough
Blackwatertown, County Armagh
Carrickfergus, County Antrim
Castlemaine, County Kerry
County Limerick
County Mayo from Killala Bay to Inishbofin Island
County Mayo & County Sligo
County Monaghan
County Sligo & County Leitrim
County Wicklow & County Ferns (Parts of the modern counties of Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow & Dublin)
Coast of County Antrim
Coast of County Down from Lough Strangford to Carlingford
Coast of Ireland from Carrickfergus to Dundrum Bay
Coast of Ireland from Dublin to Carrickfergus
Coast of Munster from Kinsale & Dingle
Corkbeg Fort, County Cork
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Kinsale, County Cork
Limerick, County Limerick
Lough Erne, County Fermanagh
Lough Neagh, County Antrim
Newry Castle, County Down
Newry, County Down
North-East Ulster
North-West Coast of Ulster
Part of Barony of Dungannon, County Tyrone
Part of Barony of Knockninny, County Fermanagh
Part of Barony of Loghinisholin, County Londonderry
Part of Barony of Oneilland, County Armagh
Part of Barony of Strabane, County Tyrone
Portrush, County Antrim
Province of Munster
Province of Munster (Except County Clare)
Province of Ulster
Roscommon, County Roscommon
Smerwick Harbour, County Kerry
Southern Ulster


Needing a Christmas present for a family history obsessed love one (or for yourself)?! For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

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