The Townland Experience

A Townland in Ireland is a geographical division of Land used in Ireland. This system is off Gaelic Origin pre dating the Norman invasion 1169 AD. A Townland can be anything from a half an acre to two thousand acres.

It is extremely important to note that most Townlands are extremely hard to find as they are not marked in Ireland and are usually defined by borders such as Rivers, Hedges or Hills.

Just to see how complicated the system off Townlands are. If you are lucky enough to find the Correct Church for your Ancestor and not just the Civil parish seen on records you now must find the Townland. If your Townland begins with or has the words Rath in the description there are 1,024 Townlands with the word Rath included in Ireland. A Rath incidentally is an Iron Age Hill fort.

We at My Ireland Family Heritage are the specialists at researching & Finding your Ancestors exact House in the 1800s in any County in Ireland and taking you to that exact spot where the house is or it once was. We will also provide you with a once in a lifetime Genealogy Tour Experience with our Government approved Failte Ireland Genealogist and Tour Guide. Once we find the correct townland the work is only beginning.

Finding the Correct Church

Having found the Townland we must now find not just the Civil Parish identified on your records but the correct Church. On your records you may see a Civil Parish this most likely is not the Church your Family used for Marriage/Baptisms and weekly use.

An Example

As an example take County Meath there are 146 Civil Parishes in County Meath. Your Families Church may be Culmullin it is bordered by 7 different Parishes but it is also in the Parish of Dunshaughlin. Your records may say Parish of Dunshaughlin but your Ancestors Parish and church they used for important events is actually 10 Miles away at Cullmullin. To Compound the issue there are 5 Baronies in Meath with the word Rath and 47 Townlands with the word Rath included. 

Finding the correct Graveyard

Finding the correct Graveyard for your family for the Townland. Again an example a Parish like Dunshaughlin may have 10 Graveyards in Fact the Parish of Cullmullin above which is in the Civil Parish off Dunshaughlin has 3 Graveyards alone one for 1700 one for 1800s and a Modern graveyard.

Again this is our responsibility to find the Correct Graveyard for your Church and your families Townland.

Finding Relatives and Neighbours of your Family

At My Ireland Heritage our Data Base allows us to find the exact Location of your Families house in the 1800s. Once we travel her on your Behalf we will know very quickly if the family are still in the vicinity. In fact even if they are not we have the knowledge to know if the neighbours who may be there for 200 years are also still in the Vicinity.

In many cases research will lead you to the County, City or Town where your Family may have lived but we pride ourselves in finding your exact location.

The Normans, despite not having a serious influence on townland names, adapted some of them for their own use, possibly seeing a similarity between the Gaelic baile and the Norman bailey, both of which meant a settlement.

·      We pride ourselves in customising your Tour to your requirements and will be with you every step off the way.
·      Driving in Ireland looking for ones Ancestors on Local roads can be both Hazardous and time consuming (most families in the 1800s were living in marginalized areas with no easy access).
·      Our preparation is done long before you arrive allowing you the satisfaction off seeing all that matters in relation to your Ancestors Heritage and having the time to enjoy the remaining part of your vacation.
·      We will find the exact home. We will find the exact Church, not just the Civil Parish, the exact Graveyard each village in Ireland will have three graveyards.

Prior to your Visit- The My Ireland Heritage team is dedicated to visiting your ancestoral townland (Original Family Settlement / Home) to research local archives, churches and graveyards, communicate with the parish priest and locals. Armed with this knowledge of your ancestors, a tailor made tour is created for you.

•  Visit your Ancestors Townland / Graveyard / Parish Church. In most cases we can find the exact Place where your Family Lived (Consultation with a member of our Team will be necessary)
•  Items of interest if applicable will be included in your townland experience such as such as Famine Workhouses, Famine Graveyards Bronze Age settlement (2500BC), Ancient Hill Forts (500AD), early medieval Christian heritage sites, Viking sites (794AD), Norman sites such as Motte and Bailey (1169AD).

We have had many fantastic Townlands finds for our clients including the Old Ruins of Original Family Settlements from the period 1796 to 1860 AD to more recent periods, some of which can be seen on Trip Adviser and our Testimonial page.

A one day family heritage tour can help you find your Townland (original family settlement/home). Our experienced guide will uncover your families past and help you experience your real Irish heritage. Take the next step in walking in the footsteps of your ancestors.These tours can be extended to additional days if you would like to uncover more of your family history. This is your experience so you can combine any of our tours with your ancestral tour.

The Republic and Northern Ireland has an extensive network of public roads connecting all parts of the country. It must be stressed that driving in Ireland is now an extremely good experience.

However it is imperative to tell you that nearly 95% of the driving for Family Townland experience is done on Local Roads which have not changed in many cases since your Ancestors emigrated.

Local Roads where most Family history takes place

The Road system is as follows

·      National Primary Roads are numbered from N1 to N50 (motorway sections are signed with M prefix instead of N).
·      National Secondary Roads are numbered from N51 to N99.
·      Regional Roads are numbered from R100 to R999.
·      Local Primary Roads are numbered from L1000 to L4999.
·      Local Secondary Roads & Tertiary Roads are numbered from L5000 to L8999 and are an off road experience in some cases.