One of the most frequently asked questions of our genealogist is ‘what is a townland in Ireland?’
A townland is the name given to a geographical area in Ireland and is a method of linking your ancestor to a specific place. The townland represents the smallest administrative division of land in Ireland and is the primary part of any rural address. Townland sizes vary a lot depending on local topography and farming practices.
Townlands are used as the smallest geographical unit in census records, Tithe Applotments, the Griffith’s Valuation and are sometimes mentioned in church records too. Townlands are still in use today and appear on rural maps.
Skibbereen Heritage Centre has a database of the townlands and street names for much of West Cork which is good starting point when tracing your West Cork ancestors.
To search this database, click Search
The results will show the Alternative Name (AKA), Civil Parish, Poor Law Union (PLU), District Electoral Division (DED) and Notes associated with each townland or street.