About IreGaz

The inspiration and starting-point for IreGaz was the IreAtlas Townland database, produced many years ago by John Broderick (Sean Ruad). IreGaz is a tribute as well as a successor to his work. The IreAtlas database was based on the General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes, and Baronies of Ireland, published in 1861 by the Registrar-General of Ireland. The 1861 Index was, in turn, based on three sources:

1. a summary (the "Townland Census") of the 1851 Census of Ireland;

2. the Primary Valuation of Tenements (the "Griffith Valuation"); and

3. the Ordnance Survey 6-inch County Series maps.

Like IreAtlas, IreGaz started with the 1861 Index. In addition, IreGaz has referred to the above three earlier sources, to enable detailed comparison and cross-checking. Such deep research would have been difficult without the images of original documents made available by EPPI, Ask about Ireland and Ordnance Survey Ireland

To find information about Electoral Divisions, IreGaz first consulted a later General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes, and Baronies of Ireland, published in 1877. As the 1877 Index seems to have contained quite a few errors concerning Electoral Divisions, IreGaz has also consulted parts of the Census summaries for 1861, 1871, 1881 and even later.

As a result of this research, IreGaz is an accurate record of most of the administrative divisions of Ireland in the early 1850s: extremely accurate (probably >99.9%) in respect of Townlands, Baronies, Counties, Provinces and Poor Law Unions (PLUs); and fairly accurate (probably >99%) in respect of Electoral Divisions (EDs). Accuracy is tested against various area-totals in the 1851 Census summary, so some placenames have zero area in IreGaz: these placenames may have been unaccounted or not yet in existence in 1851.

IreGaz, as currently published, will remain free-of-charge, a contribution to the 'gift economy'. It is designed without cookies or scripts to which your computer might object, while offering flexible and accessible search facilities.

Future Developments of IreGaz

It is intended to offer users the ability to select the decade for which information is required; in addition to the sources mentioned above, this feature will use information from the Supplement to the Alphabetical Index published in 1884, based on the 1881 Census; and from the General Topographical Index published in 1904, based on the 1901 Census.

It is intended to add information on Church of Ireland Dioceses; and perhaps on Roman Catholic Parishes and Dioceses. Research may also enable precise dating of boundary changes, resurveys, etc.

It is likely that any significant future developments will be made available only to subscribers.