Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, a new Northern Ireland website

Thanks to a tip from John Reid in his Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections blog, sending me to the Northern Ireland Placenames website. Here is a screenshot of the new website's startup page:

The website was developed with support from:
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council,
  • Central Community Relations unit,
  • The Department of the Environment (Northern ireland) and
  • Foras na Gaeilge.
With further subventions from the:
  • Community Relations Council,
  • Esme Mitchell Trust,
  • Heritage Lottery Fund,
  • Ultach Trust.
This is an obviously valuable resource for anyone doing research in Northern Ireland. Here is a short description of the content taken from the website:
The corpus of Northern Ireland place-names includes historical administrative names (6 counties, 60-plus barony and district names, 269 civil parishes, 9,600 townlands) and at least 20,000 non-administrative names (including the names of rivers, lakes, mountains, and other physical features). This database contains a gazetteer of these names which was compiled by the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project from map and other sources. The gazetteer continues to grow; additions are constantly required as new names are coined in urban landscapes and as traditional names (which have previously been unrecorded) are discovered in the field.

These names originated in a variety of languages: primarily Irish historically (e.g Belfast < Béal Feirste), but with increasing numbers of names in English (Draperstown) and Scots (Glarryford) appearing on record since the Plantation of Ulster in the seventeenth century. There are also names which originated in Old Norse (Strangford) or which indicate contact with, or knowledge of, other languages such as French (Pomeroy). The corpus of historical citations for these names currently stands at approximately 130,000 references in the database; these citations have been abstracted from a wide variety of sources stretching over the best part of two millenia.
Since I have ancestors from Northern Ireland, this website will be of use to me personally.


  1. The link to won't work without the www subdomain James, i.e.

  2. Thanks, I made the change and hope it works now.

  3. Thanks for mentioning Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections.

  4. From a worldwide standpoint, for the benefit of all of your interested patrons, may I please suggest the links connection at SNSBI, which not only includes Northern Ireland, but many additional locations. It was [Originally an invitation-only society for scholars but now with a wider membership.] - external links useful for onomastic research.
    It includes dictionaries of old languages, linguistics, place-names, old maps, historical documents, Record offices and Record societies. From: the official website of the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland (SNSBI), a society devoted to the study of names (place-names, personal names, and other names) from linguistic, historical, and sociological perspectives.