County Derry Genealogy

County Derry / Londonderry Genealogy

Derry / Londonderry Ancestry - County Londonderry / Derry Family History

Irish name: Doire

County Londonderry or County Derry is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, situated in the north of the island of Ireland. Adjoined to the north-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,074 km², with a population of approximately 233,550. It is also one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, lying within the historical province of Ulster.

Since 1981 it has become one of four counties in Northern Ireland that has a Catholic majority (55.56% according to the 2001 Census), with 57% of the Catholic population residing within Derry City Borough.

The highest point in the county is the summit of Sawel Mountain (678m) on the border with County Tyrone. Sawel is part of the Sperrin Mountains, which dominate the southern part of the county. To the east and west, the land falls into the valleys of the Bann and Foyle rivers respectively; in the south-east, the county touches the shore of Lough Neagh, which is the largest lake in Ireland; the north of the county is distinguished by the steep cliffs, dune systems and remarkable beaches of the Atlantic coast.

The county is home to a number of important buildings and landscapes, including the well-preserved 17th-century city walls of Derry; the National Trust-owned Plantation estate at Springhill; the Mussenden Temple with its spectacular views of the Atlantic; the dikes, artificial coastlines and the noted bird sanctuaries on the eastern shore of Lough Foyle; and the visitor centre at Bellaghy Bawn, close to the childhood home of Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. In the centre of the county are the old-growth deciduous forests at Banagher and Ness Wood, where the Burntollet River flows over the highest waterfalls in Northern Ireland.

The county flower is the Purple Saxifrage. The term Oak Leaf County is the county nickname particularly in relation to the county's teams in Gaelic Athletic Association competitions.

Unlike the town, governmentally there was not a preceding administrative area called County Londonderry. Rather County Londonderry was created by James I when he gave a charter to the Irish Society to undertake the new county's plantation – the London prefix being added in reference to the London Livery Companies of the Irish Society. This charter is dated 29 March 1613, and declared that the "City of Londonderry" and everything contained within:

"shall be united, consolidated, and from hence-forth for ever be one entire County of itself, distinct and separate from all our Counties whatsoever within our Kingdom of Ireland-and from henceforth for ever be named, accounted and called, the County of Londonderry."

This new county would comprise the then County Coleraine, which consisted of the baronies of Tirkeeran, Coleraine, and Keenaght; the barony of Loughinsholin, which was then a part of County Tyrone; the North East Liberties of Coleraine, which was part of County Antrim; and the City and Liberties of Londonderry, which were in County Donegal. The liberties of Coleraine and Londonderry were requested by the The Irish society so that they could control both banks of the mouths of the River Foyle and the River Bann and have access to sufficient wood for construction.

Administratively, the city became a separate county borough, so from the establishment of Londonderry County Council in 1899 until its abolition in 1973, the town of Coleraine was the official county town of County Londonderry with the county council's headquarters.

Some towns and villages of county Londonderry where we have researched Derry Ancestors are;

1. Derry City 2. Coleraine. 3. Cookstown 4. Bellaghy 5. Garvagh 6. Magherafelt. 7. Dungiven 8. Maghera 9. Tobermore 10. Feeny

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Civil Parishes of County Derry / London Derry

If you are researching Derry / Londonderry ancestors, there are many civil parishes in County Derry / Londonderry and the church registries can be researched in the Public Records Offices of Northern Ireland in Belfast or National Library in Dublin. They are as follows;

1 Aghadowey 2 Aghanloo 3 Agivey 4 Arboe 5 Artrea 6 Ballinderry 7 Ballyaghran 8 Ballymoney 9 Ballynascreen 10 Ballyrashane 11 Ballyscullion 12 Ballywillin 13 Balteagh 14 Banagher 15 Bovevagh 16 Carrick 17 Clondermot 18 Coleraine 19 Cumber Lower 20 Cumber Upper 21 Derryloran 22 Desertlyn 23 Desertmartin 24 Desertoghill 25 Drumachose 26 Dunboe 27 Dungiven 28 Errigal 29 Faughanvale 30 Formoyle 31 Kilcronaghan 32 Kildollagh 33 Killelagh 34 Killowen 35 Kilrea 36 Learmount 37 Lissan 38 Macosquin 39 Maghera 40 Magherafelt 41 Tamlaght 42 Tamlaght Finlagan 43 Tamlaght O'Crilly 44 Tamlaghtard 45 Templemore 46 Termoneeny

Genealogy Sources for each Irish County

Antrim Armagh Carlow Cavan
Clare Cork Derry (Londonderry) Donegal
Down Dublin Fermanagh Galway
Kerry Kildare Kilkenny Laois
Leitrim Limerick Longford Louth
Mayo Meath Monaghan Offaly
Roscommon Sligo Tipperary Tyrone
Waterford Westmeath Wexford Wicklow

Major Sources of Irish Ancestry

Church Records Land Records Directories
Registry of Deeds Wills Emigration Records
Newspapers

MY IRISH ANCESTORS FREE GENEALOGY ASSESSMENT

If you need advice from one of our genealogy research team send a message and we will be happy to help. click HERE for more information

OUR PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IS NOW REDUCED

My Irish Ancestors have reduced our Preliminary Research by 65%

Was £130 Now £49.99 CLICK HERE for more information