County Kilkenny Ireland Genealogy

Administrative Divisions of County Kilkenny


Province - County Kilkenny is located in southern Leinster Province of the Republic of Ireland. Ireland and Northern Ireland are comprised of four provinces in all: Leinster (SE), Ulster (NE), Connaught (NW) and Munster (SW).

Probate Districts - The County of Kilkenny is contained within the Probate District of Kilkenny. There are 11 other Probate Districts in Ireland, including Londonderry, Belfast, Armagh, Ballina, Cavan, Tuam, Mullingar, Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Waterford.
After 1858, "wills" were proved within each probate district, and records were kept in at the Public Record Office (PRO) in Dublin. A 1922 fire at the PRO destroyed most of these records; much of what survives include will indexes and abstracts. For information on "wills" available for County Kilkenny, see Wills.

Poor Law Union - or PLU's were districts created under the Poor Law Relief Act of 1838 (aka the Poor Law). Land-based taxes were collected within these areas for maintenance of the local poor, and many of the Workhouse Records from this era provide good source information to the genealogist. PLU's later became 'General Registrar's Districts', areas within which births, deaths and marriages were compiled. For genealogical information about PLU's, see Workhouse Records (PRONI).
There were 5 Poor Law Unions (pre-1849) and 8 Poor Law Unions (post-1849) which extended into County Kilkenny. These included Callan, Carrick-on-Suir, Castlecomer, Kilkenny, New Ross, Thomastown, Urlingford, and Waterford. Refer to the County Kilkenny Poor Law Union Maps. For a broader look, see a Poor Law Union Map for all of Ireland.

Barony - A Barony was a portion of a county or a group of civil parishes. County Kilkenny was divided into 10 Baronies. These included Callan, Crannagh, Fassadinin, Galmoy, Gowran, Ida, Iverk, Kells, Knocktopher, and Shillelogher. Historically the boundaries were defined by the Anglo-Normans, based on Gaelic family territories or "tuaths". Refer to the Barony Page, the Barony and City Map, or to the Barony and Civil Parish Map.
In the thirteenth and fourteenth century, Kilkenny was divided into Cantreds, which were later restructured into the modern baronies of today.
Also see Barony Histories.

Civil Parish - There were over 139 Civil Parishes within, or extending into, County Kilkenny. They were roughly equivalent to the Parishes of the Anglican Church of Ireland. Civil Parishes are important units for locating civil registration records, and generally contain 25 to 30 Townlands, as well as towns and villages. Information regarding the content and timeframe of parish records can be found at Church Records.
Also refer refer to this list of Civil Parishes, or to this Civil Parish Map, or to the larger Outline Map of Civil Parishes. Brief historical summaries of each parish are on-line at Kilkenny Parishes and Towns - GenUKI.

Catholic Parish - There are over 33 Catholic parishes in Kilkenny. Information regarding the content and timeframe of Catholic parish records can be found at Roman Catholic Records, which includes a cross-reference to Civil parishes. Also review the information at Civil to Catholic Parish LDS Reference.
Refer to this Catholic Parish Map listing the dates of the earliest Parish Registers.

Diocese - The diocesan boundaries of the Church of Ireland (Anglican) do not conform to to the Roman Catholic diocesan boundaries, nor do either conform to county boundaries. Church of Ireland dioceses were important for early records purposes, such as the administration of wills. Catholic dioceses are less useful for record purposes.
Dioceses which extend into County Kilkenny include the Catholic Diocese of Ossory, and to a smaller degree the diocese of Kildare & Leighlin. Anglican Dioceses in Kilkenny include Ossory, and small portions of Leighlin and Cashel. Refer to the Diocese page for more information about dioceses, or to the Parish information (above) for information about parish records available to the genealogist.

Townland - Kilkenny is divided into a large number of Townlands, 1,683 as of 1851. Locating the Townland of your ancestor is an integral part of completing your research in Ireland. For a full alphabetic index of Kilkenny Townlands in 1851, see Co. Kilkenny Townland Index. For Northern Ireland Townlands, see PRONI. A full list of Irish townlands is also available through IreAtlas.
The names of Co. Kilkenny townlands recorded in Petty's "census" are included in this list of 1659 townlands.

Towns and Cities - A Town Map is available, as well as this list of Towns/Cities within or near the borders of Kilkenny County. For help in locating records which may point you to the location in Ireland of your ancestor, see Finding that Elusive Irish Ancestor.

Minor Placenames - Kilkenny has contained many placenames of various sizes and locales. These were not covered in the Index of Townlands, or in the Ordinance Survey, but were noted on early maps of the County. Some of the placenames of the early 19th century are listed at Minor Placenames of County Kilkenny. In addition some of the old Country Town Houses are listed on the same page.

Knights' Fees - In the early centuries following the arrival of the Anglo-Normans (late 12th century), much of Ireland became divided into feudal manors which were held by right of royal service. See this list of Knights' Fees in the 13th and 14th century. Also see this list of Royal Service in 15th century County Kilkenny.

Historical Reference (at this web site)
History of Kilkenny
Early County Kilkenny
The Old English Families
The New English Families


Submit your Kilkenny Query.

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