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,
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
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.
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
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
The names of Co. Kilkenny townlands recorded in Petty's "census" are included in this
list of 1659 townlands.
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