Map of the Baronies and Civil Parishes of Co. Londonderry

The County was divided into six baronies - North West Liberties of Londonderry which included the city of Londondonderry; North East Liberties of Coleraine which included the town of Coleraine on the east side of the River Bann; Coleraine which included Killowen on the west side of the River Bann; Loughinsholin which covered South Derry. Keenaght which covered the Roe Valley and Magilligan; and Tirkeeran which lay between the Keenaght and North West Liberties baronies.

The townlands of Movanagher and Mullan in the parish of Kilrea were in the barony of Coleraine, but most of the parish of Kilrea was in the barony of Loughinsholin. The townlands of Bovedy and Drumsaragh in the parish of Tamlaght O'Crilly were in the barony of Coleraine, but most of the parish of Tamlaght O'Crilly was in the barony of Loughinsholin. Nine of the townlands in the parish of Banagher were in the barony of Tirkeeran. The remaining thirteen were in the barony of Keenaght. See the Database of Official Townlands within the County for the names of these townlands.

There are also some townlands in the parishes of Aghadowey, Desertoghill and Errigal that are split between two parishes. These include the townland of Cullyramer [Aghadowey and Desertoghill] and the townlands of Mayboy, Shanlongford and Meencraig [Aghadowey and Errigal].

A few townlands are geographically detached from the main part of their parish. These are the townlands of Curran and Toberhead which are separated from the main part of the parish of Maghera by the parish of Termoneeny. The townland of Formil which is part of the parish of Bovevagh but is actually located in the eastern part of the parish of Dungiven.

Most of the parishes shown here are old creations. However, a number of the parishes shown on this map were created during the nineteenth century - Carrick [out of parts of the parishes of Balteagh, Bovevagh and Tamlaght Finlagan], Formoyle [out of parts of the parish of Dunboe] and Learmount [out of parts of the parishes of Banagher and Cumber Upper]. Also note that the townlands of Beagh Temporal, Culnagrew, Gortinure, Knockoneill and Swatragh were originally in the parish of Maghera but were transferred to the parish of Killelagh after 1831.

The parishes of Arboe, Artrea, Ballinderry, Derryloran, Lissan and Tamlaght crossed the county boundary into County Tyrone. The parishes of Ballyscullion, Ballyrashane and Ballywillin also crossed the county boundary into County Antrim. The parish of Ballymoney had only parts of a few townlands in County Londonderry; the vast majority of Ballymoney parish was in County Antrim.

The Civil and the Church of Ireland parishes were more or less the same. Note that the parishes of Arboe, Artrea, Ballinderry, Derryloran, Desertlyn, Lissan, Magherafelt and Tamlaght were, and still are, in the Diocese of Armagh. The parishes of Ballyaghran, Ballyrashane, Ballywillin, Coleraine and Kildollagh were, and still are, in the Diocese of Down and Connor. The remainder of the parishes in the county were, and still are, in the Diocese of Derry. Go to the Church Records link in the top menu for maps of Roman Catholic parishes and churches plus maps showing the distribution of the Church of Ireland and Presbyterian churches throughout the county.

Knowledge of the administrative units shown in the map below is necessary when using the 1831 Census Returns, the Townland Valuation of the 1830s and the Tithe Applotment Books of the 1820s and 30s. Although replaced after the 1850s by the Poor Law Unions, DEDs, etc., you will find the continued use of barony and parish within documents using the newer PLU structure. Use the database of Official Townlands within the County link to find out in which particular barony and parish an individual townland was located. This database will also identify the changes to parishes, etc. mentioned above.

Note that the parish of Tamlaghtard was usually known as the parish of Magilligan in the nineteenth century.

Copyright 2010 W. Macafee.