Poor Legislation Unions are the geographical areas used to gather data of births, marriages and deaths in Eire. They’re nonetheless at the moment, astonishingly, based mostly on the outdated Victorian welfare system. In fact we needed to map them.
The Irish Poor Legislation Act of 1838 divided the island into 130 districts, every with a workhouse at its coronary heart, often located within the largest native market city. A property tax was levied to pay for the operations of the workhouse, so the first rationale for the world lined was that it ought to produce the mandatory tax take. In consequence many Unions ignored current parish and county boundaries, not like their English equivalents.
By 1852, the Famine had pushed the system to breaking level and new Unions had been carved out of the prevailing districts, significantly within the south and west, the place public starvation and misery had been at their most intense. For Irish family tree, the direct relevance of the Poor Legislation begins in 1864, when the Victorian public well being system based mostly on the Unions took on state registration of births, marriages and deaths. A usually inflexible hierarchy ran the entire thing. Native registrars collected registrations in subdivisions of the Union and handed them to the Superintendent Registrar in command of the every Union, who made copies and handed them on in flip to the Registrar Basic in Dublin.
When centralised annual indexes had been created by the Registrar Basic for all Irish births, deaths and marriages, the Poor Legislation Unions had been the placenames used within the indexes: they’re the areas that seem within the indexes on-line at IrishGenealogy and FamilySearch. As a result of most of them cowl cross county and parish boundaries, they are often very misleading.
Egregious examples: Edenderry Union consists of components of counties Kildare, Meath and Offaly, despite the fact that Edenderry city is 100% Offaly. New Ross, in Wexford, additionally covers bits of Carlow and Kilkenny. Ballyshannon takes in equal components of counties Donegal, Leitrim and Fermanagh, Waterford Union consists of most of south Kilkenny …
The purpose is that the system makes all of it too straightforward to seek for your ancestors within the mistaken location. Therefore the maps.
The townland lists used on to create the maps come from a wedding of the 1851 Townlands Index to the 1885 assortment of pamphlets Townlands in Poor Legislation Unions, produced by the Registrar Basic to let native registrars know which areas they had been accountable for. The pamphlets had been collected and republished in e book kind in 1997 by the late, nice George Handran, and republished on CD-ROM by Eneclann in 2006. There have been important adjustments and reoganisations of the native registrars’ districts over time, with most of them detailed in George’s e book. Dissolved unions (for instance, Donaghmore) are recognized on our maps, however all the maps must be taken as snapshots of an evolving system. Once more, George provides all of the nitty-gritty.
The usefulness of getting searchable place names from the the Superintendent Registrar’s Districts and the native registrars’ districts lies primarily in figuring out the locations given within the authentic registrations. Customary spellings weren’t used and the handwriting might be fiendish. All registrations embrace each PLU and native registrar’s district, narrowing the chances. An instance:
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