County Londonderry or County Derry is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. It is in the province of Ulster. The county town is Coleraine. The main settlement is the city of Derry/Londonderry. The name over the past century has become contentious, with Irish nationalists seeking to remove "London" from the county and city name and unionists opposing this.
The county was founded in 1613 as part of the Plantation of Ulster by King James I of England, and twelve London guilds were contracted to develop it. They were also to rebuild the settlement of Derry. In recognition of their work, King James I named the new city and county after the London companies by adding the prefix "London" to "Derry".
Prior to 1613 what became County Londonderry used to be parts of different counties: County Coleraine; the barony of Loughinsholin in County Tyrone; the North-East Liberties of Coleraine in County Antrim; and the North-West Liberties of Londonderry in County Donegal.
Since the plantation, whilst the short form Derry was very commonly used over the centuries by all sides, in the past century Irish nationalists polticised the issue by trying to have "London" officially removed from the name.
Regardless of this controversy, many documents of genealogical value make use of either Londonderry and its short form Derry without any political connoctations.
General County Research Information
Further information about County Londonderry is available at the GenUKI site.
Civil Jurisdictions and Parish Research Information
A map of the Civil Parishes of County Londonderry is available at Irish Times site.
Abstracts of "The Muster Roll of the County of London Derry 1630," and the 1663 Hearth Tax of the City of Londonderry and its Liberties have been published and are available for free online:
Mervine, William M. "The Men of Londonderry in 1630 and 1663," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 38 (1914):355-372. For free online access, see WeRelate.
Please add information on county Londonderry about Church records
Church of Ireland
Roman Catholic - Daly, Edward. (former Bishop of Derry) Derry Diocesan Archive. The bulk of materials in this Archive relates to the latter half of the 20th Century. Each item has been read, catalogued with several subject headings, date, description, names of persons involved, subject matter and stored archivally. Article covers years 1846-1997. Article is to be found in Journal. Irish Archives: Journal of the Irish Society for Archives.Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2ia vol. 12, year 2005-2006, page 10-11.
Entries From the Family Bible of Alexander and Esther Crookshank, Contributed by Anne Crookshank. Genealogy of Crookshank from the Family Bible originally given by William Kennedy of the City of Londonderry to his daughter Esther 1763 who in turn gave to her son Charles Crookshank 1810, covers years 1768-1893, Dublin, and England, Somerset Bath. Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol. IX, no.1.1977, pages1-2, Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i v9.
Ffolliott, Rosemary. Game Licences in North-West Ulster in 1802. Continuing List of Game Certificated printed originally in the Londonderry Journal of 24 Aug. 1802. Article in The Irish Ancestor, Vol.VIII. no.2. 1976, pages 84-86. Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i v7-8.
Abstracts of Some Hamilton Wills. From the papers of the late Sir Arthur Vicars, Ulster King of Arms. These extracts from Wills proved in the Diocese of Derry before 1749, cover surname Hamilton from all over Ireland. Article found in The Irish Ancestor, vol.III, no 1.1971 pages 27-32, Family Hisotry Ref. 941.5 B2i
Abstract of Wills. Will for William Semple of Kirklees, clerk, rector of Lamfield Co. Derry. 1686.Will for Henry O'Hara of Rock Castle 1842 Co. Londonderry. Lists heirs, Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol.V.no.1.1973, pages 53-61, Family History Ref. 941.5 B2i v.5-6
To view a list of Londonderry (or Derry) web sites, visit FHLFavorites.info for some great sites.