County Londonderry, Ireland Genealogy

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County Londonderry (Derry)
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Guide to County Londonderry ancestry, family history and genealogy parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

County Londonderry.jpg
County Londonderry or County Derry (formerly County Coleraine until 1613) is a county in 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.

History

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 connotations.

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.

Census substitutes

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.

Church records

Please add information on county Londonderry about Church records

  • Baptist
  • Church of Ireland
  • Methodist
  • Presbyterian
  • 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.

Maps

1885 County Map: Courtesy of London Ancestor

Web sites