Gazetteers are dictionaries of place names. They describe towns and villages, parishes, counties, rivers, mountains, and other geographical features. They generally list place names in alphabetical order.
Gazetteers are very useful for researchers, especially those who are researchering their ancestry from afar. Often times, place names are difficult to trace on official documents. A Gazetteer can be helpful in determining if a town or village exists and where it is located within a county or province.
Irish Place Names
Irish place names can be difficult to trace since many originated from Gaelic or the Irish language. Also, Irish place names were often spelled phonetically in family records and documents from other countries due to the fact that many people didn't know what the excepted spelling was for the place they came from. And, lastly, many Irish place names are similar to other places -- or contain parts of names from other places.
Two helpful published sources include:
Samuel Lewis', Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, which contains 2 vols of information and was first published in 1837. The Parlimentary Gazetteer of Ireland, a 10 volume set, was published in 1844. Both of these sources can be viewed on fiche through the LDS church.
For property names, you may wish to contact the Place Names Commission at the Ordnance Survey Office in Dublin. Their address is Place-Names Commission, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland.
The Ordnance Survey Office has an online archives and a searchable index. You can also search their Parish List for Irish parish names.
The Irish Times Place Name gazetteer is a great search facility and will help you quickly locate a place in any county in Ireland.
The IreAtlas is a great searchable database for town land names.
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