Kerry Historic 6" Map

Kerry Historic 6″ Map

A timely reminder this week from Ordinance Survey Ireland, reminds us that their historical mapping is a ‘much underused online facility’.  The blog from OSI continues:

‘Now an online service that is free to access and view, this older 19th century mapping may not help you find your roots, but they can be invaluable in giving the search some context and a visual impression of what the area looked like where those ancestors lived.tent goes here

The real work of detailed mapping began in 1834 at a scale of 6” to one mile. Initially planned as a ‘Townland Boundary Map’, it actually went away beyond that as it recorded the fields, boundaries, rivers, dwellings and all relevant features on the landscape.

‘A campaign to update the maps began in the 1850’s but before it was complete it was deemed inadequate to the needs of the time and therefore necessary to embark on even more ambitious undertaking to map the country at a scale of 25” to one mile. This 25” survey began in 1893 and finished in 1913 and this increase in scale allowed more detail to be captured and represented more accurately. The 25” series (1893-1913) coincided with the census of 1901 & 1911.’

Kerry Historic 25" Map

Kerry Historic 25″ Map

OSI point out that the timing of these two original surveys can provide a valuable record for anyone tracing their Kerry family roots. The original 6” survey 1832-1843 was completed prior to the Great Famine.  This means that there is a full and accurate picture of roads, townlands, field boundaries and houses at a moment in Irish history when the population was at its highest.

If you are lucky enough to have been able to trace your family history back to the 1840’s, or even luckier to have identified a parish or townland, then this series of mapping will yield a good idea of the environment in which they lived. You will see what the landscape looked like at that time.

See the 1834 and 1893 maps of Kerry.  These are freely available to view online at GeoHive.

See full OSI article