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Feb 4th 2014
"Down, a county of Ireland, in Ulster, 42 m. long and 34 broad; bounded E by the Irish sea, W by Armagh, NW by Antrim, and S by Carlingford bay and the ocean; divided into 60 parishes, and sends 4 members to parliament. It is in general fertile; has numerous bleach-greens; and in the rough parts many horses are bred. Copper and lead are found; also a black marble susceptible of a high polish, slate, coal, freestone, and crystals. Pop. 329,348. Chief rivers, Lagan and Newry."
[From The New London Gazetteer (1826)]
"DOWN, a county, of the province of ULSTER, bounded on the east and south by the Irish sea, on the north by the county of Antrim and Carrickfergus bay, and on the west by the county of Armagh. It... ...comprises an area, according to the Ordnance survey, of 611,404 acres, of which, 502,677 are cultivated land, 108,569 are unprofitable bog and mountain, and 158 are under water. The population, in 1821, amounted to 325,410, and in 1831, to 352,012."
[From The Samuel Lewis Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837 (transcribed by Mel Lockie).]
The GENUKI Gazetteer currently lists 1436 places (that is, Parishes, towns, villages and townlands) for County Down. An alphabetical list of these places can be found on the Places & Parishes page; which can also be reached via the link on the Navigation Bar above.
There is also a list of places in County Down (including some localities not listed in the GENUKI Gazetteer) on the Ros Davies County Down website.
Society of One Place Studies (No County Down Studies were registered as at December 2013).
There is an explanation of the administrative divisions used in Ireland (Baronies, Counties, Townlands, etc.) on this web page.
The GENUKI Church & Cemetery Database currently lists 740 places of worship in County Down, with exact locations for 613 of them and photographs of 41. To search the database for places of worship in a particular area, use the Church Database; which can also be reached via the link on the Navigation Bar above. In many cases you will also find a list of nearby places of worship on the GENUKI web page for that place (use the Places & Parishes link on the Navigation Bar above).
There is also some detailed history (and pictures) of some churches on the Ros Davies County Down website.
Information about Methodism in Ireland can be found on the Methodist Church in Ireland website
The GENUKI Church & Cemetery Database currently lists 310 cemeteries & churches known to have graveyards in County Down. To search the database for churches or cemeteries in a particular area, use the Church Database; which can also be reached via the link on the Navigation Bar above.
There is a list of the graveyards in County Down that have been transcribed and published by the Ulster Historical Foundation on this web site.
Find a Grave is a commercial website that gives free access to graves & monumental inscriptions. Cemeteries & churchyards are grouped geographically, but most entries are user-submitted, so coverage is patchy and unlikely to be complete for any given graveyard.
The 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 census returns were almost all destroyed in a fire in 1922, whereas the 1861 1871 1881 and 1891 census returns had earlier been destroyed on the orders of the government. Full details from the 1901 and 1911 census returns only are available (and fully-searchable free-of-charge) on-line on the National Archives of Ireland website.
A list of Newspapers available at PRONI (Belfast) is shown in this pdf file.
The British Library (London) has digitised issues of the Belfast Newsletter (1800-1949) and Belfast Morning News (1857-1882) and these are available to search/view for free in the British Library in London, the British Library at Boston Spa (Yorkshire) and in any library or County Archives that has a British Newspaper Archive subscription. You can also search the index for free from any location on the BNA web page; though there is a charge to view the actual pages.
A listing of newspapers that have been digitised and are available on-line can be found on Richard Heatons web site.
Detailed Ordnance Survey maps for the whole of County Down - including 19th century editions at 6 inches to the mile - are viewable on-line on the Irish Ordnance Survey website; and searchable by place name for places in the Irish Republic. These maps are also available in hard-copy to view at the British Library in London (Reader Ticket needed).
A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this page: Peggie Rodgers, Brian Randell and Mel Lockie. If you can contribute any of the missing information, then please use the 'contribute information' link at the bottom of this page to get in-touch.
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