Search for Catholic Parishes and Chapels

Image37bFour options are available on this system to search for Catholic Parishes and Chapels as they were in the years just before the Great Famine. The details were compiled using Lewis Topographical Directory of 1837, and the Catholic Directory of 1838 as primary reference sources and matching Catholic Parishes listed in these to Civil Parishes on the 1851 Townland Database, along with the 1848 Catholic Parish directory listing in Thom’s Directory, the 1851 Townland Index, the First Edition Ordnance Survey maps, plus Parish and Diocese websites.

quick links : Search by Parish & Diocese  Search by Keyword  Search by Map see also Further RC Parish Database Updates

July Update – an additional search option has be added which allows a map search based on selecting from a list of towns. See notes on this addition here, or the new search option here

1 .Search using a County and Civil parish

When a civil parish is already known then this option can be used to determine which Catholic Parish or Parishes are associated. Select the ‘RC Parish <> TownlandDB‘ menu link, and then select the ‘Civil Parish’ search option

rcl01 When a county is selected, the barony and civil parish lists are updated to show only those included in the selected county. The choice of Barony is optional, and only required in the case where there are more than one separate civil parishes in a county with the same name – e.g. Kilmurry, Co. Clare, Kilcolman, Co. Mayo etc
rcl02On selection of a civil parish, details of any linked Catholic Parish are shown belowrcl03Parishes with parts in two neighbouring Baronies may appear on this list twice (Dublin and Rathdown in the example below). If the selected civil parish is shared between more than one Catholic parish, each of these is shown.rcl03bThe ‘Show Parish Details’ link shows further details on the selected parish, including details of chapels located.rcl15d

Civil Parishes divided  between more than one Catholic parish are indicated with a ‘Y’ under the ‘Part Flag’ column.  A number of civil parishes are not linked to specific Catholic parishes, as they either do not appear in Lewis or the entry does not mention a parish or district. Further analysis is ongoing on these. A search could instead be carried out by checking for neighbouring Civil parishes or by using the map search option (see search option 4 below)

2. Search using the Diocese and Parish name

To search by Catholic Parish, select the ‘RC Parish <> TownlandDB‘ menu link, then the ‘RC Parish’ option and choose the required Diocese. This updates the list of available parishes.rcl10rcl09Once a Catholic Parish is selected for the available list, the details for this are displayed – as below.


Civil Parishes divided  between more than one Catholic parish are indicated with a ‘Y’ under the ‘Part Flag’ column.  A small number of Chapels mentioned in Lewis were not indicated on the OSI maps, and details were established from other sources such as parish or Diocese websites, and several where a specific location was given in the Lewis entry, e.g. the centre of the town, or near a specific bridge or cross-roads, were assigned estimated coordinates, these are indicated on the chapel entry.

Several parishes were mentioned in Lewis but not found in the 1848 directory, e.g. Askeaton, Co. Limerick, but were noted in other sources. These have been included, and further searches for other possible parishes is ongoing.

3. Search by keyword

To search by keyword, or any part of a word or combination of words, Select the ‘RC Parish <> TownlandDB‘ menu link, then the ‘Extended Parish Search’ option. This function looks for the entered search term in Parish Name, alternate parish names, linked Civil parish names, names of chapels and post town. If more than one search term is entered then all of these most must be included for an entry to appear. To show the parish details, click on the icon to the right of the results list.rcl08

4. Map search

To search using the map option select the ‘RC Chapel & Parish Map Search‘ link on the main menu to the left. The selection map is from Google, and can either be navigated with the usual click and drag, or zoom function using the mouse or touch-pad, or with the zoom and pan controls located to the left of the map display. The search point is indicted with a yellow marker with a red cross.

To choose the required search point pan and or scroll the map to the required location and left click to place the marker. Clicking on a second location replaces the search marker at the new location. The search distance defaults to 20km (~ 16 miles), but can be reduced or increased e.g for less densely populated areas. The ‘Start Search’ button activates the search.

The nearest chapels to the selected point are shown on the results screen, with those chapels in separate parishes indicated with different coloured markers. The parishes for these chapels are listed along with a link to view the further details of each parish.
rcl14The ‘refine search’ button returns to the main map screen with current search marker still selected and a allows a revised search point can be selected. The previous marker may also the dragged to a new location, by clicking the mouse/touch-pad, holding and dragging. The ‘return to map select’ option starts a new search with a default start location selected.

Note the search shows the nearest chapels and may not show all chapels for a matching parish on the results screen. The parish details screen will include any additional chapels for that parish that were outside the search range.

Update : see also Further RC Parish Database Updates


This entry was posted in Catholic Parish, Directories, Maps and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.