This gallery contains examples from the Books of Survey and Distribution, the Civil Survey and the Down Survey for the Barony of Shelburne, County Wexford. This barony is in the south of Wexford (Hook Head is its southernmost point) and includes an area roughly bounded by the Barrow and Blackwater rivers. The Down Survey map shows the boundary of the barony very clearly, although the map is oriented to the west and not to the north. The Civil Survey provides a full textual description of this boundary that contains more detail than the map but is difficult to follow without the visual aid. Taken together, the Civil and Down Survey boundary descriptions enable the reader to reconstruct the barony boundary. The map shows parcels of land, usually townlands, which are numbered to agree with entries in the Books of Survey and Distribution. These entries reveal the area and owner of each parcel of land and several stages throughout the seventeenth century. However, as the Down Survey map was created to enable the land confiscations of Cromwell’s regime in Ireland in the 1650s, the maps only show details for the areas of the Shelburne earmarked for confiscation. Non-confiscated land, mainly owned by Protestant supporters of Cromwell, appears blank on the map. For these areas only the text of the Civil Survey and Books of Survey and Distribution was recorded.
Title page for the IMC edition of The Civil Survey. The original manuscript is in the Quit Rent Office collection at the National Archives of Ireland. A copy was made for the PROI.
Description of the Barony of Shelburne, County Wexford, from the Civil Survey (page 1 of 2)
Description of the Barony of Shelburne, County Wexford, from the Civil Survey (page 2 of 2)
Down Survey map of the Barony of Shelburne, County Wexford. The map illustrates the text only description in the Civil Survey while the text only survey provides more information than is shown cartographically. Both sources were intended to complement each other.
Most Down Survey maps were lavishly illustrated and featured an ornamated title, scale bar and compass rose. The compass rose shown here includes a scene possibly alluded to in the description of the barony in the Civil Survey. Not that north on this map points to the right, and not up as is now standard. The orientation of Down Survey maps varys greatly, often because the mapmakers were trying to fit each barony onto a single sheet of paper.
The front cover of one of twenty volumes of 'The Books of Survey and Distribution', tabular extracts primarily drawn from the Civil and Down Surveys that record who owned most of Ireland's land in 1641 and to whom the land was distributed to following the Cromwellian conquest. This copy was made for the Quit Rent Office in the early eighteenth century and is now in the National Archives of Ireland
One of two folios from the Books of Survey and Distribution for County Wexford showing Whitechurch Parish in Shelburne Barony. The 'Survey' is on the left page, the 'Distribution' is on the right. The Survey comprises, from left to right, a regerence number, the name and religion of the owner in 1641, the name of the townland, and the areas (in Plantation Acres: acres;roods;perches) of 'unprofitable' and 'profitable' land in two columns. The right hand page gives the names of the people to whom the land was distributed, and the profitable area of each townland they received.
The second of two folios from the Books of Survey and Distribution for County Wexford showing Whitechurch Parish in Shelburne Barony with the adjacent parishes
Modern transcription of the Books of Survey and Distribution created for the irish Manuscripts Commission, 2016-18. This transcription enables the search feature of this Record Treasury of Irelan Gold seam to search for any name or place mentioned in the text.
Whitechurch Parish as described in the Civil Survey. The additional detail supplements what is provided by the map and a rough valuation for each townland is also given. Page 1 of 2.
Whitechurch Parish as described in the Civil Survey. Page 1 of 2
Each townland shown on the Down Survey map is indicated by a reference number that is repeated in the Books of Survey and Distribution. From the map, the researcher can establish the owner(s) and area of each townland from the Books of Survey and Distribution, and a detailed description and valuation from the Civil Survey. Stone buildings, churches and other major structures are usually depicted and the locations of these buildings is normally very accurate.