[Home] [Introduction] [Family Gateway] [South Armagh] [County Down] [Song and Story] [Local News] [Site Map] [Sign our Guest Book] [Links] [What's New?]

The Townlands of Creggan

The Irish Townland - Origins
Creggan Parish - Townland Names
Creggan Parish - Townland Map
Creggan in 1837
Family Names of Creggan
Native Irish Speakers of Creggan
Land and Loss
Notes on the Sources

The land we live in has been occupied for thousands of years. Our knowledge of the people who lived here before us is limited to relatively recent times and to few individuals. Those of whom we have knowledge exclude the great mass of the ordinary people who suffered great privation, loss of culture, land and language in the upheavals of the 16th and 17th and 18th centuries, and who perished in the frequent famines, culminating in the Great Famine of 1845-49. In the century following the Famine the population of Creggan Parish shrank from 13600 to 5300.

Few records remain of the names of the generations of people who down through the centuries shaped the land we live in. Where we can preserve any trace we should strive to do so. Written records are scarce in Ireland, made more acute by the destruction of almost the complete national archive in the Four Courts in the early 1920s.

These pages draw on the material that is available. They record the occupants of the South Armagh townlands of the civil Parish of Creggan where my McKenna, Devlin and Boyle ancestors lived, and where many hundreds of their descendents still live, over the maximum period possible from the information available to me. The area of the civil parish is not co-terminus with the two Roman Catholic Parishes of Upper and Lower Creggan. The information available includes the town of Crossmaglen.

The sources of the information are -

  • Hearth Money Roll of the Fews 1664 (1)
  • Census of Creggan 1766 (1)
  • Tithe Applotment Books - Creggan Parish - 1828 (2)
  • The Townland Valuation 1837 (2)
  • Griffiths Valuation 1864 (2)
  • Census of Ireland (2) 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1981, 1991, 1901, 1911(3)
  • Census of Northern Ireland 1926, 1937 and 1951
  • First Revaluation of Northern Ireland 1935 (2)
  • Second Revaluation 1957(2)

The Third Revaluation (1975) did not identify property by townlands. Instead, it used the new Post Office system of road names and postcodes. It can therefore not be used to continue this series of household, land and property censuses. To get as close as possible to the present, the position in the townland at the date of the last recorded revision of the Second Revaluation is presented.

Although the documents, from which the information was extracted, were compiled for different purposes and use different criteria, they provide, in their own way, a regular snapshot, of the house and land holders in the townlands through the centuries.

All of the sources are flawed to some degree. This is explained in the text.

For an explanation of the Geographical Divisions of Ireland see Francis Dowling's Article at Local Ireland

For historical information about Creggan, visit the Creggan History Society web site.


  • (1) Journal of the County Louth Archeological Society Vol. VIII 1934 No 2
  • (2) PRONI, Belfast
  • (3) National Archives, Dublin

Last updated:   2 January 2003