It was once an ancient Irish district that was possessed very early on by the Mac Giolla Mhuire sept (English: Gilmore). Their power was broken by the Irish O'Neills and MacCartans and the Hiberno-Norman Whites and Savages. By 1333 it is recorded under the Normanised name of Del Art and noted as one of the seven counties of the Earldom of Ulster. It is also the name of a former barony, which was split into Ards Lower and Ards Upper by 1851.
- Ireland's History in Maps - Baronies
- Bell, Robert; The book of Ulster surnames, page 78-79. The Black Staff Press, 2003. ISBN 0-85640-602-3
- Bardon, Jonathan, A History of Ulster, page 45. The Black Staff Press, 2005. ISBN 0-85640-764-X
- Database of Irish Historical Statistics - Literacy Notes
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