Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland

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Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland is a set of supplementary memoirs that accompanied the first Ordnance Survey of Ireland.


The Ordnance Survey of Ireland was established in 1824. The survey was intended to facilitate a uniform valuation for taxation purposes. Information that could not be fitted onto the survey maps was provided in an accompanying series of aide memoirs or simply "memoirs".

Directed by Colonel Thomas Colby and completed by officers of the Royal Engineers, these descriptions provide a unique historical source. The memoirs provide the equivalent of a Domesday book for the north of Ireland before the famine. For each parish surveyed, a detailed commentary is provided on local geography, local history, traditions, customs and socio-economic factors. These descriptions represent a snaphot in time of the Ulster Scots and Irish communities and while the Victorian commentary may appear discriminatory and pejorative to the modern reader they are an invaluable window into Irish history.

The memoirs have been transcribed by the Institute of Irish Studies at the Queens University of Belfast from the original records held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and were published in 1993 as an extensive series in hardback and softback. [1]


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland Published by the Institute of Irish Studies, The Queens University, Belfast 1993

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