Friday 29 November 2013

1848 letters map out pre-Famine landscape of Wicklow

If you have ancestors from County Wicklow, you'll be interested to check out the Ordnance Survey Letters, which were compiled as part of the research leading to the very first detailed mapping of Ireland by the Ordnance Survey.

The letters were written by three surveyors during their field work of the county in 1838/9 and record the origins and meaning of local placenames and describe the historical and archaeological monuments they discovered. They also tell of traditions and customs that died out during the Great Famine only a decade later, and often mention the names of people they encountered in their research.

The letters were edited by Christiaan Corlett and John Medlycott, and published in 2000 by Roundwood & District Historical & Folklore Society and Wicklow Archaeological Society as a 165-page illustrated paperback. In pdf format, the book can now be downloaded, free of charge, from Christian Corlett's website.