Wednesday 23 September 2020

Pack for genealogical research trips

This morning, the Heritage Council has issued an encouragement to Ireland’s ‘staycationers’ to use digital its Heritage Maps resource when holidaying at home. While that particular message doesn't earn itself a place on a genealogy blog, reading the official statement prompted me to revisit this splendid and free online map of the island, and gives me an excuse to once again mention its value to family historians.

Workhouses (cerise squares), sheela na gigs (brown circles), and burial
grounds (crosses) are identified in this map of southern Tipperary
The map, which you will find at, allows visitors to create customisable maps and personalised itineraries for visiting Ireland’s heritage. A genie taking a break in the south of County Tipperary, for example, might want to go graveyard hunting, or to see what remains of the area's workhouses, or to pose for holiday snaps beside the nearest sheela na gig. In no time at all, all the sought locations can be identified via the heritage map, see right (crosses indicate graveyards; cerise squares, workhouses; brown circles, early medieval stone carvings).

Among the categories of maps that superimpose on a regular Google map of the island are archaeology and architecture, landscapes and coastlines, habitats and species, rivers and lakes, geology and recreation.

Most recently, thirty new maps were uploaded, covering Ireland’s Greenways and Blueways, Wexford’s biking and hiking trails, Coillte Recreation sites and a vast range of things to do in Northern Ireland. Maps are uploaded from trusted sources, including State agencies, local authorities researchers and academics, and each entry is supported with links to external websites.

Make sure HeritageMaps is on your Genealogy Resources list, as well as your Holiday Research list.