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County Longford is named after the town of Longford and is located in the midlands of Ireland in the province of Leinster . Its Gaelic name is Longphort, signifying a fortress. Originally, Longford referred to old circular forts, later to the stone castles. There are about twenty places in Ireland called Longford, each named for fortresses of some kind. It is the fourth smallest county in Ireland. Its length is 30 ½ miles from the southwest point in Lough Ree near Black Islands, to the northeast conrner near Gulladoo Lough and its breath is 18 miles from the river Inny in the east to Drumshango Lake north of Drumlish. The area is 421.3 square miles (1,091.3 sq km).
County Longford was traditionally known as “Annaly” from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. As a result of the Norman invasion in the twelfth century, it was given to Hugh de Lacy as part of the Liberty of Meath. Due to the power of the O’Farrells, the Norman influence was small. It was made a county in 1586 during the reign of Elizabeth I. English settlers were planted in Longford during the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. In 1641, the county became involved in the Catholic Confederacy, which was defeated by Cromwell in 1649. The Cromwellian plantations of the 1650 completed the control of the county. It was, however, also a center in the 1798 rebellion with the French forces being defeated outside the village of Ballinamuck by the English army.
In 1821, the County’s population was 107,570 and increased to 115,491 in 1841. During the Great Famine of 1845-1847, the population decreased until it was 82,348 in 1851. The population continued to decrease to 39,847 in 1926. In 2006, the population was 34,391. County Longford is predominately Roman Catholic. In 1891, the percentage of Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist was 91.3%, 7.7%, 0.5% and 0.4%. Overtime, the Roman Catholics have decreased slightly to 89.9% in 2002, while the Church of Ireland, Presbyterians and Methodists decreased to 3.3%, 0.3% and 0.3%, respectively, with other or no religions increasing to about 4.5%.
General County Research Information
Further information about County Longford is available at the GenUKI site.
Civil Jurisdictions and Parish Research Information
A map of the Civil Parishes of County Longford is available at Irish Times site.
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Article: Entries From The Family Bible of James Hyde of The Town of Longford. The article contains birth and death entries from the family Bible of James Hyde. for years 1795-1867. The article is in The Irish Ancestor vol. 2. no.1 1970 pages 23-24. Family History Library 941.5 B2i
1885 County Map: Courtesy of London Ancestor
Abstracts of Some Ardagh, Clogher and Kilmore Diocesan Wills. covering years 1739-1810.List and when proved in The Irish Ancestor, vol. VI.no.2.1974 pages 112-121. Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i v5-6
To view a list of Longford web sites, visit FHLFavorites.info for some great sites.
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