These pages are the result of Trevor Fulton's research
in Ireland. It is hoped these pages will help the descendants of
the Fulton Family in America trace their roots in Ireland. By consolidating
our efforts we may be able to connect the Lisburn Fulton Family with the
correct descendants in America.
January 10, 2010 NEWS FLASH - Trevor Fulton has published his lifelong research on the Fulton Family in a book that is now available for sale at:
Parishes and Land Divisions in Northern Ireland
Maps of Ireland. The map has been cut in two pieces to adapt it to the Internet. An explanation of the Parishes and land divisions of Ireland will be found below.
Left - Aghagallon Parish, Aghalee Parish, Ballinderry Parish, Glenavy Parish, Magheramesk Parish.
Right - Blaris Lisburn Parish, Derriaghy Parish, Drumbo Parish, Portions of Magheragali Parish and Tully Rusk Parish.
To better understand where the Fultons were located in Ireland, a brief explanation of the parish and land divisions in Ireland are in order.
Ireland was divided into counties around 1600 following
the wars of the Elizabethan period, I assume for administrative purposes.
Ecclesiastical parishes already existed and I assume that following
the Reformation the Protestant church took over the existing parishes
- it is easy to forget these days that before the Reformation there was
no Catholic/Protestant divide and so there would just have been "parishes".
Since then of course the population has increased and new parishes have
been created by both denominations and the boundaries of the
Catholic and Protestant parishes have diverged. In UK
the Episcopal church (represented in Ireland by the Church of Ireland)
still operates in well defined parishes, unlike Presbyterian, Methodist
and other reformed churches
which do not have their areas so precisely defined.
In the 17th Century there were no local councils to manage
the functions of what we now call the "public sector" at a local level,and
so when Parliament needed work done at that level it was natural
to call on the parish which had a defined area and regular meetings of representatives of
the inhabitants (Vestry Meeting) when secular functions arose. At first these tasks were very limited, mostly to do with road maintenance and poor relief (it was also natural to ask the Church to attend to these functions as before Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries the monks carried out these tasks on a voluntary basis) but grew over the years. When the time came to have the management done independently of the church it was convenient to retain the same working areas hence the concept of the "civil parish".
To complete the story, in Ireland parishes were subdivided into "townlands" as you can see on the map I sent which appears elsewhere on this site in two sections. These are of very ancient origin, but usually are not divided by parish boundaries i.e. a parish is made up of a number of complete townlands. This of course applies to rural areas - in built up areas the old divisions have disappeared, so that for example the area on the map marked Lisburn M(unicipal) B(orough) used to contain three townlands.
County Antrim is in the top right hand corner of Ireland,and
is about 60 miles from north to south and thirty from east to west. Its
southern boundary is at Belfast and originally Belfast was described as
being in Co Antrim. The actual boundary was the north shore of Belfast
Lough and then
the River Lagan for about 15 miles before the river turned south into Co Down. The thick blue line I marked on the map and labelled River Lagan is the boundary.
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Web pages created by 1999
Research and content of this section are the property of 1999 Trevor Fulton