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A townland or bally (Irish: Baile Fearainn) is a small geographical division of land used in Ireland. The townland system is of Gaelic origin—most townlands are believed to pre-date the Norman invasion and most have names derived from the Irish language. However, some townland names and boundaries derive from Norman manor, plantation divisions, or later creations of the Ordnance Survey.Connolly, S. J., Oxford Companion to Irish History, page 577. Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-19-923483-7Maxwell, Ian, How to trace your Irish ancestors, page 16. howtobooks, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84528-375-9 The term was at one time also used in Scotland.


In Gaelic times, the Irish name for what we now know as townlands would have changed as one travelled through the island. The English term townland was later adopted as a standard name to replace the various local forms.

One of the commonest names used in Irish was baile (plural bailte); a general term for "homestead" or "settlement". The modern...
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