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Thomas H. Radford
Census 1911
Ref: 65/35
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Irish Coast Guard Station Locations
In researching the Coast Guard Service, of William Jenkins, my Great Great Grandfather, I was often frustrated by not knowing where the posting was to. My lack of knowledge of Irish Geography meant that every posting was difficult to place. With help from a number of people, I was pointed to the Ordnance Survey of Ireland’s website where they have overlaid old maps onto the current mapping.
The table below provides the link to all the Coast Guard Stations in Ireland I can find, on the most appropriate map. The 25” maps sometimes have details that the 6” does not and vice versa. Where the feature exists on both maps, the 25” map is used. However, the wonderful OSI website allows you to click on any version of their online mapping so you can see the same point on several maps, including present day and aerial photography.
The OSI URL includes two six digit numbers which have been converted using a tool downloaded from the website to convert to Northing and Easting. These could be a few metres out physically on the ground if you enter them into a GPS device but should get you very close to the feature.


A feature of the 6” maps is that you can zoom out and find out the parish name. This was another frustration in looking for pre-1864 church records. There are records available, but you need to know the parish and a Coast Guard Station name didn’t help. The information below and the 6” map should help to make the connections.


The information is reasonably good for the Republic of Ireland as they have overlaid the old maps. However, the north does not have the same coverage of old maps and thus the detail is less good.


Where I have come across a place where there was a Coast Guard Station but I can’t find the buildings, I have placed a marker to the place and consequently there is no Northing and Easting. I used my own customised coding to order the points around the coast of Ireland. Starting in Dublin Harbour and heading south, all the points should follow the coast clockwise as if you were walking on a path with the sea to your left. My virtual tour of Ireland took many hours but was made possible by the good people at OSI releasing this historic resource free to use. The last few points come from the north and end just to the north of Dublin. This mirrors the way in which Coast Guard Records were organised in the 19th Century and many of the ADM book pages will follow the geographical order in the table below.


A separate piece of work is to collate information on when the Coast Guard Stations were established and “abandoned”. This information can be gleaned from the ADM books and is work in progress for me.


I did start putting this data onto Google Maps in the hope that I could use it to point people to the CoastguardsofYesteryear website from there but it all needed entering manually. I was able to create a spreadsheet in Googledocs which could be viewed in Googlemaps but the link was via the spreadsheet and so it wouldn’t be seen by people just browsing the map. So if anyone knows how to automatically upload these data onto GoogleMaps, I’d be glad to hear from you.



Tim Knight June 2011



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Comments
#1 | Anthony B Lambert on 07/07/2011 11:02:08
Hi Tim, Your article is very interesting. I am looking for information on Beagh Castle N>E> Askeaton, Limerick. My great g father was there. John Wall. Had a son born there in 1850 Benny Alfred Wall who joined the british navy in 1866. This coastguard station was closed down around 1851. Greatful of any help, ABL
#2 | ann davies on 08/08/2011 00:45:53
I too recently came across the Ireland Ordnance Survey online archive maps, and was able to track down the six stations where my Gt Grandfather was stationed 1890-1911, There's one not shown on your list: Belmullet, Mayo: http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,471276,827548,7,9
I visited the site in 2009 (without the help of this resource), and it took some finding! It's recently rebuilt and is available for holiday rentals - very isolated, but stunningly beautiful. My grandmother was born there in 1892.

Kind regards,
Ann Davies
#3 | Cooperm on 25/08/2011 11:06:55
Hi Tim,
I am new to this fantastic site, and congratulate you on the information and helpful hints you have provided. Also, the maps are very helpful. I live in Australia and, along with other family members have been researching the history of the family of our great great grandfather, William Cooper. Through ADM-175 we have been able to track his postings in the Coastguard between 1848 and 1860 through six stations at this stage. Three are shown as Port Coleraine, District Ballycastle, Rathlin island, Torr Head, and one called called Patten's Falls (later abolished at the start of 1861). Unfortunately Patten's Falls does not appear on your list, nor does it appear on any of the maps, so that we have been quite unable to identify the location. We would be delighted if someone reading this were to have some information about the location of the Patten's Falls station, especially as it appears that some of his children may have been born while he was stationed there. Thanks in anticipation.
#4 | Fred Barton on 05/09/2011 03:58:16
Hi Tim, Greetings from New Zealand! I'm returning to this site after a year or so as I'm back into the 'Coastguard' side of my family history after research elsewhere in the interim.

Like you, my knowledge of Irish geography is not good and so after downloading ADM 175/16 and as there was no Index at the front, I decided I needed to at least jot the page numbers down for each CGS. In doing that I came across the note 'Abolished' against a number of the stations and a number of others had the original name crossed out and another name entered and so all of this made me think "I wonder if anyone has prepared a complete list of all the Irish CGS," which is how I got to your article!

I notice you are in the throes of preparing info on dates of establishment/closing of each station and I'm happy to give you a copy of the 'Abolished' notes I made from 175/16 if that will help. Once all this information is collated I'm sure it will sort out a number of what seem inconsistencies at the moment. For instance, you note Lumsden Bay (your #50) and Arthurstown (#52) as two separate CGS's whilst ADM 175/16 has Lumsden Bay crossed out and Arthurstown added as the name which presumably means that at that time (c. 1830) there was only one CGS in this area. Perhaps Lumsden Bay had closed a little earlier and Arthurstown had only recently been established and so dates for both would help solve the difficulty.

Of course, arriving at a truly definitive list of CGS's is fraught with difficulties, a couple of which are variant spellings of the same place and alternative names for the same place! As an example of both, you note Coonanna Harbour as a place (#133) and Kells Bay as a CGS (#134) but one of my ancestors, Charles Hampton, is listed in ADM 175/16 as a Commd Boatman at Cunnuna CGS!!

If there is anything I can do to help, let me know
Best wishes
Fred Barton
#5 | totwoi on 06/12/2011 12:23:10
Hi Tim,

Well done on the work you've done here. You've given me the name of a coastguard station in Ballynakill Harbour known as 'Ross Head' that I've being looking for for a number of years. so thank you. Looking forward to the dates of establishment/closing dates of the stations article!.

If anyone has any information or if there's any information about people who were stationed at Ross Head Coastguard Station in Ballynakill Bay number 189 on the list at N 53.5648 W 10.0126 I would love to hear it. Fred, by any chance have you the abolished notes for my station - would be most grateful.

Well done Tim.
T. O'Toole
#6 | drjanvkelly on 29/05/2012 05:49:43
Hi Tim.

I have recently joined this website and posted the story of my gggrandfather, Benjamin Tyrrell, Coastguard, 1834-1865.
My question was, where were the stations located - and now I have found your article - whoopee!

My gggrandfather was initially posted to the Rye District in England (1834-1840). Then, when he was posted to Ireland, it was to the west coast, well away from where both he (Arklow) and his wife (Cork) came from.

BT was sent to Mannin Bay (1840-1847), Cleggan (1847-1849), and the Killeries (1849-1859), all in the Clifden District of Galway Port. By the time he got to the Killeries, he was chief-boatman-in-charge, because there wasn't an officer at the station.

In 1859, when he was aged nearly 55, BT was finally sent to a station on the east coast - Kilmichael Head. Then he was sent to Wicklow Head and Roches Point (Whitegate).

He was pensioned in 1865, and soon after joined his adult children who had migrated to Queensland, Australia, in 1864.

You will note from the above that your list of CGS stations does not include Mannin Bay nor the Killeries.

When BT was stationed at Mannin Bay, it seems that the family lived at Coolacloy. This was the place of residence given for the baptisms of Jane, 1841, Eliza, 1843 and Rachel, 1847, all registered at the Ballynakill Church of Ireland, Omey Parish.

The old maps show a CSG at Coolacloy. I wonder if Mannin Bay and Coolacloy were connected in some way eg the families lived at Coolacloy, while the sailors moved around.

I am somewhat surprised that you haven't listed a CSG at the Killeries. Maybe this continuing CSG had another name?

Anyhow, I would be pleased to know of any further work you have done/are doing.

And hi to T O'Toole. Hope you are doing well with your family research. I've been contacted by one of your family descendents who lives in Qld and she is getting some searching done in the ADM records. We await the report.

With best wishes
JanK
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