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Map of distribution of Hanlon Surname in Ireland in the mid-1800s

The Griffith Valuation was a survey done in the years from 1848-1864 of everyone who owned and/or rented land in Ireland. Since no census records of Ireland exist for this time period, the Griffith Valuation is the only way of learning who lived where in Ireland at that time.

The map above shows the distribution of the surname Hanlon in Ireland in the mid-1800s as listed in the Griffith Valuation of Ireland. The color of a county indicates the how many Hanlons were listed as residing there in the mid-1800s. Bright green indicates the counties that had the largest number of Hanlons. Lighter shades of green indicate counties containing fewer Hanlons, while dark gray and light gray indicate counties with even fewer Hanlons. Counties that contained less than 45 Hanlons are not colored - so the map only shows where 75% of the Hanlons were living.

The distribution map is in good agreement with the historical account of the Hanlons. The majority of the Hanlons are found in southern County Armagh and northern County Louth. Some accounts claim that the O'Hanlons originally occupied a territory farther north in County Armagh (the Barony of Oneilland East) - and that they were driven south to the Barony of Orior by other invading clans just before the Norman invasion (mid-1100's).

There is also a large group of Hanlons in County Cork. The historical account claims they arrived there only in comparatively recent times - but that seems highly unlikely due to their presence in widely scattered remote areas of that county. More likely there was some completely unrelated Irish family in Co Cork whose name was also anglicized to Hanlon.

A total of 1241 Hanlons were listed in the Griffith Valuation. This means that about one out of every 800 Irishmen was a Hanlon.

There were only 80 O'Hanlons listed in the Griffith Valuation (mostly in Counties Armagh and Louth). Presumably most O'Hanlons shortened their name to Hanlon sometime in the past.

The maps below show the distribution of Hanlons at the civil parish level:


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