Hi John, these are great questions! I will answer them in order - please let me know if any of this is not clear.
We use logainm.ie as the baseline for all geographic locations in the Irish Roots project. Each place in Ireland (as you will know) is categorised and linked back to its civil parish or barony (at a minimum) on logainm.ie.
A few basic rules that I have been following:
- each townland category should be linked to the category of the civil parish (or civil parishes if more than one) that it is located in
- each town category should be linked back to the category of the civil parish (or civil parishes) if more than one that it is located in.
- each civil parish category should be linked to its barony category (or baronies if relevant) that it is located in.
- I have NOT been linking towns or townlands to baronies since this would clutter up the barony categories unnecessarily. Only places that are civil parishes are being linked to baronies.
- I also include a hyperlink to the location's webpage in logainm.ie including the Gaelic name of that place. This is to avoid duplicate categories in Irish and English for the same location. It is important to record the Gaelic spellings but most people use the English names so the headline category is in English with the Gaelic spelling in the category description linking to logainm.ie.
1. Yes, each county has a category for Baronies, Civil Parishes, Towns and Townlands (at a minimum). Each county's category for civil parishes is linked to a topline category "[XXX Parishes and Places of Worship". Ideally we would start with ensuring that each barony has a category, then civil parishes, then townlands, but there are tens of thousands of places so pragmatically, having topline categories for baronies would be the first place to start. Here is the link for the Mayo Civil parishes category: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Civil_Parishes_in_Mayo
You are correct that many civil parishes and sometimes baronies also have townlands (or towns) by the same name. The way we deal with this is by linking each location back to the relevant topline categories. For example, if you see the category for Kilcommon in Mayo, you will see it is linked to (i) Civil Parishes in Mayo, (ii) Townlands in Mayo and (iii) Ennis, Mayo because the civil parish of Kilcommon is located in the barony of Ennis. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Kilcommon%2C_Mayo
You will notice that sometimes I have created categories like "Roscommon, Roscommon" (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Roscommon%2C_Roscommon_
to refer to the barony located in County Roscommon. It looks a bit strange but it was the best way to stick to the naming conventions that we have established for the Irish location categories. This category is actually an example of a place being a barony, town and civil parish, you will see that "Roscommon, Roscommon" links back to the three topline categories in County Roscommon.
2. Eventually, yes, but see my answer above. That would be a huge project to link every townland to every civil parish. I think the starting point is to create categories for baronies and then "cleaning up" category locations in Mayo by linking them to the appropriate townland, civil parish or barony locations if that has not happened yet.
3. In this situation, what I do is include the civil parish name after the townland name. As an example, there are two townlands by the name Ballyadam in Limerick. I have created three category names, "Ballyadam, Limerick" (an overarching category https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Ballyadam%2C_Limerick),
then "Ballyadam, Caherconlish, Limerick" (for the townland located in the civil parish of Caherconlish) and "Ballyadam, Nantinan, Limerick" (for the townland located in the civil parish of Nantinan). You can access these category names on the "Ballyadam, Limerick" category page. See the health warning I have put on that category page. The category pages for Caherconlish and Nantinan are linked back to the appropriate baronies. The category of "Ballyadam, Limerick" is linked only to the topline category of "Townlands in Limerick".
4. People can create electoral division categories if they wish to but they do not really serve a genealogical purpose so I would discourage this unless there is a compelling need.
I hope all of this makes sense - please let me know if you have any questions about any of it!