Trace your MEATH ancestor


A Guide to Sources for tracing your Ancestors in Co. Meath.

By Noel French Published 1993



Meath people have travelled the world and settled in many different countries, but all hold a corner of their heart for a little bit of the old country.  To remind them of their homeland they gave their new homes names of places in Ireland.  There is a Boyne in Michigan and a Navan in Ontario.  The Royal County has produced many fine and respected people.  The proud name of Meath has been handed down from one generation to the next by the Irish emigrant families.  Now many of their descendants look to Ireland and Meath to show them their roots.

There are many sources available to those tracing their Meath ancestors.  However it is advisable to first familiarise yourself with the type of records which are available and how to use them.  There are a number of very good guides to tracing your roots in Ireland and some are listed in the section on Further Reading,

No effort has been made to standardise the spelling of place names.

I would like to thank all who helped make this book possible.  I would like to thank especially the Meath Heritage Centre, the Meath County Library, the National Library, the National Archives, the R.C.B. Library, the Genealogical Office, Presbyterian Historical Society, Society of Friends Library, Public Records Office Northern Ireland and all the other institutions and individuals.

I would like to thank Bishop Smith for his kind permission to base my map of Catholic parishes on a map in his care, the National Library for permission to reproduce their map of Civil parishes and Monsignor Kenny for permission to reproduce an extract from his parish register.  Thanks to Margaret Birmingham for the photographs.

This book is the result of six years of research and study into Meath family history.  Noel E French

Noel is Director of the Meath Heritage Centre which is the genealogical centre for County Meath.  This project is now in its sixth year of operation.  His work here involves the liaising with various groups including local authorities and tourism promotion organisations and the co-ordination of the indexation of family historical material and the provision of training.  Linked to these areas is an interest in the provision of employment in the Meath area.

Noel French is Secretary of the Meath Archaeological and Historical  Society.  He has appeared on television (R.T.E. and Ulster Television) and spoken on national (Radio 1) and local radio (LMFM).  He has written and published over six local histories.

Noel was Secretary of the Irish Family History Society up until 1990 and served as a committee member of the Irish Genealogical Research Society.  Remaining a member of both groups he is also involved in a number of other societies.

He has organised a number of different conferences relating to local history and family history.  He is the secretary of Upper Boyne Tourism which is a local voluntary body involved in the promotion of County Meath.  He organises the running of a voluntary Tourist Office which operates for 6 months each year in Trim.

Noel presently sits as a board member on the Trim Heritage and Cultural Company which is making preparations for the establishment of Trim as a nationally recognised Heritage Town.

Noel is originally from West Cork and worked in Drogheda and Athboy before settling in Trim.  A Dairy Scientist by training, Noel is married to Mary and has started his own family tree with his children, Aine, Padraig and Luke.


 Family Surnames

Famous Meath People

Administrative Divisions

Church Records

Census Records

Civil Registration

Land Records

Monumental Inscriptions



Other Records

Published Family History

Local History

Meath Heritage Centre

Useful Addresses

Further Reading


Family Surnames

Celtic surnames associated with Meath include O’Reilly, O’Gibney, O’Carolan, O’Loughnane, O’Devane, Hayes, Connolly, Quinlan, Kelly, McGogarty and Hennessy while important families with Anglo Norman names include Hussey, Eagan, Plunkett, Barnewell, Nangle, Cusack, Dillon, Dowdall, Preston, Darcy, Peppard, Netterville, Fleming and Betagh.

English speakers can have great difficulty pronouncing Irish or Gaelic names.  In 1465 an Act was passed at a Parliament held in Trim which decreed that Irishmen were to take English surnames.  The Act states “and shall take to him an English surname of one town  as Sutten, Chester, Trym, Skryne, Corke, Kinsale; or colour as White, Blacke, Browne; or arte or science, as Smith or Carpenter; or office as Cooke, Butler”.  The Meath Heritage Centre has records of six families who have “Trim” or its variations as their surnames.  None of these families reside in Ireland and none so far have traced their roots to this country.

Very often the surname of your ancestor was corrupted and changed.  Many of the people who left Ireland could not read or write.  Their names were recorded by an immigration official who could not understand the Irish accent and who did not know Irish surnames.  Very often what this official wrote down became the way in which the family spelt their name ever after.  So when beginning your search familiarise yourself with the different ways in which your name can be spelt and its different variations.  In one particular parish five members of the same family were registered under five different spellings of their surnames.  Some families were registered under their nicknames rather than their proper surnames.  Sometimes nicknames became the usual surname for the family and the original name was forgotten.

The “Surnames of Ireland” by Edward McLysaght is the best reference book for surname research.  Robert E. Matheson’s “Special Report on Surnames” gives the distribution and variations of surnames which were common in the last century.  The most numerous name in the county in 1890 was Reilly and the second most numerous was Smith.  These names are also the most numerous in neighbouring County Cavan.  Many of the other numerous names in the county originated in the neighbouring counties.

Sir Robert E. Matheson, the Registrar-General for Ireland, compiled a list of the surnames of Ireland and the number of entries for each name which occurs in the Birth records for 1890.  The following gives the most numerous names in County Meath and the number of times each name occurs in the Birth register for the county:-  Reilly 53, Smith 30, Lynch 17, Brady 16, Farrell 14, Farrelly 14, Kelly 14, Brien 13, Daly 11, Maguire 11, Duffy 9, Dunne 9, Byrne 8, Connor 8, Mahon 7, Clarke 7, Martin 7, Matthews 7.

BRADY – The Bradys were a powerful clan in Breffny in Cavan and it is in Cavan and Meath that most of the family are found today.

BRIEN – The O’Briens take their name from Brian Boru, High King of Ireland.

BYRNE – The name is derived from “bran” which means raven.  The O’Byrnes were driven from their homeland in Co. Kildare with the coming of the Angle Normans.  Most of the family settled in Co. Wicklow where they defied the English of Dublin for some four centuries.

CLARKE – This English name generally stands for O’Clery in Ireland.  There was a branch of the O’Clerys settled in Co. Cavan.

CONNOR – There were six different septs of this name.  One of the septs originated in Co. Offaly.  The O’Connors of Connacht were the last High Kings of Ireland.

DALY – The traditional homeland of this family is in Co. Westmeath from which the family dispersed.  Many members of the family were Gaelic poets.

DUFFY – This name is widespread in Ireland but most numerous in Co. Monaghan.  The name is derived from “dubh” which means black.

DUNNE – The name is derived from “donn” which means brown.  The name originated in Co. Laois and is now numerous in the midland counties.

FARRELL – The chief of this family had his strong-hold at Longford but the name is now common in the rest of Ireland.

FARRELY – This clan had their stronghold in Cavan and are associated with Cavan and Meath.

KELLY – Kelly is the second most numerous name in Ireland.  The Kellys were based in east Meath and were known as the Kellys of Breagh.  The Anglo-Normans took over their lands and dispersed the clan.

LYNCH – The name is Norman in origin and in medieval times a branch established themselves at the Knock, Summerhill.

MAGUIRE – The Maguires come from County Fermanagh.  The name means dun coloured.

MAHON – The McMahons were a numerous family in Co. Monaghan.   The name is said to be derived from an Irish word meaning bear.

MARTIN – This surname is now widely distributed throughout Ireland but in the sixteenth century O’Martin was an established name in Westmeath.

MATTHEWS – This name may be of English derivation but a number of MacMahons translate their surnames as Matthews.  The name is numerous in Co. Louth.

REILLY – Reilly is one of the most numerous names in Ireland and especially so in Meath and Cavan.  The head of the clan was chief of Breffny O’Reilly and his influence stretched from Cavan into the neighbouring counties of Meath and Westmeath.

SMITH – Smith is usually a translation of MacGowan which means son of the blacksmith and the name is common in Co. Cavan.

Famous Meath People

Meath people have distinguished themselves in many fields – both at home and abroad.  The County has influenced those who have lived or worked here.  The following gives some brief details of the patriots, martyrs, politicians, highwaymen, astronomers, inventors, writers and others connected with the county.

LORD MATTHEW AYMLER was born at Balrath about the year 1660.  He entered the Navy in 1678, became a captain in 1688, a rear-admiral in 1693 and commander-in-chief in 1714.  He was M.P. for Dover and governor of Greenwich hospital.  He was raised to the peerage in 1718 as Baron Aylmer of Balrath and died two years later.

JOHN BALFE was a politician and journalist born in County Meath in 1816.  He entered the army and was a bodyguard at the crowning of Queen Victoria.  In 1850 Balfe and his wife left Ireland for Van Dieman’s Land, now better known as Tasmania.  He worked for a period with the Convict Department before settling on his farm.  He became an able political journalist and represented Franklin, West Hobart and South Launceston in the Houser of Assembly.

ROBERT BARKER was born at Kells in 1739.  A portrait painter and art teacher he invented the panorama about 1788.

ANTHONY BARNEWALL was born in Co. Meath in 1721 and was killed in action at the age of eighteen whilst serving with Hamilton’s cuirassiers in the German army.

NICHOLAS BARNEWALL, born in 1592, was elected to represent Co. Dublin in the parliaments of 1634 and 1639.  Created the first Viscount Kingsland by Charles 1 he fled Ireland at the outbreak of the 1641 rebellion.

SIR PATRICK BARNEWALL, born about 1560, was imprisoned in Dublin and London because of his strong political views which differed from James 1.

SIR JOHN BERMINGHAM, born in County Meath, was Earl of Louth.  Defeating Edward Bruce at Dundalk in 1318, he was created Lord Justice in 1321.

SIR FRANCIS BEAUFORT, born at Navan in 1774, entered the Navy at the age of fourteen.  He surveyed the coasts of Brazil and Karamania which is on the south coast of Turkey.  He was made Hydrographer to the Navy in 1826 and was the creator of the Beaufort Scale of wind velocities.  A sea north of Alaska is named the Beaufort sea in his honour.  His father was Daniel Augustus Beaufort of Navan who published a map of Ireland in 1792.

MARGARET BERMINGHAM, born at Skryne about 1515, married Bartholomew Ball, a Dublin merchant.  She died in prison in 1584 because she refused to renounce her Catholic faith.

REV. THOMAS BETAGH, born in Kells in 1739, was a Jesuit and Professor of Languages at Paris and Metz.  Serving as a parish priest in Dublin he was responsible for the foundation of a number of schools.

FRANCIS BLACKBURNE, born at Footstown in1782, was called to the Bar in 1805.  He later advanced to Attorney-general, Master of the Rolls and Lord Chancellor.  He presided over the state trials of the Young Irelanders, Smith-O’Brien and Meagher in 1848.

ROBERT BOURKE, born at Hayes, Co. Meath in 1827, was the younger brother of the 6th Earl of Mayo.  He was called to the Bar in 1852 and was M.P. for King’s Lynn from 1867 to 1886.  He served as Foreign Under-Secretary before being made governor of Madras in 1886, a post which he held to 1890.  He was raised to the peerage as Baron Connemara in 1887.

REV. JOHN BRADY, born at Dunboyne in 1905, was appointed Diocesan Historian in 1936.  He issued pamphlets which continued Cogan’s history of the parishes in Meath.

TERESA BRAYTON, from Kilbrook, Enfield, was a poetess and patriot.  Her most famous work was “The Old Bog Road”.  A memorial to her memory was unveiled at Cloncurry Cemetery in 1959 by Eamon de Valera.

RICHARD BUTLER, born at Granard, Co. Longford, served as Vicar of Trim from 1819 till his death in 1863.  A noted antiquarian and historian, he published a history of Trim, “Trim Castle”, in 1835 which was recently republished by the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society.  He also edited Clyn and Dowling’s Annals.  He was created Dean of Clonmacnoise in 1847.

CELIA MARY CADWELL, born in Meath in 1813, wrote articles for Catholic periodicals and a number of novels.

REV. RICHARD CALLAGHAN, born in Meath in 1738, was a Jesuit priest who served as a missionary in the Philippines, before returning to Dublin where he took a great interest in the education of the young.

ELIZABETH CASEY, born at Slane in 1845, was a novelist who wrote under the name “E Owens Blackburne”.  She became blind at the age of eleven but her sight was restored by the surgeon, Sir William Wilde.  She gained a gold medal from Trinity College and went to London in 1874.  She published “Illustrated Irishwomen” in 1877.  A prolific writer she produced twenty novels, mainly of Irish interest and of high moral tone.  She returned to Dublin where she was accidentally burnt to death in 1894.

JOHN CASSIDY, born in Slane about 1860, studied Art at Manchester, specialising in Sculpture.  He had many public commissions and his works are spread throughout Britain.

REV. ANTHONY COGAN, born in Slane about 1826, was a pioneer diocesan historian.  He worked as dean of St. Finian’s Seminary in Navan and spent his spare time collecting information for his book “The Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern”, which was published in three volumes.

MICHAEL COLLIER, born at Bellewstown in 1780, became a legendary highway man who held up the coaches on the Dublin-Belfast route.

JAMES CONNELL, born at Kilskyre in 1852, was involved in the Irish revolutionary movement and socialism.  He wrote several political works and songs including “The Red Flag” which is the socialist anthem and the anthem of the British Labour Party.  The first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsey MacDonald, did not like the song and organised a competition to secure a replacement but none of the songs submitted were considered as good as the Red Flag.

REV. JOHN CONNOLLY, born at Monknewtown in 1750, was educated in Belgium and became Prior of St. Clements in Rome in 1798. Consecrated Bishop of New York in 1814 he founded the Orphan Asylum there and introduced the Sisters of Charity into his diocese.

TOM CORRIGAN, the jockey, born in Meath about 1851, emigrated with his family to Australia in 1864 and went on to win seven Australian Grand Nationals.  It was said that the first question race goers made on reaching a racecourse would be “What’s Corrigan riding?”  His mount fell in the 1894 Caulfield Grand National Steeplechase and Corrigan died two days later without regaining consciousness after the spill.

MARY ANN COSGRAVE was born at Summerhill in 1863.  Orphaned at an early age, Mary was sent to live with relatives in Wexford.  She joined the Dominican Order and took the name “Mary Patrick”.  She ministered in Capetown and was one of the five nuns chosen to accompany the pioneers on their march into Mashonaland.  The nuns nursed the men stricken with dysentery and malaria on the ten month march.  The next decade of her life was spent involved in the fields of health and education.  Mother Mary Patrick died at the young age of 37 years in 1900.  The Rhodesian government issued a commemorative stamp in her honour in 1970.

MARTIN CREGAN, born in Meath in 1788, studied Art in Dublin and London.  It is said that his talent was recognised by the Stewart family of Killymon, Co. Tyrone, where he was in service.  One of the first exhibitors at the R.H.A. he served as its President for 23 years and was considered the leading portrait painter in Ireland in his time.

SIR THOMAS CUSACK, born in Meath in 1490, was a lawyer and later became Lord Chancellor.  He wrote an account of the state of Ireland in his time which has survived to this day.

VICTOR DALEY was born at Navan in1858.  Some accounts give Navan in Co. Armagh as his birth-place.  He set out for South Australia about 1878 but ended up in Sydney.  Finding fame as a poet and journalist his first book of poetry “At Dawn and Dusk” was published in 1898 with four more books being published posthumously.  His poetry was greatly influenced by the Gaelic revival which was occurring in Ireland at the turn of the century.

ARTHUR DAVITT, born at Drogheda in 1808, studied in France before taking up a post as Inspector of schools for the Athy District.  He and his wife emigrated to Melbourne in 1854 and Davitt became principal of the Model and Normal Schools, a post which he held for six years.  He became involved in promoting the establishment of a Training College for teachers.

GEOFFREY DE GENEVILLE, born in France, was the brother of Jean who became the companion and biographer of St. Louis, King of France.  Geoffrey married Maude de Lacy, the heiress of Meath in 1250 and they jointly founded the Black Friary at Trim.  Made Lord Justice of Ireland he served in the Crusades but spent his last years as a monk in the Black Friary.

HUGH DE LACY was the first Norman Lord of Meath.  Granted the kingdom of Meath in 1172 by Henry 11 he established his capital in Trim.

RIGHT REV. CHARLES DICKINSON was Bishop of Meath from 1840 to 1845 and was a strong supporter of the National School system of education.

SIR LUCAS DILLON of Moymet, Trim, was the chief Baron of the Exchequer during the reign of Elizabeth 1.  A tomb at Newtown commemorates Sir Lucas and his wife and is known locally as the “Tomb of the Jealous Man and Woman”.

JOHN TALBOT DILLON, born in Co. Meath in 1720, was M.P. for Wicklow for a period.  He was created a baron of the Holy Roman Empire by Emperor Joseph 11 in recognition of his support for the Catholic cause.  He wrote extensively about Spain but also wrote a valuable contemporary account of the French Revolution.

EAMON DUGGAN, born at Longwood in 1874, was a supporter of the Nationalist cause and fought in the 1916 rising.  One of the delegates sent to London to negotiate the Treaty in 1921 he served as Minister for Home Affairs in the first Free State government and later as a Senator.

LORD DUNSANY, Edward John Morton Drax Plunkett, was born in London in 1878.  He became the eighteenth Lord Dunsany.  He settled at Dunsany Castle and devoted his life to literature and sport.  He numbered Yeats, Gogarty, A.E., Kipling and Lady Gregory amongst his friends.  He encouraged Francis Ledwidge in his poetry writing and also wrote many novels, poems and plays, himself.

SIR MATHIAS EVERARD, born in Meath about 1784, was a soldier who led an attack on Monte Video in 1807 and took part in a number of other campaigns.  Granted the Freedom of Dublin he received a special pension from Queen Victoria.

PETER GALLIGAN, born at Moynalty in 1793, was a hedge school master and Gaelic poet.

VISCOUNT GORMANSTON, Jenico William Joseph Preston, was born at Gormanstown Castle in 1837.  He served as Governor of Tasmania from 1893 to 1900.  There is a place just south of Queenstown, Tasmania, named Gormanstown in his honour.

ALICE STOPFORD GREEN, the daughter of Archdeacon Stopford, was born at Kells and married the historian, J.R. Green who died in 1883. Leading a busy literary life in London she turned her attention to Irish Historical Studies and published three books on Irish history.  Moving to Dublin she became actively involved in support of the Nationalist cause.  Her home was raided by the “Black and Tans”.  Elected a Senator in 1922, she died on 1929.

LAURENCE HALLORAN was born in Meath in 1765.  Orphaned at an early age, he was raised in England.  He operated a grammar school near Exeter for twelve years before taking holy orders.  He became a chaplain in the Navy and was later posted to the Cape of Good Hope.  He lost all after being found guilty of libel, returned to England and drifted from place to place.  Found guilty of counterfeiting a tenpenny frank in 1818 he was sentenced to transportation for seven years.  On his arrival in Sydney he was granted a ticket of leave by Governor Macquarie.  He founded a private school and became involved in the establishment of a public grammar school.  Constantly involved in litigation because of his doggerel verse, he was forced to write to earn his income and founded a short lived newspaper called the “Gleaner”.  Halloran died in Sydney in 1831.

CHARLES GRAHAM HALPINE, born in Co. Meath in 1829, was a journalist who emigrated to the States in 1851.  He edited the New York Times and served in the Civil War.  He founded the “New York Citizen” newspaper after the war and wrote several novels as well as articles, sketches and verse.

SIR WILLIAM ROWAN HAMILTON was educated by his uncle at Trim.  It is said that he first observed the stars from the little iron balcony on the western wall of St. Mary’s Abbey in Trim.  Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College he published his famous “Lecture on Quaterions”in 1835.  Some experts say he contributed more to the science of physics than Isaac Newton.

SIR JAMES ARTHUR HANBURY, born at Laracor in 1832, became a doctor and entered the Army.  He served in the Afghan war in 1878.  It was he who first ordered wounds to be dressed on the battle field.  He served as surgeon-general of Madras from 1882 to 1892.

EDWARD TOWNLEY HARDMAN, the geologist, was born at Drogheda in 1845.  Hardman was chosen by the Colonial Office for the temporary post of Government Geologist in Western Australia and arrived in Perth in 1883.  He was a member of the survey party who discovered alluvial gold in the Kimberley area which led to the establishment of the colony’s first goldfield.  A range of mountains in Western Australia is named in his honour.  In 1885 he returned to his duties with the Geological Survey of Ireland and died two years later at the age of 42.

F.R. HIGGINS was born in Mayo in 1896.  His father was from Higginsbrook just outside Trim.  Fred visited his ancestral home often and grew attached to the Boyne River.  Publishing five books of poetry he became the Managing Director of the Abbey Theatre.

MATHEW JAMES HIGGINS, born at Benown, Co. Meath in1810.  Was an author who wrote many letters to the press during the famine.

REV. THOMAS HUSSEY, born at Ballyboggan in 1741, was educated at Salamanca. Appointed chaplain to the Spanish Embassy in London he later served the British government as an emissary in France and Spain. The first President of Maynooth College in 1795 he later became Bishop of Waterford.

SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON, born in Co. Meath in 1715, emigrated with his family to America in 1737.  Winning the friendship of the Indians he held a great influence over the “Six Nations” and became known as the “benevolent dictator” of the Indians.  Defeating the French at Lake George in 1755 he was made a Baron.  Granted 100,000 acres on the banks of the Mohawk river he encouraged men from Ireland to settle there.  His house in Johnstown, New York is now a museum.

FREDERICK EDWARD JONES, born at Veseytown, Meath in 1759, was a theatre manager and promoter.  Leasing the theatre at Crow Street he made it one of the best theatres in Ireland.  Jones’s Road beside Croke Park is named after him.

GERALD V. KUSS, born at Navan in 1920, was a journalist with R.T.E. and also contributed to the Scandinavian media.

MARY LAVIN was born in America in 1912 but her family returned to Ireland and settled at Bective.  Her first book was one of short stories entitled “Tales from Bective Bridge”.  She is now regarded as one of the finest living Irish writers and presently resides in Dublin.

FRANCIS LEDWIDGE, born at Slane in 1887, was a poet, although he worked as a labourer.  He was greatly encouraged by Lord Dunsany in his writing.  Joining the Inniskilling Fusiliers he was killed in action in Flanders in 1917.  Three books of his poetry were published.

ANNA LIDDIARD, born in Co. Meath about 1785, was the wife of Rev. William Liddiard.  She published many books of patriotic verse.

AOGH MacDOMHNAILL, born in 1802 in Lower Drumgill, Co. Meath, was an Irish poet and philosopher.

AUGUSTIN MacGRAIDIN, born in Meath in 1349, became famous as a scribe and chronicler.

REV. THOMAS MacNAMARA, born at Slane in 1808, was ordained in 1833.  He helped to establish Castleknock College in 1834 and founded the Institute for Deaf and Dumb in Cabra in 1846.  He was rector of the Irish College in Paris for twenty years.  He wrote a number of works for the Catholic clergy.

TREVOR McVEAGH, born at Drewstown in 1908, was a sportsman and lawyer.  He represented Ireland at international level in four different sports and captained Ireland in winning the Triple Crown in hockey for three years running.

JAMES MARTIN, born at Loughcrew in 1783, lived most of his life at Millbrook.  Being well versed in Latin and Greek he published a book of his own poetry.  A memorial in his honour is located in Moylough cemetery.

REV. JAMES MOLLOY, born in County Meath, was a Franciscan who became Professor of Theology at St. Isadore’s in Rome.  In 1677 he printed the first Irish grammar.

REV. FRANCIS MURPHY, born at Navan in 1795, became the first bishop consecrated in Australia.  Educated at St. Finian’s College, Navan, and St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth he served as a priest in England before obtaining permission to go to Australia.  Arriving in Sydney in 1838 he was almost immediately appointed Vicar-General with jurisdiction over the whole of Australia.  Designated to the new see of Adelaide in 1843, a year later he became the first bishop to be consecrated in Australasia.  His new diocese did not have a single church.  He built a large schoolroom which served as his cathedral.  He recruited clergy from Europe for his diocese and by his death in 1858 there were twelve churches, six chapels and a partly built cathedral.  Bishop Murphy’s sermons were popular with Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  He died from tuberculosis on 26th April 1858.

SIR JOHN NETTERVILLE, born at Dowth about 1600, was a champion of Catholic rights.

RICHARD NETTERVILLE, born at Dowth about 1545, went on a mission to Elizabeth 1 to seek a remission on a tax imposed by her governor in Ireland.  He was first imprisoned but later released and the tax eased.

SIR CHRISTOPHER NUGENT, born at Dardistown, Meath, was a soldier who left Ireland after the Treaty of Limerick to serve with the Irish Guards in Flanders, Germany and Italy.  He accompanied the “Old Pretender” to Scotland in 1715.

REV. THOMAS NULTY, born at Fennor, Oldcastle in 1818, he was curate at Trim, then parish priest and made Bishop of Meath in 1866. A defender of the tenant farmer he was in favour of land reform.

THOMAS LEWIS O’BEIRNE, born in Longford in 1748, studied for the Catholic priesthood for a while but later became a Protestant.  He became Bishop of Meath in 1798 and was responsible for the rejuvenation of his diocese.  Fifty seven churches and seventy two glebe houses were built during his time as bishop.  The Catholic priest, who had taught him at the seminary, was the Catholic Bishop of Meath at the same time.

REV. PAUL O’BRIEN, born at Moynalty in 1763, was an Irish scholar who became Professor of Irish at Maynooth College.  He was an active member of the Gaelic Society of Dublin and published a “Practical Grammar” in 1809.

TURLOUGH O’CAROLAN, born near Nobber in 1670, was the last of the Irish bards.  While still young he and his family moved to Leitrim.  Blinded by small pox at an early age he spent most of his life as a wandering Harper.  His patrons were the MacDermott family of Alderford in Co. Roscommon.

CHARLES YELVERTON O’CONNOR, born at Gravelmount, Co. Meath in 1843, emigrated to Mew Zealand in 1865.  Employed as an engineer he gradually rose to the Under-Secretary for Public Works for New Zealand and in 1891 he was appointed Engineer-in-chief of Western Australia.

AENGUS O’DALY, born in County Meath, was a composer of verse and bard to the chief of Fearcall.  There were a number of Irish poets by this name, one of whom was reputedly in the pay of the English who travelled Ireland writing satires on the Irish chieftains.

FATHER EOGHAN O’GROWNEY, born at Athboy in 1863, was a Gaelic scholar.  Professor of Irish at Maynooth he edited the Gaelic Journal and published “Simple Lessons in Irish”.  His health broke down and he went to the warmer climate of Western U.S.A. where he died in1899.  He is buried in Maynooth.

AMBROSE O’HIGGINS was born at Dangan about 1720.  Other sources give Ballina or Sligo as his birthplace.  Sent to Cadiz, he then sailed to Buenos Aires where he became captain of cavalry.  Founding the city of San Ambrosio he also built the city of Osorno.  Created Marquis de Osorno he became viceroy of Peru in 1795.  His son Bernardo O’Higgins, led the fight for freedom from Spain and became known as the Liberator of Chile.

BRIAN O’HIGGINS, born at Kilskyre in 1882, was an active promoter of the Irish language.  He fought in the G.P.O. in 1916 and devoted much of his life to publishing journals and magazines relating to Irish subjects.

COUNT ALEXANDER O’REILLY, born at Baltrasna in 1722, fought with the Spanish Army, the Austrian Army and the French Army and then rejoined the Spanish Army.  A general and Governor of Havana, on his return to Spain he became Governor of Madrid.  He led the failed expedition to Algiers in 1775 and led the fight against the French in 1793.

ANDREW O’REILLY, probably born in Meath was a newspaper correspondent who discovered a conspiracy to defraud banks by forged letters of credit in 1841.

REV. BERNARD O’REILLY, born at Ballybeg in 1824, was consecrated Bishop of Liverpool by Cardinal Manning in 1873.

CHRISTOPHER O’REILLY was born at Ballybeg in 1835.  In 1854 he emigrated to Victoria and then moved to Tasmania.  He worked as a mining engineer and in 1871 he was elected to represent Kingsborough.  He promoted the development of the railways.  Holding a number of public offices he was appointed a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope Leo X111.

EDWARD O’REILLY, born at Athboy, taught himself the Irish language and compiled an Irish-English dictionary.  He published a number of other works.

JOHN BOYLE O’REILLY was born at Dowth in 1844.  His father was master at the school attached to the Netterville Institute.  O’Reilly served as an apprentice on the local newspaper, “the Drogheda Argus”, before moving to Britain.  There he became involved in the Fenian movement which sought independence for Ireland.  Returning to Ireland he joined the army in order to win the support of the Irish soldiers for the cause.  He was betrayed and found guilty of withholding knowledge of “an intended mutiny”.  His sentence of death was commuted to life imprisonment and later to twenty years penal servitude.  After serving two years in English prisons he was transported to Western Australia in 1868.  The following year he made a dramatic escape and made his way to America.  He became a journalist on the Boston Pilot, later becoming editor and part-owner.  In 1875 he helped to mastermind a daring escape for six Irish prisoners from Freemantle gaol.  He published a novel “Moondyne” in1879.  He was a supporter of civil rights for Negroes and an ardent democrat.  He died from a drug overdose which he had mistakenly taken.  John Boyle O’Reilly is commemorated each year in a ceremony at Dowth graveyard.  He is also remembered in America and Australia.

JOHN ROBERTS O’REILLY, born at Baltrasna, joined the Navy in 1808.  In 1814 he lost his sight in battle.  O’Reilly later served in the coastguard and though blind rescued many people from shipwreck.  He was made Naval Knight of Windsor in 1871.

CHARLES STEWART PARNELL, the well-known Irish statesman, was first elected as Member of Parliament for Meath in 1875.  He became so popular that he was known as the “uncrowned king of Ireland”.

SIR EDWARD LOVET PEARCE was probably born in Meath.  He became Member of Parliament for Ratoath in 1727 and was knighted three years later.  He designed the Irish Houses of Parliament which now houses the Bank of Ireland.

RICHARD PIGOTT, born at Ratoath about 1828, worked as a journalist before becoming famous for selling forged letters to the Times which accused Parnell of complicity in the Phoenix Park murders.  A commission was established to look into the guilt of Parnell.  Pigott broke down under cross examination and fled to Spain where he committed suicide.

SIR HORACE PLUNKETT, born in Gloucestershire in 1854, was the younger son of the 16th Baron Dunsany.  Horace Plunkett brought the Co-operative system to Ireland and he worked to improve agriculture in this country.  He helped to create the Department of Agriculture for Ireland.  His home was burnt by extremists in 1923.  He served as a senator in the new state.

OLIVER PLUNKETT, born at Loughcrew in 1625, was educated at the Irish College in Rome and served as Professor of Theology at Propaganda College from 1657 to 1669 when he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh. He was falsely accused of involvement in the Titus Oates plot to overthrow Charles 11. He was tried at London and found guilty.  He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in 1681, dying for his faith.  He was canonised in 1975.

REV PATRICK PLUNKETT, born about 1603, was the son of the ninth Lord Killeen. Entering the Cistercian order he became Abbot of St. Mary’s Abbey, Dublin. Made Bishop of Ardagh in 1647, he was forced to flee to the Continent to escape the activities of the Cromwellian soldiers.  Returning to Ireland he became Bishop of Meath in 1669

REV. FRANCIS PORTER, born in Meath, was a Franciscan priest who became President of the Irish College at St. Isidore, Rome.  He wrote several religious works in Latin and an account of the siege of Derry, dying in Rome in 1702.

CHARLES PARSONS REICHEL became rector of St. Patrick’s Church, Trim, in 1875.  The son of a Moravian preacher, he was made Bishop of Meath in 1885 and achieved a reputation as an excellent speaker.  He did a great deal of work in drawing up the Constitution of the Church of Ireland and revising the Book of Common Prayer after the church was disestablished.

RICHARD KIRBY RIDGEWAY, born in Meath in 1848, was a soldier who served thirty years in India.  Educated at Sandhurst, he joined the 96th Regiment in 1868 and gained a V.C. for conspicuous gallantry at Knoma in 1879.

JOHN FELIX SHERIDAN was born at Martinstown, Athboy in 1825.  Educated at Mr. Carroll’s “Classical and Commercial Academy” in Trim, he worked with his father for a number of years before entering the Benedictine Monastery at Ampleforth, Yorkshire.  Sheridan joined Archbishop Polding’s party which arrived in Sydney in 1848 and was ordained priest in 1852 serving at Lyndhurst College, Petersham, Darlinghurst, Haymarket and Gosford during his long life.  Very involved in the establishment of welfare organisations he became dean in 1873 and he administered the diocese in 1883-84.  He is buried in the grounds of St. Joseph’s Orphanage, Kincumber.

THOMAS SHERIDAN, born at St. John’s Trim in 1646, was a supporter of James 11.  He became Chief Secretary in 1688 and followed the King into exile after the Battle of the Boyne.  It is said that he married the illegitimate daughter of James.  Their son was tutor to Prince Charlie.  He was the grand uncle of Thomas Sheridan who was the father of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the noted theatre manager.

UVERDALE CORBET SINGLETON, born at Aclare in 1838, joined the Navy and rose to the position of Rear Admiral by 1893 after serving in the Baltic, China and East Sourdan.

EDWARD SMYTH, born in Co. Meath in 1749, was employed by Gandon to execute the statues for the Dublin Custom House.  His son, John, was also a sculptor.

SIR WILLIAM MEREDYTH SOMMERVILLE, born in Co. Meath in 1802, became the first Baron Athlumney in 1863.  He was M.P. for Drogheda from 1837 to 1852.  He was a liberal and opposed Coercion.  He served as Chief Secretary from 1847 to 1852, during which time he had to deal with the Famine and the Young Irelander’s Rebellion.

JOHN STEARNE, born at Ardbraccan in 1624, was educated at Trinity College but also spent seven years at Cambridge before returning to Dublin. A grand-nephew of Archbishop Ussher he practised as a doctor but lectured on Hebrew and Law.  He founded the College of Physicians and was its first President.  He was professor of Law at Trinity College and later Professor of Medicine.  He wrote on Medicine and Theology.  His son, John, was vicar of Trim and later became Bishop of Dromore and the Bishop of Clogher.  Bishop Stearne bequeathed large sums to his church, his books to Marsh’s Library and his manuscripts to Trinity College.

JONATHAN SWIFT, the famous writer and churchman was vicar at Laracor from 1700 till his death in 1745.  Born in Dublin in 1667 he was made Dean of St. Patrick’s in 1713.  He often escaped the trials of the city to his rural retreat at Laracor.  His most popular book, Gulliver’s Travels, was published in 1726.  His friend, Esther Johnson (also known by her poetic name of Stella), moved into a cottage near Laracor and afterwards into St. Mary’s Abbey at Trim.  She later disposed of this house to Swift.

SIR JOHN TALBOT, was the viceroy of Ireland in the early 15th century.  He adapted part of St. Mary’s Abbey, Trim, into a manor house for himself.  He is described in Shakespeare’s play as the “Scourge of France” as he had beaten the French often in Battle and was also hated by the Irish.

MOST REV. JAMES USSHER, born in Dublin in 1581, was the second student admitted to Trinity College.  He became Bishop of Meath in 1621 and witnessed the execution of Charles 1 in 1641.

FRANCIS WALKER, born at Dunshaughlin in 1845, became an artist after training in the R.H.A. schools.  Moving to London he exhibited at the Royal Academy for nearly forty years.

REV. WILLIAM WALSH, born in Dunboyne about 1512, was appointed Bishop of Meath in 1554. He refused to conform to the Protestant religion and was imprisoned for seven years. He escaped to France and then moved to Spain where he was appointed Suffragan to the Archbishop of Toledo.

SIR PETER WARREN, born at Warrenstown, Meath in 1703, entered the Navy in 1717.  He saw service in African and West Indian waters, making many valuable captures and was made Admiral.  Elected M.P. for Westminister in 1747, there is an ornate monument to his memory in Westminister Abbey.

ARTHUR WELLESLEY, DUKE OF WELLINGTON, born in 1769, was victor at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.  There is a list of no less than fifteen places which claim his birth.  The family home was at Dangan just outside Summerhill.  Trim locals say that he was born in a stable on the Summerhill road into Trim.  This gave rise to the Duke’s famous statement – “To be born in a stable does not make one a horse”.  In reality he was probably saying this about his Irishness.  He was proud that not a single drop of Irish blood flowed in his veins.  Member of Parliament for Trim in 1790 he also served on the town’s corporation.  Wellington was Prime Minister in 1829 when Daniel O’Connell forced the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act.

RICHARD WELLESLEY, born at Dangan Castle in 1760, was the elder brother of the Duke of Wellington.  He was Governor General of India from 1797 to 1805 and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1821 to 1828 and from 1833 to 1834.

WILLIAM WELLESLEY-POLE, born at Dangan Castle in 1763, was a brother of Arthur and Richard.  M.P. for Trim from 1783 to 1790, he became Chief Secretary in 1809 but was very unpopular.  Resigning, he later became the Master of the Mint and was created Baron Maryborough in 1821.

SIR WILLIAM WILDE was the father of Oscar and a noted surgeon.  He published a book on the Boyne and Blackwater in 1849.

SAMUEL PRATT WINTER was born in 1816 at Agher, Co. Meath.  After his parents’ death in 1831 his uncle sent him to a friend in Van Dieman’s Land.  Samuel lived at Carrick, south of Launceston.  His brothers and sister joined him in Australia.  Samuel took land on the Wannon river in the Western District of Port Phillip and built a new home at Murndal.  By 1861 he owned 19,000 acres and was licensee for 12,480 more.  He made a number of visits to England and Europe.  He died aged 62 and instructed his brother to bury him at Murndal where Aboriginals lay, with nothing but a large stone cairn over the grave.  The shocked reaction of the community caused Trevor Winter to modify this clause.

ROBERT WOOD, born at Riverstown, Co. Meath in 1716, was a traveller and politician.  Travelling in the Near East he published two books as a result of his wanderings.  Elected M.P. for Brackley he became Under-Secretary of State in the British Parliament.

Administrative Divisions

The precise location of the ancestral home is very important in family history research.  An understanding of the administrative divisions relating to the geography of Ireland is required by the family historian.  Family history material for a single location is arranged under different divisions for different records.


The smallest administrative division is the townland of which there are 1600 in County Meath.  The townland became the basic unit in the seventeenth century when Ireland was mapped so that it could be portioned out to conquering soldiers and adventurers who invested in Irish campaigns.  The origin of townlands goes back to Celtic times.  In each townland there was a “Baile” which translates to “town” in English but which probably more rightly means “Home”.  Each townland could support an extended family who probably lived in a fort in the townland.  Some townlands have the same name as other townlands in a different part of the county or in other counties.  There are eleven townlands in County Meath named “Newtown”, all in different parts of the county.


The next larger unit is a parish.  A number of townlands are joined together to form a parish.  The parish commenced as purely an ecclesiastical division but came to be used as a civil division.  There is the civil parish of which there are 146 in the County.  Originally there would have been a priest in each of these parishes.  The origin of parishes also go back to Celtic times when Christianity arrived in Ireland but the formal fixing of boundaries only took place in Norman times.  Following the Reformation the Protestant Church became the Established or State Church.  Because of the small number of adherents to this religion many of the smaller churches were closed.  The civil parish continued to be used for State purposes.

The Catholic Church after suffering years of persecution emerged in the early nineteenth century into a new world where transportation was improved and travel much easier.  The Catholic Church built its new churches in centres of population rather than in the old religious sites.  The church did try to base its new parishes on old boundaries but really these were new parishes.  So a church parish is the area over which a priest has charge.  There are 46 Catholic parishes in County Meath.  The Church parish is made up of a number of civil parishes or parts of civil parishes.  One civil parish may be in two or more Church parishes.  In some cases a townland may also be divided between two parishes.

Because of small numbers in the Church of Ireland the civil parishes were joined together to form united parishes.  This occurred with more frequency after the Disestablishment of the Church when the church lost the right to collect local taxation.  In the present century declining numbers have led to more church closures and a further uniting of parishes.  There are now ten Unions of Parishes and these are based on the church membership in the particular areas.  The Church of Ireland generally used the old name for their parishes for example the parish of “Ballivor” is called “Killaconnigan”.

Some parishes have the same names as other parishes in different parts of the country.  There is two civil parishes with the name “Kilbride” and there is also part of a Catholic parish called “Kilbride”.  These are three different places.  There are also two different civil parishes with the name “Donaghmore”.



The Barony is a division introduced by the Normans.  A barony may be made up from a number of civil parishes or parts of civil parishes.  In medieval times a barony was ruled by a Baron or Lord.  The barony may be based on the “Tuatha” which was the territory occupied by a sept or Tribe.  There are 18 baronies in County Meath.  The following list gives the names of the baronies and the civil parishes which were included in each barony.

DEECE UPPER  :  Agher  (pt. of),  Balfeaghan, Culmullin  (pt. of), Drumlargan, Gallow, Kilclone, Kilmore, Moyglare, Rathcore  (pt. of), Rodanstown.

DEECE LOWER  :  Agher  (pt. of),  Assey,  Balsoon,  Derrypatrick,  Galtrim,  Kilmessan, Kiltale,  Knockmark,  Scurlockstown,  Trubley.

DULEEK UPPER  :  Ardcath,  Ballygarth,  Clonalvey,  Duleek  (pt. of),  Duleek Abbey,  Julianstown  (pt. of),  Kilsharvan  (pt. of),  Moorechurch ,  Piercetown  (pt. of),  Stamullin.

DULEEK LOWER  :  Ballymagarvey,  Colp,  Danestown  (pt. of), Donore, Duleek  (pt. of),  Fennor,  Julianstown  (pt. of),  Kentstown,  Kilsharvan  (pt. of),  Knockcommon,  Painestown,  Piercetown (pt. of),  St. Mary’s  (pt. of).

DUNBOYNE  :  Dunboyne, Kilbride.

FORE  :  ( Also Demi-Fore)  Diamor,  Kilbride,  Killallon ,  Killeagh,  Loughcrew,  Moylagh,  Oldcastle.

KELLS UPPER  :  Balrathboyne  (pt. of),  Burry,  Donaghpatrick  (pt. of),  Dulane,  Girley,  Kells,  Kilskeer,  Loughan or Castlekeeran,  Teltown.

KELLS LOWER  :  Cruicetown,  Emlagh,  Enniskeen  (pt. of),  Kilbeg,  Kilmainham,  Moybologue,  Moynalty,  Newtown,  Nobber  (pt. of),  Staholmog.

LUNE  :  Athboy,  Castlerickard  (pt. of),  Kilaconnigan,  Kildalkey,  Rathmore.

MORGALLION  :  Ardagh  (pt. of),  Castletown,  Clongill,  Drakestown,  Enniskeen  (pt. of),  Kilberry,  Kilshine,  Knock,  Nobber  (pt. of).

MOYFENRATH UPPER  :  Ballyboggan, Castlejordon,  Castlerickard  (pt. of),  Clonard,  Killyon.

MOYFENRATH LOWER  :  Laracor,  Rathcore  (pt. of),  Rathmolyon,  Trim  (pt. of).

NAVAN UPPER  :  Bective, Clonmacduff,  Kilcooley,  Moymet,  Newtownclonbun,  Trim  (pt. of),  Tullaghanoue.

NAVAN LOWER  :  Ardbraccan,  Ardsallagh, Balrathboyne  (pt. of),  Churchtown,  Donaghmore,  Donaghpatrick  (pt. of),  Dunmoe, Liscarton,  Martry,  Navan,  Rataine.

RATOATH  :  Ballymaglasson,  Cookstown,  Crickstown,  Culmullin  (pt. of),  Donaghmore,  Dunshaughlin,  Greenoge,  Kilbrew,  Killegland,  Rathbeggan,  Rathregan, Trevet  (pt. of),  Ratoath.

SKREEN  :  Ardmulchan,  Athlumney,  Brownstown,  Cushinstown,  Danestown  (pt. of),  Dowdstown,  Dunsany,  Follistown,  Kilcarne,  Killeen,  Kilmoon, Lismullen,  Macetown,  Monkstown,  Rathfeigh,  Skreen,  Staffordstown,  Tara,  Templekeeran,  Timole,  Trevet.

SLANE UPPER  :  Collon,  Dowth,  Gernonstown,  Grangegeeth,  Monknewtown,  Rathkenny,  Slane,  Stackallen,  Tulleyallen.

SLANE LOWER  :  Ardagh  (pt. of),  Drumcondra,  Inishmot,  Killary,  Loughbracken,  Mitchelstown,  Siddan.

The barony ceased to be important after the re-organisation of local government in 1898 when it was no longer to be used as a census division.


The Poor Law Act was introduced in 1838.  Each area was to be responsible for its poor.  Ireland was divided into Poor Law Unions.  Each Union was to build a workhouse where the poor could be housed.  The area of the Unions did not bear any relationship to any of the existing divisions as the work house was built in the major market town of the area.  Workhouses were built at Dunshaughlin, Kells, Navan, Oldcastle and Trim.  Workhouses in neighbouring counties such as Edenderry, Celbridge, Ardee and Drogheda also served parts of County Meath.  Some Meath workhouses served parts of neighbouring counties.  Each Union was made up of an area around each workhouse.  The following list shows each Workhouse Union and the civil parishes or parts of parishes included in its area.

ARDEE  :  Collon,  Drumcondra  (pt. of),  Grangegeeth,  Inishmot,  Killary,  Loughbracken,  Mitchelstown,  Siddan.

CASTLETOWN DELVIN  :  Girley  (pt. of).

CELBRIDGE  :  Balfeagan,  Rodanstown.

DROGHEDA  :  Ardcath  (pt. of),  Ballygarth,  Clonalvy,  Colp,  Donore,  Dowth,  Duleek,  Duleek Abbey,  Julianstown,  Kilsharvan,  Monknewtown,  Moorechurch,  St Mary’s,  Stamullin,  Tulleyallen.

DUNSHAUGHLIN  :  Ardcath  (pt. of),  Ballymaglasson,  Balrathboyne,  Balsoon  (pt. of),  Cookstown,  Crickstown,  Culmullin,  Cushinstown,  Derrypatrick,  Donaghmore,  Dunboyne,  Dunsany,  Dunshaughlin,  Greenoge,  Kilbrew,  Kilbride,  Kilclone,  Killeen,  Killegland,  Kilmessan,  Kilmoon,  Kilmore,  Kiltale,  Knockmark,  Macetown,  Moyglare,  Piercetown  (pt. of),  Rathbeggan,  Rathfeigh,  Rathregan,  Ratoath,  Skreen, Timoole,  Trevet.

EDENDERRY  :  Ballyboggan,  Castlejordan,  Clonard  (pt. of),  Killyon  (pt. of).

KELLS  :  Ardagh,  Burry,  Castletown  (pt. of),  Cruicetown,  Donaghpatrick  (pt. of),  Drumcondra  (pt. of),  Dulane,  Emlagh,  Enniskeen,  Girley  (pt. of),  Kells,  Kilbeg,  Kilmainham,  Kilskeer  (pt. of),  Martry,  Moybologue,  Moynaulty,  Newtown,  Nobber,  Staholmog,  Teltown.

NAVAN  :  Ardbraccan,  Ardmulchan,  Ardsallagh,  Assey,  Athlumney,  Ballymagarvey,  Bective,  Brownstown,  Castletown  (pt. of),  Churchtown,  Clongill,  Danestown,  Donaghmore,  Donaghpatrick  (pt. of),  Dowdstown,  Drakestown,  Dunmoe,  Fennor,  Follistown,  Gernonstown,  Kentstown,  Kilberry,  Kilcarn,  Kilshine,  Knock,  Knockcomman,  Liscarton,  Lismullin,  Monkstown,  Navan,  Painestown,  Piercetown  (pt. of),  Rataine,  Rathkenny,  Slane,  Stackallan,  Staffordstown,  Tara,  Templekeeran.

OLDCASTLE  :  Castlekeeran or Loughan,  Diamor,  Kilbride,  Killallon,  Killeagh,  Kilskeer  (pt. of),  Loughcrew,  Moylagh,  Oldcastle.

TRIM  :  Agher,  Athboy,  Castlerickard,  Clonard  (pt. of),  Clonmacduff,  Drumlargan,  Gallow,  Galtrim,  Kilcooly,  Kildalkey,  Killaconnigan,  Killyon  (pt. of),  Laracor,  Moymet,  Newtownclonbun,  Rathcore,  Rathmolyon,  Rathmore,  Scurlockstown,  Trim,  Trubley,  Tullaghanogue.

Poor Law Unions were and are used as Superintendent Districts for the Civil Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  As can be seen above these districts may also include areas outside the county.


The county as a division was introduced by the Normans.  In 1297 the shire or county of Meath came into existence.  This county was further divided in 1543 into East Meath and West Meath, the “East” was eventually dropped.  The County is the unit used for local government in Ireland.  County Meath is in the province of Leinster but originally Meath was a province in its own right.  The neighbouring counties of Louth, Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath are also in the Leinster province.  The counties of Cavan and Monaghan are in the province of Ulster.


The church parishes are joined together to form a diocese over which a bishop rules.  The Catholic Bishop of Meath has his cathedral at Mullingar and presides over an area which approximates to the old kingdom of Meath and includes most of County Meath, much of County Westmeath and parts of Offaly.  The Church of Ireland Bishop rules a similar area but also presides over the diocese of Kildare and Clonmacnoise.

County Meath is mainly in the Diocese of Meath but also includes portions of the diocese of Armagh, Kilmore and Kildare.  The Catholic parish of Kilmainhamwood is in the Diocese of Kilmore.


Some researchers have an address for their ancestors which they cannot locate on a map.  Very often the address is that of a townland.  This is the smallest division of land in Ireland.  To locate a townland the best reference is “General Alphabetical Index to Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland 1851.  This gives the townland’s name, the sheet it appears in the Ordnance Survey, its area, the county, barony, civil parish and Poor Law Union in which it appears.  Maps showing the townlands may be purchased from the Ordnance Survey.

Sometimes a researcher from abroad may have a name which they may not find in this index.  The first possible reason for this is that the name of the place was corrupted in the emigrant country for example a place name Killmore was shortened to Kill.  This makes the location more difficult to find.  Spellings of names were often spelt as they sounded.  Remember many people could not write.  The second possible reason for not finding a name in the index is that it is the name of part of a townland or the old name for the place.  Very often a townland had two or more names and there may have been names for different areas within that townland.  The names of the townlands were standardised on the first Ordnance Survey maps which were produced in the 1830’s.  However, just because the names were standardised on the maps did not mean that the people who lived there forgot the old names.  The best source for locating such a place is to search in the Ordnance Survey Field Name Books.  These were completed by the surveyors who made the first maps and list the variations then existing for each place name.  The original Field Name Books are in the Ordnanace Survey but the County Library has a typescript copy.  However these are arranged by civil parish.  There is as yet no index for the county.  This is a project which will be undertaken in future by the Meath Heritage Centre.

The Royal Irish Academy hold a series of letters written by the Surveyors in relation to their work.  These were reproduced under the editorship of Rev. Michael O’Flanaghan in 1927 under the title “Ordnance Survey Letters containing Information relative to the Antiquities of the Counties”.  Again the County Library holds a copy.  The National Library holds copies of the Name Book and letters.  These works are not completely accurate.

The place Names Commission of the Ordnance Survey may be able to help locate a place if all the other sources fail.


The Plains of Royal Meath by Jack Fitzsimons gives the names of all the townlands in the county with their meaning and the civil parish, barony and electoral division to which they belong.

The Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis, Published in 1837, Gives an account of every civil parish, town, barony and county in Ireland.  Also included is a map of Ireland with individual county maps showing baronies, towns, villages and civil parishes.

Philips’ Handy Atlas of the Counties of Ireland by P.W. Joyce.  Published 1885.  Shows baronies, towns, villages and large houses.

The parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland.  Published 1845.

The Shell Guide to Ireland by Lord Killanin and Michael V. Duignan.  Published 1962.  Revised and updated by Peter Harbison 1989.  A comprehensive guide to cities, towns and villages in Ireland.

Ireland Observed, A Guide to the Buildings and Antiquities of Ireland by Maurice Craig and the Knight of Glin.  Published 1970.

A Guide to Irish Country Houses by Mark Bence-Jones.  Published 1978 and republished with a supplement in1988.  It contains details of architecture and history of over 2,000 Irish houses including those in County Meath.  The Families associated with each house are also listed.

William Larkin’s Map of County Meath 1812.  Produced for the Meath Grand Jury and recently republished by Phoenix Maps.

A Directory to Market Towns, Villages and Gentlemen’s Seats by Ambrose Leet 1814.

Taylor and Skinner.  Maps of the Roads of Ireland 1778.

Lists of the Townlands in Co. Meath, Ordnance Survey of Ireland.  Edited by C.F. Close.  Pub. Alex. Thom. 1915.  Dublin.

Church Records

Religious Mix

In the 1881 Census there were 87,469 persons in County Meath.  Of these81,743 were Roman Catholic, 5293 were Episcopalians (Church of Ireland), 323 were Presbyterians, 65 Methodists, 44 were other denominations and one person refused to give any information.  These figures can be broken down into percentages – Roman Catholics 93%, Protestant Episcopalians 6% and others 1%.

Under the category of all other denominations the following were the religions and the number of adherents – 8 Church of God, 7 Brethren, 6 Calvanite Irish Church, 3 Lutherans, 3 Plymouth Brethren, 2 Congregationalists (or Independents), 1 Atheist, 1 Baptist, 1 French Calvinist, 1 German Protest Church, 1 Reformed Church of Germany, 1 Reformed Church of Switzerland, 1 Swiss Calvinist, 1 Unitarian, 1 attends no place lately, 1 no particular form of religion, 3 none, 1 not stated and 1 unknown.

The county has always had a strong Roman Catholic tradition.  The county also provided the latest Irish Saint – Saint Oliver Plunkett who was executed during the Penal Times.

The Church of Ireland congregation, once reasonably strong, has greatly declined in the past hundred years.  It also has a proud tradition.  It maintains the older churches in the Diocese and has produced many notable scholars and clergymen.  Dean Swift of “Gulliver’s Travel’s” fame served as rector of Laracor outside Trim in the early 18th Century.  There were a number of Huguenot families in the county but there was no church for this group.

A number of minority religions also existed in the county.  The Methodist movement made more progress in neighbouring Westmeath, but a missionary station was based at Trim in the latter half of the last century.  The Presbyterian Church also has members on the borders of the county.  There are Presbyterian churches in Kells, Ervey and Drogheda.  The Quaker community held meetings in Oldcastle where records go as far back as 1700.  There was a small Jewish community in Navan at the turn of the Century.

Parish Records

Before Civil Registration and because of the lack of other records the parish registers are the most important source of information on family relationships.  Baptisms, marriage and burial details are recorded in the registers.  The date of commencement of the parish registers vary from parish to parish.

The Meath Heritage Centre is in the process of indexing all baptismal, marriage and burial entries of all the parishes in County Meath.  The list of parishes completed is continually growing.  Write for details enclosing a stamped addressed envelope or two International Reply Coupons.

Roman Catholic Parishes

All the parishes which are in the county or partly in the county are included in the following alphabetical list.  The information is presented in the following order: firstly the most common name for the parish is given with any alternative names or sub-parishes, secondly all parishes indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre are so indicated, thirdly the present holder of the original records is given, fourthly an approximate list of civil parishes which make up the Catholic parish, fifthly the dates for which parish records survive and finally any additional information.

The list of parish registers indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre is correct to 1992 but is continually growing.  Within the next four years all the parishes in the country will be indexed and available at the Meath Heritage Centre.  Some records on the borders of the county have been indexed by centres in Armagh, Cavan, and Offaly.

At present only an approximate list of civil parishes can be drawn up for each Catholic parish.  One should use this list with caution.  Search all the neighbouring civil parishes if you do not find the information sought in the civil parishes given.  A map of the Catholic parishes giving townland and civil parish is a project which would greatly help the family researcher.


ARDCATH and Clonalis

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Ardcath, Garristown, Co. Dublin

Civil parishes of Ardcath, Clonalvy, Cushenstown and Piercetown.

Baptists: 1795-present.

Marriages: 1797-present.

Burials: 1919-present.


ATHBOY and Rathmore.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Athboy, Co. Meath.

Civil Parishes of Athboy and Rathmore.

Baptists: 1794-99, 1807-26, 1827-present.

Marriages: 1794-99, 1807-present.

Burials: 1794-98, 1807-26, 1827-48, 1865-73, 1919-present.


BALLINABRACKEY Castlejordan and Ballyboggan.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Ballinabrackey, Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath.

Civil parishes of Ballybroggan and Castlejordan. The rest of the parish is in Co. Offaly.

Baptists: 1826-present.

Marriages: 1826-present.

Burials: 1848-49.




Custodian: The Parish Priest, Ballivor, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Killaconnigan and parts of the parishes of Killyon and Castlerickard.

Baptisms: 1837-present.

Marriages: 1837-present.

Burials: 1837-present.

The parishes of Ballivor and Kildalky were united for a period.


BEAUPARC/YELLOW FURZE also incudes Blacklion and Kentstown.

Indexed by Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Beauparc, Navan, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Ardmulchan, Ballymagarvey, Brownstown, Danestown, Kentstown, Painstown, Piercetown and Timoole.

Baptisms: 1815-present.

Marriages: 1816-present.

Burials: 1816-39, 1919- present.

BOHERMEEN – Ardbraccan, Boyerstown, Cortown.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Bohermeen, Navan, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Ardbraccan, Balrathboyne, Liscartan and Martry.

Baptisms: 1832-present.

Marriages: 1831-present.

Burials: 1833-42, 1865-68, 1915-present.


CARNAROSS and Mullaghea.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Carnaross, Kells, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Castlekeeran (or Loughan) and Dulane.

Baptisms: 1806-7, 1808-15, 1827-present.

Marriages: 1805-20, 1823-25, 1828-present.

Burials: 1805-56, 1919-present.



Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Castletown-Kilpatrick, Navan, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Castletown, Clongill, Drakestown, Kilshine and Knock.

Baptisms: 1805-22, 1826-present.

Marriages: 1816-22, 1824-41, 1824-present.

Burials: 1919-present.


CLONMELLON and Killallon.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Clonmellon, Navan, Co. Meath

The civil parish of Killallon.  The rest of the parish is in Co. Westmeath.

Baptisms: 1759-84, 1785-1809, 1815, 1819-present.

Marriages: 1757-84, 1784-1809, 1815, 1819-present.

Burials: 1757-64, 1819-1850.



Custodian: The Parish Priest, Collon, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

The civil parish of Collon. The rest of the parish is in Co. Louth.  Collon parish is in the Diocese of Armagh.

Baptisms: 1789-1807, 1819-present.

Marriages: 1789-1807, 1817-45, 1848-present.


CURRAHA and Trevet.  See also Ratoath.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Curraha, Ashbourne, Co. Meath and the Parish Priest, Donaghmore, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.

The old parish of Curraha was made up of the civil parishes of Kilmoon, Kilbrew, Crickstown, Donaghmore and Greenoge. Greenoge and Donaghmore became part of the new parish of Ashbourne/Donaghmore.

Earlier register for 1780-89 preserved in Ratoath.

Donnymore (Donaghmore) and Kilbride.

Baptisms: 1802-23.


Burials: 1802-23

Curraha and Donnymore (Donaghmore). Parish formed 1823.

Baptisms: 1823-present

Marriages: 1823-present

Burials: 1833-63.


DONORE and Rosnaree.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Donore, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

The civil parishes of Donore, Knockcommon and part of Duleek.

Baptisms: 1840-present.

Marriages:1840-41, 1850-present.



Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, St. Mary’s, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Civil parishes of Colpe, Kilsharvan and St. Mary’s.

Colpe are now part of the new parish of Laytown/Mornington. Part of St. Mary’s is now the new parish of Holy Hamily, Ballsgrove.

Baptisms: 1835-present.

Marriages: 1870-present.

Deaths: 1820-present.

St. Mary’s,Drogheda is the parish south of the river Boyne.  The Northern part of Drogheda is the parish of St. Peter’s and is in the diocese of Armagh.  The town of Drogheda is in County Louth.


DRUMCONRATH and Loughbracken.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Drumconrath, Navan, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Ardagh, Drumcondra and Loughbracken.

Baptisms: 1811-present

Marriages: 1811-present

Burials: 1813-20, 1861-72.

There is a census for the parishes of Drumconrath and Loughbracken, taken on the 2nd of April 1871, included in the registers.



Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Duleek, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Duleek and Duleek Abbey.

Baptisms: 1852-present.

Marriages: 1852-present

Burials: 1919-present.


DUNBOYNE Kilbride, Rathregan and Ballymaglasson.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Dunboyne, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Dunboyne and Kilbride and parts of the parishes of Rathregan and Ballymaglasson.

Baptisms: 1798-present.

Marriages: 1787-present.

Burials: 1787-present.


DUNDERRY Robinstown, Kilbride, Moymet and Bective.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Dunderry, Navan, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Bective, Churchtown, Clonmacduff, Kilcooley, Moymet, Rataine and Tullaghanogue.

Baptisms: 1837-65, 1867-69, 1870-present.

Marriage: 1841-65, 1867-69, 1871-present.


DUNSHAUGHLIN Knockmark and Culmullen.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Culmullen, Dunshaughlin and Knockmark.

Baptisms: 1789-1843, 1849-present.

Marriages: 1801-34, 1849-present.

Burials: 1789-1828, 1863-1872.


JOHNSTOWN and Kilcarn.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Johnstown, Navan, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Athlumney, Dowdstown, Follistown, Kilcarn, Monktown, Staffordstown and Templekeeran.

Baptisms: 1839-present

Marriages: 1839-present.


KELLS and Girley.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Kells, Co.Meath

The civil parishes of Burry, Girley and Kells.

Baptisims: 1791-1827, 1828-present.

Marriages: 1791-present.

Burials: 1794-1824, 1920-present.


KILBEG Carlanstown and Staholmock.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Kilbeg, Kells, Co.Meath.

The Civil Parishes of Emlagh, Kilbeg and Staholmog.

Baptisims: 1817-52, 1858-present.

Marriages: 1810-13, 1818, 1830-52, 1858-present.

Burials: 1830-43, 1870-71, 1919- present.

Population figures by townland are included for the year 1841.


KILCLOON and Batterstown.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Kilcloon, Dunboyne, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Balfeagan, Kilclone, Moyglare and Roddanstown and parts of the parishes of Rathregan and Ballymaglasson.

Baptisms: 1836-present

Marriages: 1836-present.

Burials: 1919-present.



Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Kildalkey, Navan, Co. Meath.

The civil parish of Kildalkey.

Baptisms: 1782-present.

Marriages: 1782-present

Burials: 1782-1882, 1908-13, 1919-present.

The parishes of Ballivor and Kildalkey were united for a period.



Custodian: The Parish Priest, Kilmainhamwood, Kells, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Kilmainham and Moybologue.

Baptisms: 1869-present.

Marriages: 1869-present.

Kilmainhamwood is in the diocese of Kilmore.


KILMESSAN Dunsany and Killeen.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Kilmessan, Navan, Co.Meath and the Curate, Dunsany, Navan, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Assey, Balsoon, Dunsany, Killeen, Kilmessan, Trubley and Scurlockstown.

Baptisms: 1742-50, 1756-68, 1791-1832, 1832-present.

Marriages: 1742-50, 1756-68, 1791-1832, 1832-present.

Burials: 1756-68, 1791-1832, 1832-present.

Some of the above records are divided into separate Kilmessan and Dunsany registers.


KILSKYRE and Ballinlough

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Kilskyre Kells, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Diamor and Kilskeer.

Baptisms: 1784-present

Marriages: 1784-90, 1808-41, 1842-present.

Burials: 1784-90, 1859-73, 1919-present.

Included is a list of children confirmed from 1784 to 1790. Some of the records are divided into separate Kilskyre and Ballinlough registers.


KINGSCOURT and Enniskeen

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Kingscourt, Co.Cavan.

The civil parish of Enniskeen.  The rest of the parish is in Co.Cavan.

Baptisms: 1838-54, 1864-present.

Marriages: 1838-61.

Burials: 1846-58.

Kingscourt town is in County Cavan but the parish is in the diocese of Meath.



Custodian: The Parish Priest, Kinnegad, Co.Westmeath.

The civil parish of Clonard. The rest of the parish is in Co.Westmeath.

Baptisms: 1827-present.

Marriages: 1844-present.

Burials: 1869-present.


LOBINSTOWN Heronstown and Newtown.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Lobinstown, Navan.

The civil parishes of Inishmot, Killary, Mitchelstown and Siddan.

Baptisms: 1823-present.

Marriages: 1823-present.

Burials: 1919-present.


LONGWOOD and Killyon.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Longwood, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Castlerickard and Killyon and parts of the parishes of Clonard and Rathcore.

Baptisms: 1829-present.

Marriages: 1829-present.

Burials: 1829-55.


MOUNTNUGENT Kilbride and Killeagha

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Mountnugent, Co.Cavan

The civil parishes of Kilbride and Killeagh.

Baptisms: 1831-present.

Marriages: 1832-present.



Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Moynalty, Kells, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Moynalty and Newtown.

Baptisms: 1830-present.

Marriages: 1829-present.

Burials: 1830-present.


MOYNALVEY and Galtrim

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Moynalvey, Summerhill, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Derrypatrick, Galtrim, Kilmore and Kiltale.

Baptisms: 1811-28, 1831-present.

Marriages: 1783-86, 1811-28, 1831-present.

Burials: 1811-28, 1877-80, 1919-present.

Some of the above includes records from Summerhill.



Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Administrator St. Mary’s, Navan, Co. Meath.

The civil parishes of Ardsallagh, Donaghmore, Dunmoe and Navan.

Baptisms: 1782-1813, 1842-present.

Marriages: 1853-present.

Burials: 1868-80, 1919-present.

Some, not all, baptisms are recorded in the above registers.


NOBBER and Cruicetown.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Nobber, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Nobber and Cruicetown.

Baptisms: 1754-present.

Marriages: 1757-present.

Burials: 1757-1866.


OLDCASTLE Loughcrew and Moylough.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Oldcastle, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Loughcrew, Moylough and Oldcastle.

Baptisms: 1789-1807, 1808-present.

Marriages: 1789-1807, 1808-40, 1841-present.

Burials: 1789-1807, 1808-09, 1919-present.


ORISTOWN Kilberry and Donaghpatrick.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Oristown, Kells, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Donoaghpatrick, Kilberry and Teltown.

Baptisms: 1757-84, 1797-1814, 1831-1840, 1847-presen.

Marriages: 1763-80, 1783-84, 1797-1801, 1801-42, 1848-present.

Burials: 1783-1801, 1813-14, 1847-89, 1919-present.


RATHKENNY Rushwee, Grangegeeth. See also Slane.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Parochial House, Rathkenny, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Gernonstown, Grangegeeth, Rathkenny and Stackallen

Baptisms: 1784-1815, 1818-61, 1846-57, 1866-present.

Marriages: 1784-88, 1818-44, 1846-57, 1866-present.

Burials: 1914-present.

The earlier registers includes Monknewtown and Dowth.


RATHMOLYON Kill and Enfield.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, The Parochial House, Rathmolyon, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Rathcore and Rathmolyon.

Baptisms: 1878-present.

Marriages: 1878-present.


RATOATH and Ashbourne.  See also Curraha.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Parochial House, Ratoath, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Cookstown, Killegland, Ratoath and part of Rathbeggan.

Baptisms: 1781-present.

Marriages: 1780-present.

Burials: 1789-1818.

Some of the records are for the parishes of Ratoath and Curraha.

Ashbourne is now a separate parish and is joined to Donaghmore which was part of Curraha parish.


SKRYNE Rathfeigh and Trevet.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Parochial House, Skryne, Tara, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Macetown, Skyrne, Tara, Trevet, Rathfeigh and parts of Lismullen and Templekeeran.

Baptisms: 1841-present.

Marriages: 1842-present.



Custodian: The Parish Priest, Parochial House, Slane, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Dowth, Fennor, Monknewtown and Slane.

Baptisms: 1851-present.

Marriages: 1851-present.

Burials: 1919-present.

Some early records are in Rathkenny parish registers.


STAMULLEN and Gormanstown.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Preston Hill, Stamullen, Co.Meath.

Civil parishes of Ballygarth, Julianstown, Moorechurch and Stamullen.

Baptisms: 1831-present.

Marriages: 1830-present.

Burials: 1834-77, 1919-present.

There is also a record of the names, ages and conditions of those who emigrated from the parish during 1866-1873 together with the place to which they emigrated.


SUMMERHILL and Gallow.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Parochial House, Summerhill, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Agher, Drumlargan, Gallow and Laracor.

Baptisms: 1812-present.

Marriages: 1812-present.

Burials: 1812-1836.


TRIM and Boardsmill.

Indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Parochial House, Trim, Co.Meath.

The civil parishes of Trim and Newtownclonbun.

Baptisms: 1829-48, 1851-52, 1854-present.

Marriages: 1829-48, 1850, 1855-present.

Burials: 1831-41.


TULLYALLEN and Mellifont.

Custodian: The Parish Priest, Parochial House, Tullyallen, Drogheda, Co.Louth.

The civil parish of Tullyallen.  The rest of the parish is in Co.Louth.

Baptisms: 1816-34, 1837-44, 1845-present.

Marriages: 1816-34, 1837-44, 1845-present.

Burials: 1816-34, 1837-44, 1845-present.


The registers are not very detailed for the early years.  Baptisms entries usually give the date of baptism, the parent’s names and the sponsor’s names.  Addresses are rarely given.  This can make it difficult if not impossible to differentiate between two similar entries.  Pre- printed registers gradually made their appearance from about 1870 on.  These give addresses, dates of births and other information.  Notice of marriage outside the parish may also be included in the later Baptism registers.

Marriage registers usually give the date marriage, the bride and groom and two witnesses.  It is only in the later registers that the parents of the couple and their addresses are given.  Marriages took place usually in the bride’s home parish.

Burial registers were rarely kept by the Catholic Church in the 19th century.  The reason for this is not known.  Burials took place in the deceased ancestral burial grounds and many corpses were transported great distances to reach their final resting place.

Many of the registers can have big gaps in the records.  Some horrific stories are told such as a priest’s housekeeper who is supposed to have burned one register so no one would know her age.  In another case a priest is supposed to have torn out a full page from a register to give to a person whose birth appeared on one line of that register.  Now we occasionally hear horror stories about “family historians” removing pages which contain details of their ancestors.

Parish registers are kept in the local church or parochial house.  Parish Priests may make registers available to researchers or may make small searches themselves.  Some priests are very interested in family history but most are too busy attending to the living to have much time for those dead parishioners in the their registers.  The name of the priest of any parish may be obtained from “The Catholic Directory” which is issued annually.

Microfilm copies of the registers are available at the national Library.  All pre-1880 records were filmed.  Some of these Micro-Films are also available from the Latter Day Saints.  As indicated above indexes to the registers are available at the Meath Heritage Centre.  As in all cases where indexes are involved it is necessary for the original records to be examined to ensure that the information in the index is accurate.



Most of the registers of the Church of Ireland have been indexed by the Meath Heritage Centre.


AGHER – Union of Rathmoylon.

Baptisms: 1796-1845, 1847-present times.

Marriages: 1807-39, 1847-1956.

Burials: 1798-1848, 1847-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1745-1800.  These are in the National Library.


ARDAGH – Union of Kingscourt.

Baptisms: none.

Marriages: 1845-1933.

Burials: none.


ARDBRACCAN – Union of Kells.

Baptisms: 1884-present times.

Marriages: 1845-1956.

Burials: 1884-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1767-1814, 1815-26, 1826-1957.

Vestrymen: 1870-1970.

Poor Fund Account: 1806-21, 1843-71.

Chetwoode’s and Stearne’s Charity Accounts 1820-present times and Minutes: 1878-present times.


ATHBOY – Union of Athboy.

Baptisms: 1736-48, 1798-1805, 1804-19, 1812-75, 1876-present times.

Marriages: 1737-47, 1799-1804, 1804-19, 1813-45, 1845-70, 1872-1956.

Burials: 1738-9, 1799-1802, 1804-19, 1813-77, 1877-present times.

Vestry Minute Books: 1736-1805.

Register of Vestrymen: 1871-1905, 1906-present times.

Tithe Valuation Book: 1801-1803.

Register of Athboy New Cemetery: 1902-present times.



Baptisms: 1877-present times.

Marriages: 1845-1956.


Vestry Minute Books: 1810-61, 1870-1924.

Register of Vestrymen: 1871-1955.

There is a copy of an earlier register for baptisms 1853-77, marriages 1853-62 and burials 1853-62, 1877 in the National Archives.


BALLYMAGLASSON – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms: 1877-1957.

Marriages: 1866-1954.

Burials: 1877-1956.

Vestry Minutes: 1813-69, 1870-96.


BALRATHBOYNE – Union of Kells.

Baptisms: 1877-1963.

Marriages: 1875-1956.

Burials: 1878-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1871-92.


BECTIVE – Union of Trim.

Baptisms: 1853-1978.

Marriages: 1853-1953.

Burials: 1857-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1875-1934.

Vestrymen: 1870-1934.


CASTLERICKARD – Union Rathmolyon.

Baptisms: 1869-1972.

Marriages: 1846-1947.

Burials: 1878-1972.

Vestry Minutes: 1820-98.


CASTLEJORDAN – Union of Killucan.

Baptisms: 1702-68, 1769-1802, 1823-40, 1841-present times.

Marriages: 1707-68, 1771-75, 1823-40, 1840-60, 1845-1956.

Burials: 1704-68, 1823-40, 1841-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 170-1822, 1822-1925.


CLONARD – Union of Killucan.

Baptisms: 1792-1835, 1835-80.

Marriages: 1793-1833, 1836-76, 1846-1956.

Burials: 1793-1834, 1836-86.

Vestry Minutes; 1795-1931.

The above are in the National Archive.


CLONMELLON – Union of Athboy.

Baptisms: 1851-1972.

Marriage: 1845-1922.

Burials: 1851-present times.


COLPE – Union of Julianstown.

Baptisms: 1880-1884, 1884-1940 in St. Mary’s, Drogheda.

Marriages: 1851-present times.

Burials: 1940-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1778-1872.

Vestrymen: 1870-present times.



Baptisms: 1878-present times.

Marriages: 1846-1956.

Burials: 1880-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1702-87, 1804-72, 1869-1970.

Vestrymen: 1870-present times.


DRAKESTOWN – Union of Kells.

Baptisms: 1884-1968.

Marriages: 1899-1940.

Burials: 1885-1974.


DROGHEDA (ST MARY’S) – Julianstown Union.

St. Mary’s parish covers the area south of the river Boyne.

Baptisms: 1763-75, 1802-3, 1805-7, 1822-3, 1811-39, 1839-present times.

Marriages: 1763-75, 1802-3, 1805-7, 1822-3, 1812-38, 1838-49, 1846-78, 1878-1956.

Burials: 1763-75, 1802-3, 1805-7, 1822-3, 1811-39, 1839-present times, 1876-present times

Marriages Banns: 1812-35.

Vestry Minutes: 1780-1813, 1814-48, 1849-present times.


DRUMCONRATH – Union of Kingscourt.

Baptisms: 1799-1826, 1822-present times.

Marriages: 1820-3, 1822-44, 1845-1956.

Burials: 1821-6, 1822-98, 1900-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1870-1955.

Vestrymen: 1870-1935.


DULEEK – Union of Julianstown.

Baptisms: 1880-1965.

Marriages: 1845-1946.

Burials: 1881-1973.

Vestry Minutes: 1857-1932.

Vestrymen: 1870-1926.


DUNBOYNE – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms: 1879-present times.

Marriages: 1845-present times.

Burials: 1877-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1785-1817, 1818-75, 1876-1922.


DUNSHAUGHLIN – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms: 1839-present times.

Marriages: 1846-1956.

Burials: 1839-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1752-1876, 1873-81.


GALTRIM – Union of Trim.

Baptism: 1878-present times.

Marriages: 1845-94, 1894-1956.

Burials: 1878-present times.

Vestrymen: 1870-1932. Included with Laracor and used for Rathmolyon.


GIRLEY – Union of Athboy.

Baptisms: none.

Marriages: 1874-1905.

Burials: none.


JULIANSTOWN – Union of Julianstown.

Baptisms: 1787-1811, 1810-22, 1829-present times.

Marriages: 1791-1822, 1822-87, 1847-1956.

Burials: 1778-1821, 1822-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1825-70, 1870-1956.

Vestrymen: 1870-present times.


KELLS – Union of Kells.

Baptisms: 1773-95, 1800-33, 1833-46, 1845-76, 1844-present times.

Marriages: 1773-95, 1800-33, 1833-44, 1845-69, 1869-1924.

Burials: 1773-95, 1800-33, 1833-46, 1846-1904.

Vestry Minutes: 1729-99, 1800-81.

Poor Fund Account: 1801-49, 1850-1921.


KENTSTOWN – Union of Navan.

Baptisms: 1877-present times.

Marriages: 1848-1953.

Burials: 1878-1978.

Vestry Minutes: 1758-1833, 1854, 1876-1957.

Vestrymen: 1880-1956.


KILBREW – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms: none.

Marriages: 1850-69.

Burials: none.

Vestry Minutes: 1824-72.


KILDALKY – Union of Athboy.

Baptisms: 1878-1950.

Marriages: 1859-73.

Burials: none.


KILLEAGH – Union of Castlepollard.

Baptisms: 1886-1948.

Marriages: 1846-1929.

Burials: 1900-1974.

Vestry Minutes: 1872-86.


KILMAINHAMWOOD – Union of Kingscourt.

Baptisms: 1881-1896.

Marriages: 1852-76.

Burials: none.


KILMESSAN – Union of Trim.

Baptisms: 1886-1963.

Marriages: 1848-1947.

Burials: 1890-1963.

Vestry Minutes: 1870-1901.


KILMOON – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms: 1873-1911.

Marriages: 1855-1905.

Burials: 1877-1907.

Vestry Minutes: 1873-1926.


KILMORE – Union of Rathmolyon.

Baptisms: none.

Marriages: 1834-42, 1847-65, 1878-present times.

Burials: 1827-42.


KILSHINE – Union of Kells.

Baptisms: 1795-1804, 1878-present times.

Marriages: 1846-1915.

Burials: 1795-1804, 1800-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1810-84.

Later baptisms and burials in Donaghpatrick register.



Baptisms: 1903-present times.

Marriages: 1845-1956.

Burials: 1903-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1761-1854, 1855-1933.


KINGSCOURT / ENNISKEEN – Union of Kingscourt.

Baptisms: 1881-present times.

Marriages: 1845-63, 1863-1916, 1917-56.

Burials: 1895-present times.


LARACOR – Union of Trim.

Baptisms: 1881-1965.

Marriages: 1845-1952.

Burials: 1881-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1788-1979, 1880-1933.


LOUGHCREW – Union of Castlepollard.

Baptisms: 1800-22, 1886-present times.

Marriages:  1800-1822, 1845-1936, 1858-present times.

Burials: 1800-1822, 1887-present times.


MOUNTNUGENT / KILBRIDE & CASTLECOR – Union of Castlepollard.

Baptisms: 1886-present times.

Marriages: 1845-1955.

Burials: 1874-present times.

Vestrymen: 1870-present times.


MOYBOLOGUE – Union of Kingscourt.

Baptisms: 1869-present.

Marriages: 1878-1956.

Burials: 1896-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1872-1932.

Vestrymen: 1875-1946.


MOYGLARE – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms: 1879-present times.

Marriages: 1856-1956.

Burials: 1879-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1800-70, 1870-1944.


MOYNALTY – Union of Kells.

Baptisms: 1893-present times.

Marriages: 1845-1957.

Burials: 1894-present times.

Vestrymen: 1894-1962.


NAVAN- Union of Navan.

Baptisms: 1880-1927.

Marriages: 1845-96, 1896-1956.

Burials: 1879-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1750-1805, 1806-69, 1870-present times.

Vestrymen: 1896-present times.

Inscriptions: in the Church and churchyard: 1711-1890.


NEWTOWN – Union of Kells.

Baptisms: none.

Marriages: 1845-1901.

Burials: none.


NOBBER – Union of Kingscourt.

Baptisms: 1828-68, 1884-present times.

Marriages: 1828-44, 1850-1859, 1881-1945.

Burials: 1831-69, 1885-present times.

The earliest baptisms, marriages and burials are in the National Archives.  The later marriages are in local custody and the later baptisms and burials are in the Drakesrath registers.


OLDCASTLE – Union of Castlepollard.

Baptisms: 1814-36, 1836-84, 1884-present.

Marriages: 1814-35, 1836-45, 1845-1926, 1845-1919.

Burials: 1814-36, 1836-90, 1890-present.

Vestry minutes: 1871-1914.



Baptisms: 1698-1773, 1902-48.

Marriages: 1698-1773, 1847-1945.

Burials: 1901-1947.

Vestry Minutes: 1704-74, 1827-1901.


RADDANSTOWN – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms: 1877-1917.

Marriages: 1870-73.

Burials: 1879-1914.


RATHBEGGAN – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms, Marriages,Burials: none.

Vestry Minutes: 1817-59.


RATHKENNY – Union of Navan.

Baptisms, Marriages, Burials: none.

Vestry Minutes: 1813-76.


RATHCORE – Union of Rathmolyon.

Baptisms: 1810-55, 1855-present times.

Marriages: 1811-35, 1845-1956.

Burials: 1810-present times.

Vestrymen: 1870-1922.


RATHMOLYON – Union of Rathmolyon.

Baptisms: 1733-1876, 1877-present times.

Marriages: 1734-1856, 1845-1956.

Burials: 1734-1877, 1877-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1887-1959.


RATOATH – Union of Maynooth.

Baptisms: 1878-1915.

Marriages: 1846-85.

Burials: 1879-1970.

Vestry Minutes: 1884-1926.


SKRYNE / LISMULLEN – Union of Navan.

Baptisms: 1877-1960.

Marriages: 1846-1838.

Burials: 1877-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1803-70, 1870-1929.

Vestrymen: 1870-1956.

Some of the above are in joint Skryne/Tara registers.


SLANE –Union of Navan.

Baptisms: 1903-present times.

Marriages: 1845-1955.

Burials: 1903-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1740-95, 1800-49, 1850-62, 1863-1947.

Vestrymen: 1870-1964.


STACKALLEN – Union of Navan.

Baptisms: 1885-1957.

Marriages: 1845-1941.

Burials: 1886-1944.


SYDDAN – Union of Kingscourt.

Baptisms: 1720-77, 1782-1825, 1825-present times.

Marriages: 1721-76, 1785-1823, 1827-65, 1848-1949.

Burials: 1725-78, 1783-1824, 1825-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1721-76, 1783-1824, 1810-70.

Vestrymen: 1870-75.


TARA – Union of Navan.

Baptisms: 1877-present times.

Marriages: 1847-1903.

Burials: 1877-present times.

Poor Fund Account: 1802-69.

Vestry Minutes: 1807-73, 1870-1929.

Some of the above are in joint Tara and Skryne register.


TRIM – Union of Trim.

Baptisms: 1782-1825, 1823-35, 1836-76, 1876-present times.

Marriages: 1792-1824, 1826-44, 1845-74, 1875-1954.

Burials: 1792-1825, 1825-49, 1849-present times.

Vestry Minutes: 1836-80, 1880-1900.

Vestrymen: 1886-1940.

Briddock Charity Account: 1754-1955.


The Meath Heritage Centre has indexed most of the Church of Ireland parish registers for the country and holds microfilm copies of all registers up to 1880.  Many older church records were destroyed in the in the Public Records Office Fire in 1922.  It is estimated that only a tenth of the original records survive today.  Luckily some parishes did not lodge their records with the P.R.O.  Marriage registers all have records from 1845 at least, while baptism and burial records date from at least 1870.  Where Vestry Minute books survive they can be a source of family history information as well as having a great amount of social detail.


The Representative Church Body (RCB) Library in Breamor Park, Rathgar, Dublin hold the registers for the following parishes:- Castlejordan (Baptisms 1702-1839, Marriages 1707-1840, Burials 1704-1840), Clonard (Marriages 1846-1850), Drumcondrath (Baptisms 1799-1826, Marriages 1820-1956, Burials 1821-1826), Kilmainhamwood (Baptisms 1881-1892, Marriages 1852-1876), Nobber (Marriages 1850-1945), Painstown ( Baptisms 1833-1917 and 1859-1919 Marriages 1835-1919 and 1864-1913, Burials 1834-1908) and Syddan (Baptisms 1720-1825, Marriages 1721-1949, Burials 1725-1824).

The names of the clergymen of each of the Union of Parishes in the County may be found in the “Church of Ireland Directory” which is issued annually.





Baptisms: 1873-present.

Marriages: 1873-present.

Burials: 1884-present.



Baptisms: 1889-present.

Marriages: 1846-present.



Baptisms: 1822-present.

Marriages: 1823-present.

Communicants’ Roll: 1863-1887.

A Presbyterian church existed at Summerhill under the Patronage of Lord Langford but none of its registers have survived.

When tracing your Presbyterian ancestors it is worthwhile to contact the Presbyterian Historical Society Library in Belfast.



There was a missionary station at Trim from about 1860 to 1909.  Methodist churches at Mullingar and Drogheda also served members in Meath.  The whereabouts of the records for these churches is not known to the author.  It is probable that some Methodists had their children baptised in the Church of Ireland and so the local parish registers could be searched.



THE Religious Society of Friends had a meeting at Oldcastle.  There is a list of Friends visiting the Oldcastle Meeting 1700-1735 by Thomas Hutton and also Joseph Gill’s Journal.  These list visiting preachers and contain little of interest in relation to Meath families.  There was a meeting in Moate in Westmeath and also in County Cavan.  The Historical Library of the Religious Society of Friends at Swanbrook House, Morehampton Road, Dublin 4, hold the Registers of all Irish Quaker births, marriages and deaths, some family lists, some disownments, certificates of removal and Monthly Meeting Minutes.  This library is open on Thursday morning.

Census Returns

 Much of Irish census records were lost but where they exist the records are very informative and interesting.  All surviving census material is located at the National Archives.


In May 1821 Government enumerators took the first complete census for Ireland.  Details of each family, names, ages, occupations and relationship were recorded.  This census was almost completely destroyed in the Four Courts fire in 1922.  However portions of the 1821 Census for the baronies of Upper Navan and Lower Navan in County Meath survived the fire.

The following list gives an index of the parishes and their townlands for which the 1821 census survives.

ARDBRACCAN Allenstown, Ardbraccan, Betaghstown, Boyerstown, Curraghtown, Durkamstown (Dormstown), Grange, Irishtown, Jamestown, Neillstown, Ongenstown (Onchinstown).

ARDSALLAGH Ardsallagh, Bawn or Philpotstown, Kennastown (Cannistown), Macetown.

BALRATHBOYNE Athgaine Great (Artgainstown), Betaghstown.

BECTIVE Balbraddagh, Balbright, Balgill, Cloncullen, Dunlough, Grange Bective.

CHURCHTOWN Churchtown, Dunderry, Halltown.

CLONMACDUFF Ballardan Great, Ballardan Little, Courtown, Julianstown, Meadstown, Mooneystown.

DONAGHMORE Antylestown, Blackcastle, Donaghmore, Graigs, Nevinstown, Proudstown, Rathaldron, Simonstown.


KILCOOLY Ardgreagth, Dunganny, Kilcooly, Kiltoome, Rath Little, Rathnally.

LISCARTON Liscarton, Scallanstown.

MARTRY Allenstown, Castlemartin, Martry, Phoenixtown, Herbertstown.

MOYMET Clonfane, Iskaroon, Kilbride, Moymet, Stonestown.

NAVAN Abbeyland, Ballybalter,Balreask, Blackcastle, Boyne Hill, Clogherboy, Commons, Dillonstown, Knockumber, Moatland, Navan, Navan Fields, Parkboy (Parkboyne), Portanclough, Robinrath.


RATAINE Bellenstown, Clonmalevin, Philpotstown, Rataine, Shambo.

RATHBOYNE Breataghstown.

RATHKENNY Chamberstown, Corballis, Dremminstown,(Drummonstown) Dunclerk, Gogalstown, (Cohilstown), Horistown, (Housetown), Ladyrath, Mullaghe, Rathkenny.

TRIM Addanstown, Black Friary, Clondavan, Commons North, Dunlievers, Gormanstown, Kilnagross, Manorlands, Oakstown, Phillinstown, Steeplestown, Tremblestown, Tullyard, Woodside.

TULLAGHANOGUE Tullaghanogue, Vessington.


The 1841 and 1851 Censuses were destroyed by the Public Records Office fire in 1922.  A number of searches were made in these censuses between 1910 and 1922 for details of claimants seeking evidence of age for old age pension which was introduced in 1908.  The introduction of the old age pension might explain why so many people aged more than 10 years between the census in 1901 and 1911.  These searches were carried out by staff of the Public Records Office.  These Census Search Forms are also known as ‘Green Forms’.  The information contained on the forms varies and many of the searches were unsuccessful.  There were 360 searches carried out for the County of Meath and these were mainly in the 1851 census.  These forms are available at the National Archives.  The other censuses for the nineteenth century were pulped by Government order.  A list of occupiers of lands in the Union of Kells and Oldcastle for 1850 is in existence.

In the Drumconrath Catholic parish register there is a census for the parishes of Drumcondra and Loughbracken taken on the 2nd of April 1871 which was the same date that the official census was taken.  Details given include name, age, relationship, occupation, religion and absent members of the family.  t is arranged by townland and also includes non-Catholics.

1901 & 1911 CENSUS

The 1901 census is the first census available which covers the whole country completely.  It is arranged by district electoral division and townland.  It gives details of age, religion, education, marital status, profession, place of birth and ability to speak Irish.  The county of birth of each resident is given which can be used to point to a new area for research.  A picture of the whole family is given.  The ages given can be used as a guide for searches in the civil or parish records.  A separate form gives some details of the building inhabited by your ancestor.  The 1911 census is also available for the county.  A valuable section introduced into this census is the column in which married women give details on the duration of their marriage and also details of the number of children born and still living.  It is also interesting to note the handwriting of your ancestor who signed the form.  The censuses for the later years are not available to the public.

The Great Famine (1845-1848) greatly affected this part of the country as it did the rest of the land, but there is a second reason for the large drop in population and that was the clearance of small tenant farmers by the land lords to establish large grazing ranches.

Most of the emigrating from Meath would have left from the port of Dublin but some would have left from Drogheda.  Between 1832 and 1834 approximately 400 people left Drogheda port for Canada.  Canada was often used as a stepping stone for the United States.  Many emigrants from this area first went to Liverpool before making the journey across the Atlantic. Some even settled permanently in Liverpool.

Population drop 1841-1851  43,080

Population drop 1841-1891  106,841

Population drop 1841-1926  120,859


Civil Registration

 Civil (State) registration of all Births, Deaths and Marriages began in 1864.  Church of Ireland marriages or those involving a marriage in a church of this denomination were registered from 1845.

The records for the whole country are kept at the General Registry Office in Dublin but copies are also held at the local office.  Church of Ireland clergy hold the records for marriages celebrated in their churches.  A marriage certificate issued by a Church of Ireland clergyman is both a church and state record.

The records are indexed in the General Registry Office, yearly to 1878 and then quarterly there-after.  It is possible to make a search in the indexes for a fee. Only the indexes are open to public but once an event has been found in the index a copy of the entry in the register or a certificate maybe ordered.  The General Registry staff may undertake a search if given enough information.  This search may take some time.  The staff do not undertake genealogical searches.

The records are not complete – not all births, deaths or marriages were registered.  Civil registration will provide information which is not in the parish records, so it is advisable to procure Certificates from the Civil Register even if you have already found the event in the parish records.  Civil registration has records for deaths while most parishes have little or no records of burials.  The countrywide index is invaluable where you do not know where an event took place.  The information obtained can then be used to conduct a search in the parish records.

Always search five or ten years each side of the date on which you think an event happened.  When searching the marriage index always check under the spouse’s name to double check that you have the right entry.

There are 22 registration districts for County Meath.  Records are kept at the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at the Courthouse, Trim, are arranged by Registration District.  In order to obtain information there it is necessary to know fairly precisely the location of the event for which you are seeking documentation.  A search fee is also payable.  A number of Registration Districts are joined together to form Superintendent Registrar Districts.  The main Superintendent Districts for Meath are Dunshaughlin, Kells, Navan, Oldcastle and Trim.  Some Superintendent Districts from neighbouring counties overlap into Meath.  These include Ardee (Louth), Celbridge (Kildare), Drogheda (Louth) and Edenderrry (Offaly/King’s county).

Land Records


Tithes were a form of tax collected ‘for the maintenance of the state church’ which was the Protestant Church of Ireland.  The payment of tithes understandably gave rise to much bad feeling amongst Catholics and resulted in a tithe war.  Tithes were originally paid in kind but in the 1820s it was decided that the tax would be paid in a monetary amount.  It was necessary then to value the land and this resulted in the Tithe Applotment Books.  Each parish was valued by two commissioners, one nominated by the rate payers and the other by the church.  Tithes were not payable on church lands and on lands which had at one time belonged to the church.  No urban properties were valued and the list of land occupiers is far from comprehensive.  Details given usually are the townland name, the land occupier’s name, the area and quality of the land and the amount of tithe payable.  The name of the townland may vary from the official version which came into being with the Ordnance Survey.  The surnames in the Tithe Applotment Books have been indexed by the National Library.

The Tithe Books for the parishes in Meath were mainly compiled between 1825 and 1835, for example Ballymaglasson and Ardmulchan date from 1825 while Kildalkey dates from 1834 and St. Mary’s, Drogheda from 1835.  Many of the Tithe Books are undated.  There were no tithe books deposited for the following parishes: – Bective, Cushinstown, Duleek Abbey, Grangegeeth, Kells, Kilmainham, Lismullen, Loughcrew and Monknewtown.  For the following parishes only some information (e.g. Certificates) survive:- Assey, Balsoon, Cruicetown, Follistown, Inchmot, Kilbride (Barony of Fartullagh), Kilcooley, Kilaconnigan, Killary, Kilmore, Mitchelstown, Newtown-Clonbun and Rathbeggan.

The original Tithe Applotment books may be examined at the National Archives.  Micro-film copies are available at many libraries and at the Meath Heritage Centre.


Between 1848 and 1864 all the land of Ireland was valued for the purpose of creating a rate or tax which would be used to support the Work house system.  Each land occupier is noted together with his immediate landlord, the area of land occupied, its buildings and value.  This was called the Primary Valuation of Ireland but became known as “Griffith’s Valuation” after Richard Griffith, the geologist, who supervised the carrying out of the survey.  The surnames in Griffiths have been indexed on a county basis by the National Library.  Nearly all heads of household were listed in the valuation and so it forms an important census substitute for the 1850s.

Griffith’s Valuation for County Meath was published in1854 and gives a list of all land occupiers in the county.  Once you have your ancestor located take note of the reference to the map number and you can order a copy of the map from the Valuation Office which is located at 6 Ely Place, Dublin 2.  This office also holds records of all changes of ownership for each plot of land from its first valuation to the present day.

The records of the original valuers are available in the National Archives.  These details are given in the field books, house books and tenure books.

Griffith’s Valuation is available at the National Library, the National Archives and other libraries and is available on micro-fiche at the Meath Heritage Centre.


There were many extensive estates in Meath.  Many of these belonged to absentee landlords who visited their estates once a year.  The largest landowner was the Earl of Darnley who held nearly 25,000 acres.  His mansion still stands just outside Athboy.  Records of his estates for the years 1874 and 1875 are held by the County Library.  Mr. Naper of Loughcrew held 18,000 acres with Lord Atlumney of Somerville holding 10,000 acres.  Portions of the Rent Roll of the latter for the years 1714 – 1870 are still in existence.  There were various other large land holders Earl of Fingall 9,000 acres, Marquess of Headfort 7,000 acres, Marquess of Conyngham 7,000 acres, Preston of Bellinter 7,000 acres and Lord Dunsany 4,000 acres.  Thomas Wilson wrote an article entitled “The Great Landowners of Meath 1879” which was published in Riocht na Midhe 1980/1.

Estate papers may include any of the following:- rent rolls, leases, maps, wage and cash books.  A lease was usually for a period of twenty one years or for three lives.  The names and details of the three individuals give a great deal of useful family history information.  Landlords often commissioned maps of their holdings.  Many of these maps date from the eighteenth century and predate all the official maps.  The names of the tenants are usually given on the maps.

The County Library in Navan holds a Rent Roll for the Earl of Darnley’s estate in Athboy, Ballivor and Rathmore areas for the year 1876 and the Rent Rolls for the Somerville Estate for the years 1714-1870.  The records of the Waller estate dating from 1673 are in the National Archives as are the Birch, Blackwood, Caldwell, Carroll, Dowdall, Healy-Hutchinson, Jones and Trotter records.

The records belonging to estates may be in private or local hands, the County Library, National Library, National Archives or may have been destroyed.  Many of the estate papers deposited have not yet been catalogued and so are not available to the public.  Consult Hayes’s Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation to find out where estate papers were deposited if anywhere.  Within this volume there are separate sections devoted to Estate records and Maps for each county.  Estate papers are catalogued under the landlord’s name.


The Registry of Deeds at King’s Inn, Henrietta Street, Dublin holds copies of all deeds registered since 1708.  The deeds record leases, sales and mortgages between parties.  There are also some wills and marriage settlements registered.  There are two indexes- one based on place names and the other on the surname of the grantor of the deed.  There is no grantee index.

The National Archives hold records of bankrupt estates which had to be sold under the Encumbered Estate Act of 1848.  This act was in force until 1904 and the records give the tenant’s names and the condition of their leases.  The Irish Land Commission holds records of estates broken up from 1881.

In 1876 a record of all land owners who had property in excess of one acre was made and presented to the Parliament.  This record was published and gives details of the total estates for each land owner in the county with their address.


 Monumental Inscriptions

 The first major recording of gravestone inscriptions in Ireland was performed by the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the dead.  This body commenced its work in 1888 and continued to 1937, publishing an almost annual journal listing inscriptions from all over the country.

The Memorials of the Dead Journals cover a number of Meath graveyards but few graveyards were covered in a systematic way.  In many cases only those inscriptions considered interesting were recorded.  In another case it is noted that no more of the inscription was recorded because the recorder had to hurry to catch the train.  The value of the Memorials is that a researcher may read an inscription there which may have worn away or have been lost since it was recorded.  A portion of the parish register of Kilmore is reproduced in one of the Journals.  There is only an index up to 1908 but the inscriptions are arranged by county so it is easy enough to find the Meath entries.

The following were the graveyards in which inscriptions were recorded up to 1908: Agher, Annsbrook Cross, Ardbraccan, Athboy, Athlumney, Balfeaghan, Ballyboggan, Ballycurry, Balsoon, Baronstown Cross, Brittas, Claddy, Clonard, Clonbraney, Clongill, Colpe, Cruicetown, Culmullen, Donaghpatrick, Duleek, Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Fennor, Julianstown, Kells, Kentstown, Kilbrew, Kilcooly, Killedan, Kilmoon, Kilmore, Kilshine, Kilskeer, Knock, Knockmark, Loughanmore Cross, Loughcrew, Macetown, Maudlins, Monk-Newtown, Moorechurch, Moyagher, Moyglare, Moylagh, Mulhussey, Navan, Nevinstown Cross, Newtown Abbey, Nobber, Rathbeggan, Rathmore, Rathregan, Ratoath, Robertstown, Roddanstown, Scurlockstown, Skreen, Slane, Stackallen, Staffordstown, Trevet, Trim and Trimblestown.  The Meath Heritage Centre holds a full copy of all entries relating to the county from 1888 to 1937.

Dr. Beryl Moore and her helpers recorded nearly forty graveyards in Co. Meath.   These inscription records are at the Meath Heritage Centre, Meath County Library and the National Library.

Rosemary ffolliott recorded some inscriptions in Kells and Duleek in the mid 1960s.

James Garry of Drogheda has recorded the following graveyards in County Meath – Stagrennan, St.Mary.s, Mornington and Donore as well as a number in Co. Louth.  Noel French has recorded more than seventeen graveyards in the county.  Copies of his recordings are in the Meath Heritage Centre, Meath County Library, National Library and the National Archives.  Michael Kenny, Peter Higgins, Brendan Gogarty and Enda O’Boyle have transcribed graveyards in their own areas.

On one particular memorial in Girley churchyard it is possible to trace one family from 1702 to the present day.  However this is very unusual.  Very few people could afford to have a monument erected so most of the headstones date from the latter half of the nineteenth century but quite a number do go back to the middle of the eighteenth century.  Graveyards generally serve only one parish but there may be as

many as five graveyards in the one parish.  The graveyards are generally named after the townland in which they are located.

Where a family is actually buried can give a vital clue to where to look next for records.  Traditionally Irish people like to be buried with their ancestors and may be brought from a parish in which they were born, lived in and died in, back to the ancestral burial ground which may be many miles away.  Their ancestors probably came from some spot not too far away from this ancestral graveyard.

There can be unusual inscriptions.  The following inscription is from Brannockstown graveyard which is near Trim.

“Here lieth the body of Mary Daly alias Sheredan who died the 10th of April 1790 aged 71 years.  This monument was erected by her husband Francis Sheredan and their sons Patrick, James, Thomas and Francis.  MEMORAND St. Patrick was born 5th April the year 373, that is 1417 years since.  He began to preach in Ireland the year 432, that is 1358 years since. He died the 17th March the year 493 aged 120 years, and that is 1297 years since and is buried in Downpatrick in the county of Down, Ulster. Dated 21st August 1790.”

The following inscription appeared on a tombstone in Ratoath:

Stay passenger stay, see where I lie,

As you are now, so once was I,

As I am now, so wilst you be,

Prepare for death and follow me.

This is a fairly common inscription throughout the British Isles.  However some years later a local wit added the following couplet:

To follow you I’m not content,

For I don’t know which way you went.

Gravestone inscriptions from Meath have been published in the Irish Ancestor, Riocht na Midhe and the Irish Genealogist. Copies of recordings are available in the National Library, the National Archives, the Genealogical Office and the County Library.

Almost half of all the older graveyards in the county are now recorded.  It is planned to make a master index of all the names at the Meath Heritage Centre and to transcribe and index the remaining graveyards .

The following list gives the graveyards recorded, who recorded them and where published if published.

AGHER, B Moore, Irish Ancestor, 1978



ARODSTOWN, B. Moore, Riocht na Midhe, 1975

ASSEY, B. Moore

ATHBOY, B. Moore, Irish Ancestor, 1981


BALSOON, B. Moore, Irish Ancestor, 1976





CLADY, B. Moore

CLONBREANY, B. Moore, Riocht na Midhe, 1976

CLONMACDUFF, B. Moore, Riocht na Midhe, 1980/81

COLP, J. Garry.


DANESTOWN, B. Moore, Riocht na Midhe, 1974


DONORE, J. Garry



DRUMLARGAN, B. Moore, Riocht na Midhe 1980

DULEEK, R. ffolliott, Irish Genealogist, 1967

DUNBOYNE, B. Moore, Irish Ancestor, 1979

DUNMOE, N. French

GALLOW, B. Moore


GIRLEY, N. French

GIRLEY C of I., N. French


HILL OF WARD, N. French`

KELLS, R. ffolliott, Irish Genealogist, 1966


KILCARN, N. French




KILBRIDE, B. Moore & M. Kenny, Riocht na Midhe, 1977

KILLEEN, B. Moore, Riocht na Midhe, 1970


KILMORE, B. Moore, Riocht na Midhe, 1975

KILSHARVAN, J. Mc Cullen, Riocht na Midhe, 1988/1989


LOUGHCREW, B. Moore, Irish Ancestor, 1977




MONKSTOWN, M. Fennell, E. Hickey & M. Reilly. Riocht na Midhe, 1987

MORNINGTON, J. Garry, Journal of the Old Drogheda Society, 1989.

MOY, SUMMERHILL, B. Moore, Irish Ancestor, 1974

MOYAGHER, B. Moore, Irish Ancestor, 1976

MOYMET, B. Moore

OLDCASTLE, R. ffolliott & H Jones, Riocht na Midhe, 1968.




RATHMORE, B. Moore. Irish Ancestor, 1975

MARY,ST, DROGHEDA, J. Garry, Journal of the old Drogheda Society, 1986.


SKRYNE, N. French


STAGRENNAN, MORNINGTON, J. Garry, Journal of the Old Drogheda Society, 1977.

TARA, N. French






For some graveyards there may be registers of burials which would be held by the caretaker.  Most of these date from this century but some commence at the turn of the century when the graveyards were taken into the care of the local government.  Many of these registers were lost when caretakers died and some caretakers were more diligent than others.  It is quite difficult to locate these registers.



Directories can be useful for locating ancestors who were in trade or in the professions.  Generally the majority of information relates to town dwellers but the local gentry and clergy are also recorded.

Pigot’s directory of 1824 includes information on the towns of Athboy, Duleek, Kells, Navan, , Ratoath, Summerhill and Trim.  Slater’s directories of 1846, 1856, 1870, 1881 include details of the towns of Ashbourne, Dunshaughlin, Athboy, Duleek, Kells, Navan, Oldcastle, Ratoath, Summerhill and Trim.  The 1894 edition includes details for most parishes and towns in the county.

Many of the Dublin directories include sections relating to the magistrates and other officials in County Meath and other counties.

The only specific directory for Meath is “Henderson’s Post Office Directory for the Counties of Meath and Louth 1861”.  This directory was published by Thomas K. Henderson Jnr. of Trim and is available at the National Library (Call Number: 914 132 M3).  It contains a list of gentlemen and others with their address and post town.  The Directory contains details of clergy of the Established Church (Protestant), Magistrates, Public Officials, County Officers, Constabulary, Members of Parliament, Trim Gaol, Militia Peerage, Baronetage and Landed Gentry. There are then separate sections for the towns in the county.  Each section list the principal residents, borough officials, union officials, attorneys, auctioneers, bakers, blacksmiths, chandlers, ironmongers etc.

Directories are available in the National Archives, National Library and other libraries.  Microfilm copies of Pigot’s and Slater’s directories are available at the Meath Heritage Centre.



Newspapers can provide useful information for the family historian.  There are no eighteenth century newspapers for county Meath but news from the area would have been included in the Dublin and Drogheda papers.  Many of the Dublin papers date back to the 1750s.  There are three main sources of family history in newspapers – news items, advertisements and announcements of births, deaths and marriages.  Generally it is the wealthier class whose family details are recorded in the newspapers of the time.  Information contained in a notice may be scanty, not giving the child’s name or the mother’s name for a birth. Making a search in a newspaper can be time consuming and one can easily be led astray with all the interesting and unusual advertisements. Little work has been done to index newspaper material.

Holdings in the National Library of Ireland, Dublin, include:


(1)  Meath Chronicle published in Kells 1904-1918 continued in Navan and still today.

(2)  Meath Herald published in Kells, for the period 1845 to 1884 only odd numbers survive but there are runs from 1885 to 1913 and from 1826 to 1936.

(3)  Meath People published in Navan 1857 to 1863

(4)  Meath Reporter published in Trim, for the period 1887 to 1906 only odd numbers survive.

(5)  Irish Peasant published in Navan 1903 to 1906 and continued in Dublin to 1910.


(1)  Drogheda Argus 1859-1913, 1927-1944, continued as the Argus.

(2)  Drogheda Conservative 1855-1855 odd numbers only, 1877-1901 and 1866-1891 odd numbers only.

(3)  Drogheda Conservative Journal 1837-1848.

(4)  Drogheda Independent 1884-1889 odd numbers only, 1889 to present.

(5)  Drogheda Journal 1823-1840, 1841-1843.

(6)  Drogheda Journal or Meath and Louth Advertiser 1793-1820 scraps.

(7)  Drogheda Newsletter 1801-1807, 1810, 1813.

(8)  Drogheda Sentinel 1834.

The British Museum (now The British Library) holds copies of the Meath Chronicle, Meath Herald, The Irish Peasant, Meath People, Meath Reporter, Drogheda and Westmeath papers.

In an article in 1907 The Meath Chronicle listed three additional papers – The Meath Courier, The Meath Advertiser and The Navan Independent. It would appear that no copies of these publications now survive.

The following are examples of births; marriages and death recorded in the Meath Herald and demonstrate the type of information available in newspapers.


April 11th 1845 at Kilbrew Rectory, Thomas H. Barton of a son.

On the 30th of April 1845 at Williamstown, Kells in the County of Meath, the lady of Chidley Coote Barnes of Baltrasna, Kells in said county Esq. of a son.

June 10th 1845 at Black Castle, County of Meath, the lady of Thomas Rothwell Esq. of a son.


On the 21st inst. (August 1845) in Moynalty Church by the Rev. Montgomery, brother of the bridegroom, Alexander Montgomery, brother of the bridegroom, Alexander Montomery of Kilmer Esq, County Of Meath to Fanny, daughter of the late Charles Arthur Tisdall of Charlesfort in said county Esq.

On the 21st of November (1854) at Killberry R.C. church by Rev. Matthew Kelsh P.P Assisted by Rev. R.J. Kelsh C.C James Bradley Esq.  West Street, Drogheda to Bridget, Eldest daughter of John Gough Esq. Of Kilberry, Co. Meath.


March 25th 1845 at Moate near Kells, the residence of her uncle, the Rev. J. Sheridan, Miss Mary Murray of Dublin in the prime of her life.

On the 9th April 1845 at Navan of consumption, Mr. Patrick Branigan, universally esteemed and regretted by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

December 18th 1845 in Australia, Felix, after a short illness, Benjamin Pratt, aged 37, fourth son of J.P. Winters, Esq. of Agher, county of Meath.

17th of May 1853 on his passage from Melbourne to Sydney, Sir Montagu Lowther Chapman. Bart. of Killua.

The County Library has compiled a partial index to the subject matter in the Meath Chronicle from 1904 onwards.  Michael Breen of the National Library compiled an index to the Meath births, deaths and marriages for the years 1800 to 1816 from Faulkner’s Dublin Journal.  There are copies in the Heritage Centre and the County Library.

To publicise your search for roots and to make contact with a living relative you could write to the local newspaper.  These letters are usually published as space permits.  This is rarely successful but in some cases it can give a new lead and could also give rise to correspondence with some interesting people.  The local papers you could write to include –

The Meath Chronicle, Market Square, Navan, Co. Meath.

The Drogheda Independent, 9 Shop Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

The Westmeath Examiner, 19 Dominick Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.


Other Records

Virtually every old record contains some family history material.  The following are a list of minor sources which contain significant amounts of family history information.  The Meath Heritage Centre hold copies of many of the documents mentioned.

(1)  Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810.  Edited by Sir Arthur Vicars and published Dublin, 1897.

(2)  Index of Wills for Diocese of Meath (fragments only surviving) 1572-1858.  National Archives.

(3)  State of Ireland Anno 1598.  The Noblemen of Eastmeath is included as a footnote.

(4)  Index of Wills of the Diocese of Meath 1635-1838.  National Archives.  T 7431.  Betham Papers.

(5)  Books of Survey and Distribution 1641-1701.  These record the extensive changes in land ownership following the Cromwellian and Williamite confiscations.

(6)  List of Indictments and Outlawries in the Counties of Dublin, Meath and Kildare, 1642.  National Archives.

(7)  Civil Survey 1654-1656, Volume 5 with returns of tithes for the Meath baronies.  Edited by R.C. Simington.  Published 1940.

(8)  Census 1659.  Pender.  Area covered – Duleek barony, Skryne barony and Ratoath barony.  Approximately 100 names of Titulados (the leading landholder in the areas concerned).  Included as an Appendix are lists of those appointed Commissioners for the collection of a 1660 Poll tax.

(9)  Index to Diocesan Administration bonds, Diocese of Meath 1663-1857.  National Archives.

(10)  Index to Marriage Licence Bonds 1665 and 1702 to 1845.  National Archives.  Marriage Licence Bonds were issued by the Bishops of the Established Church to couples who did not want to have the banns read.  It would have been the wealthier classes who would normally have obtained a Marriage Licence Bond.

(11)  “Conveyances by the Committee for claims of lands in Meath, 1666.  British Museum Additional Manuscripts, Nos.47,209-47,238.  Microfilm copy in the National Library.

(12)  Attained Protestants 1698.  Twenty one names.  Published in “The State of Protestants of Ireland under the late King James’s Govt.”

(13)  List of High Sheriffs of County Meath 1714 to 1887.  National Library Ms.2692 Canon Leslie collection.

(14)  List of Militia Officers 1761.

(15)  Religious Census of 1766.  National Archives and P.R.O.N.I. Authorised by the Irish Houses of Parliament.  Return dated 1766 gives the name of the Protestant and Papist (Roman Catholic) householders in the Union of parishes of Ardbraccan, Liscartan, Martry, Churchtown and Rataine.  29 names listed.

(16)  Catholic Qualification Rolls 1775-6.  59th Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records in Ireland.  This lists the people who took the Oath of Allegiance to the King.  There are separate sections for each county.  There are seventy names in the sections dealing with Meath.  There is a separate section dealing with Drogheda.

(17)  Owners of Freeholds in Co. Meath c. 1770.  NLI Mss.  787-8.

(18)  List of Freeholders in Co. Meath c 1775.  Genealogical Office Ms 442.

(19)  List of Freeholders in County Meath 1781.  National Archives M.  4911.  Gives name, residence, address where land held and landlord’s name.  There are approximately 2,500 names on the typescript.

(20)  1792/3 Hearth Tax Collectors’ account books and collection books.  National Library.  Ms 26735 Parishes of Colp, Donroe, Duleek, Kilsharvan.  Ms 26736 Parishes of Ardcath, Ardmulchan, Ballymagarvey, Brownstown, Clonalvey, Danestown, Fennor, Kentstown, Knockcommon, Ratfeigh.  Ms 26737 Parishes of Athlumney, Danestown, Dowdstown, Dunsany, Kilcarn, Killeen, Macetown, Mounttown, Tara, Trevet.  Ms 26738 Parishes of Ardagh, Dowth, Gernonstown, Killary, Mitchelstown, Siddan, Slane, Stackallen.  Ms 26739 Parish of St. Mary’s, Drogheda.  These manuscripts are part of the Headfort Papers.  They are laid out in columns giving the townland name, person’s name, number of hearths, when surveyed, paupers, carriages and observations.  Some typical observations are “a very poor old man”,” a farmer”, “a house, a cow and a potato garden”.

(21)  1796 Spinning Wheel Premium list.  “Premium Entitlements lists of the Trustees of the Linen and Hempen Manafactures of Ireland”.  People from the following parishes/areas are included in the list: Ardbracken, Athboy, Ardmulchan, Ballinlough, Bective, Carlanstown, Carnaross, Castletown Kilpatrick, Clongill, Collon, Colpe, Cruisetown, Danestown, Donore, Dowe?, Dowth, Dulane, Duleek, Girley, Grange, Julianstown, Kells, Kentstown, Kilallon, Kilbeg, Kilberry, Kilbride, Kildalkey, Killeagh, Killery, Kilskyre, Kilmainham, Kilmessan, Kilsharvan, Knockcommon, Loughan, Loughcrew, Martry, Moylough, Monknewtown, Moorchurch, Mounttown, Moybologue, Moynalty, Navan, Nobber, Oldcastle, Oristown, Painstown, Rathfeigh, Rathkenny, Rathnally, Rushwee, Slane, Stackallen, Stamullen, Stanlon?  Tara and Trim.

(22)  Grand Jury lists 1808 to 1864.  Tisdall Papers, National Library.

(23)  Voters lists etc.  Public Records Office of Northern Ireland T.3163.  Also in the National Library.  Headfort Papers.  Lists of Meath Voters 1807 and 1783 and Grand Juries 1812-1815, list of Absentee Landlords 1729 and list of voters in Kells 1710.

(24)  Early 19th Century Lists of Protestant parishioners in the Diocese of Meath.  Lists of Protestant Parishioners for a number of parishes in the Diocese of Meath recorded by the clergy between 1802 and 1813.  These lists were edited by Rev. C.C. Ellison, Diocesan Registrar and published in the Irish Ancestor (1973 parts 1&2).  The list covers about half of the parishes which existed at the time.  The information provided varies greatly, it can be little more than a name but sometimes a child’s age is given and each family is described but not always with full names.  The list is useful in locating a family or proving the existence of a person.  Many of the parishes recorded subsequently lost their registers.  The following County Meath Parishes are covered:  Agher, Ardbraccan School, Ardagh, Castlejordan and Ballyboggan, Castlerickard, Castletown-Kilpatrick, Clonard, Clongill, Drumcondra, Duleek, Enniskeen, Julianstown, Kells, Kentstown, Killua and Killallon, Kilmainhamwood, Kilskyre, Knockmark, Laracor, Moynalty, Navan, United Parishes of Newtown, Kilbeg, Robertstown and Emlagh, Rathcore, Rathkenny, Rathmolyon, Ratoath, Skryne, Slane, Syddan, Tara, Trim.

The Meath Heritage Centre has compiled an index of the Meath entries.

(25)  List of County Meath Grand Jury 1808-64

(26)  Grand Jury Presentment Books 1809-1899.

(27)  Charlton Charity Fund 1830-1937.  The Charlton fund provides a sum of money to labourer’s sons and daughters on their marriage.  Originally limited to the counties of Meath and Longford, the records also include some couples from neighbouring counties.  The records were deposited in the National Archives where there is a index.  (NA 1A – 42 – 1634.  Accession No. 37)

(28)  A Census of landowners in four east Meath parishes 1830 (Julianstown, Moorchurch, Stamullen and Clonalvey).  Edited by Michael Ward.  Riocht na Midhe, 1966.

(29)  A Canvas Book of the Meath Election, 1831.  The Irish Genealogist journal vol. 7, no. 2, 1987.  Edited by Henry Mc Dowell.  Approximately 1000 names of holders of lands worth more than £10 per annum.

(30)  Committals Register from Assizes 1837-1878

(31)  Board of Guardian Minute Books 1838-1922.  Workhouse records for Oldcastle, Kells, Navan, Dunshaughlin and Trim.  Records now stored in Meath County Library.  Some Unions paid for the emigration of the poor but most of the records are purely administrative.

(32)  Holders of unregistered Firearms.  1841.  National Archives.

(33)  Roll books of Model School, Trim.  1851, 1852, 1853.  NLI Ms. 3287.

(34)  Census of the town of Kells and surrounding areas.  Headfort Papers.  National Library Ms 25423 and Public Record Office of Northern Ireland T 3163.  Includes tenants names and trading information.

(35)  Register of Pupils in Donacarney School, Co. Meath in 1873.  Edited by Michael Ward.  Irish Ancestor 1984.

(36)  Land owners in Ireland 1876.  Return of Owners of land of one acre and upwards.  Published and presented to the Parliament.  There were 1,324 land owners recorded in Co. Meath.  The town of Drogheda which was recorded separately had 394 land owners.


Published Family History

 Family history has always been of interest to the established gentry families and many of the genealogies of these families are to be found in peerage and landed gentry reference books.  In recent times many others have recorded and published their own family histories.  The following books and articles relate only to families in County Meath.  There are two published bibliographies of family history in Ireland.

AYLMER The Aylmers of Ireland by Sir F.J. Aylmer. Pub. 1931.

ALYMER Aylmer, Balrath, Co Meath.  Burke’s Colonial Gentry, page 754.

ATHLUMNEY, Baron Athlumney in Visitation of Ireland, Ed. by F.A. Crisp. Privately published 1911 Volume 4.

AUSTIN, Baronet Austin of Sylvan Park,  Kells.  Burke’s Peerage.

BALFOUR, Burke’s Landed Gentry 1899, 1904 and 1911.

BALL, Ball of Ball’s Grove, Drogheda.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BALL, Ball of Moorside,  Clonalvy.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BALL, Ball of Moorside, Co. Meath, and Drogheda.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BALL, Records of Anglo-Irish Families of Ball by W.B. Wright Dublin 1887.

BALL, Ball Family Records by W.B. Wright, York 1908.

BARNEWALL, Baron Trimlestown of Bloomsbury,  Kells.  Burke’s Peerage.

BARNEWALL, Burke’s Peerage.  Baron Trimleatown,  Baronet Barnewall.

BARNEWALL, Viscount Kingsland.  Lodges Peerage Vol 5.

BARNEWALL, The family of Barnewall by S.B. Barnwell.  Irish Genealogist. 1959-66, pages 124-35, 173-6, 198-209, 249-56, 311-21, 384-8, 445-54.

BARNEWALL,  Barnewell of Rowestown, Co. Meath.  By Rev. S.B. Barnwell.  Irish Genealogist IV 174-82.

BARNEWALL, Barnewall of Kilbrew, by Rev S.B. Barnwell.  Irish Genealogist (1980) 9-17.

BARNWALL, The Barnwalls by Matthew O’Reilly.  Riocht na Midhe Vol 1 (1957) 64-8.

BARNEWALL, Barnewall Rowstown. Lodges Peerage V. 35.

BARNEWALL, Baronet Crickstown, Meath.  Lodges Peerage V.30.

BELLEW, Co. Meath and Louth.  Irish Builder Vol 34 p. 255.

BERFORD, The Berfords of Kilrue, by Hubert Gallwey, Riocht Na Midhe VI (1978-9) 89-118

BLACKBURNE,  Blackburne of Tankardstown, Slane.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1958 sub Townshend.

BLIGHT, Bligh, Earl Darnley, Lodges Peerage Vol 2.

BLIGHT, Bligh of Brittas, Nobber, Sub Barrington.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BLIGH, The Lords of Cobham Hall by Esme Wingfield-Stratford.  Pub. 1959, London.

BOLTON, Bolton of Bective House, Burke’s Landed Gentry 1863.

BOMFORD, Bomford of Oakley Park,  Kells.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BOMFORD, of  Drumlargan, Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

OMFORD, of Rahinstown, Enfield.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BOMFORD, Bomford of Oakley Park,  Clonmahon,  Gallow and Rahinstown.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BOMFORD of Ferrans.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

LEGGE_BOURKE,  Legge Bourke of Hayes, Navan.  Sub Earl Dartmouoth,  Burke’s Peerage.

BOURNE, The Bourne(s) Families of Ireland by Mary A. Strange.  Stramer Corporation,  USA,  1970.

BOYLAN, Boylan of Hilltown, Drogheda, Co. Louth.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BOYLAN, Boylan of Hilltown, Collerstown.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BRABAZON, Genealogical history of the family of Brabazon by H. Sharp.  Paris 1825.

BRODIGAN, Brodigan of Piltown House, Julianstown.  Sub Burges Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

BURKE, Burke of Stackallan House.  Burke’s Landed Gentry 1965.

BURROWES, Burrowes of Dangan Castle.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

Butler, Baron Dunboyne.  Burke’s Peerage.

BUTLER, Poems on the Butlers of Ormond, Cahir and Dunboyne.  (AD 1400 – 1650) Edited by James Carney Dublin 1945.

BUTLER, Case of the Rt. Hon. Theobald Fitzwalter Butler, 14th Baron of Dunboyne on his claim to the title and dignity of the Baron of Dunboyne in the Peerage of Ireland.  1858.

BUTLER, The Barony of Dunboyne, by T. Blake Butler.  Irish Genealogist,  Vol. II – p. 66, 1945; p. 107, 1946; p. 130, 1947;  p. 162, 1948.

BUTLER, The Butlers by Lord Dunboyne.  Old Kilkenny Review No 18 page 35 1966.

CADDELL, Caddell of Harbourstown, Fourknocks, Co. Meath.  Sub Stanley – Cary.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1958.

CAIRNES, Cairnes of Stameen by J. McCullen. Journal of the Old Drogheda Society 1990.

CALDWELL, Caldwell Estate by Aileen M. Ireland.  Journal of the Old Drogheda Society 1989.

CALDWELL, Collectanea Pt 1.  Caldwell of the IIk in the shire of Renfrew and of New Grange, Co. Meath.  Pt 3 Campbell of Skeldon and New Grange, Co. Meath, by C.B. Caldwell (of Bray Co. Wicklow) 1882.

CAREW, Baronet Carew of Killyon Manor, Hill of Down.  Burke’s Peerage.

SHAEN CARTER, Carter of Robertstown and Rathnally.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

CHAMBERS, Chambers of Fosterstown, Trim.  Burke’s Landed Gentry 1937 Supplement.

CHALONER, Chaloner of King’s Fort, Moynalty.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1912.  Also Sub Earl Enniskillen.  Burke’s Peerage.

CHARLTON,  The family of Charlton of Clonmacnoise by J.C.H. Shaw, Irish Genelogist IV 1969  117 – 121.

CODDINGTON, Coddington of Oldbridge,  Co. Meath.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

CONYNGHAM, Conyngham of Slane Castle by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times March 6th 1937.

CONYNGHAM, Conyngham,  Marquess Conyngham of Slane.  Burke’s Peerage.

CONYNGHAM, William Burton Conyngham, 1733 – 1796 by C.E.F. Trench, Riocht na Midhe VIII 1987 page 113 – 129.

CONYNGHAM, Lord Conyngham, Lodges Peerage Vol 7.

CONYNGHAM, Marquess Conyngham of Galtrim House.  Burke’s Peerage.

CORBALLY, Corbally of Corbalton Hall,  Tara.  Burke’s Landed Gentry 1863 also Burke’s Peerage 1970 under Baron Mowbray, Segrave and Stourton.

CULLEN, Cullen of Liscarton Castle.  Irish Family Records 1976.

CUSACK, In Search of Cussac:  A note by Pearse Cusack O. Cist.  Riocht na Midhe VIII 1987 page 32 – 40.

CUSACK, The Cusacks of Portraine and Rathaldron,  by Elizabeth Hickey,  Riocht na Midhe Vol 4 No 4 page 58-61.  1970.

CUSACK, The Cusack family in Co.s Meath and Dublin,  by H Gallwey.  Irish Genelogist V (1976) 198 – 313.  V (1977) 464 – 470.  V (1978) 591 – 600.

CUSACK, Cusack of Killeen’ Co. Meath.  By Pearse Cusack O Cist.  Riocht na Midhe.  VII (1980/1) page 1 – 36.

CUSACK, Cusack of Kells and Girley.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

D’ARCY, D’Arcy of Platten Hall, Donore.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

DARCY, Darcy of Plattin Hall by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times April 20th 1940.

D’ARCY, D’Arcy.  Lodges Peerage I. 121.

D’ARCY, D’Arcy,  Ireland.  Burke’s Colonial Gentry.  459.

DARCY, Darcy of Plattin.  Irish Genealogist VI.  1983, 403 – 22.

DARDIS, The Family of Dardis, by H. Gallwey Riocht na Midhe.  VI (1976) 58 – 80.

DAWSON, Dawson of Galtrim House.  Sub Earl Dartrey,  Burke’s Peerage 1933.

DE LACY, “Notes on the family of De Lacy in Ireland” by Nicholas J Synott.  Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland XLIX (1919) 113 – 31.


DE STACPOOLE, De Stacpoole of Tobertynan, Burke’s Family Records 1976.

DE STACPOOLE, Irish and other memories by Duke de Stacpoole.

DE STACPOOLE see Stacpoole.

DILLON, Baronet Dillon of Lismullen, Tara.  Burke’s Peerage.

DILLON, Dillon Knight Proudstown,  Lodges Peerage IV. 138.

DILLON, Dillon of Riverstown, Lodges Peerage IV. 142.

DILLON, Dillon of Newtown, Lodges Peerage IV.  154.

DILLON, Dillon of Lismullen,  Lodges Peerage IV. 147.

DILLON, Dillon of Balgeeth,  Lodges Peerage IV. 143.

DILLON, Dillon of Drumraney,  L..P. IV.  171.

DILLON,  Cnoc Diolun,  a Genelogical Survey of the Dillon Family in Ireland, by Gerald Dillon,  Irish Genealogist Vol II page 361, 1955.

DOWDALL, Dowdall deeds, edited by C. Mc Neill and A.J. Otway – Ruthven, Dublin 1960.

DRAYCOTT, Draycott of Mornington,  Riocht na Midhe,  VI (3).

DUFFY, Walter Leonard and Bridget Duffy – from Meath to Balmain – The story of a convict couple and their family by Patricia Stemp.  Published 1989 in New South Wales, Australia.

EUSTACE, Eustace of Galtrim House, Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

EVERARD, Everard Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1899 and 1904.

EVERARD, Baronet Everard of Randlestown, Navan.  Burke’s Peerage.

EVERARD, The family of Everard, by Richard H.A.J.  Everard.  Irish Genealogist VII (1988) 328 – 349.  (1989) 505 – 543.

FAGAN, Co. Meath Irish Builder, Vol 30 page 78.

FAGAN, Fagan.  Co. Meath, Irish Builder Vol 29 page 85.

FAGAN, Gagan of Co. Meath, Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

FFOLLIOTT, “ffolliott of Co. Meath”  by Rosemary ffolliott,  Irish Ancestor 1 (1969)  10 – 23.

FITZGERRALD, The Meath Geraldines,  Henry James Gerrard,  Pub. c. 1964.

FITZHERBERT, Fitzherbert of Blackcastle, Navan.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

FLEMING, Fleming of Staholmoc, Lodges Peerage VI, 311.

FLEMING, Fleming and Conyngham of Slane, Riocht na Midhe VII (1982/3) 69 – 75.

FLEMING, Historical and Genealogical memoir of the family of Fleming of Slane by Sir W. Betham 1829.

FLEMING, Lords Slane, Irish Builder, Vol 37 page 53.

FOWLER, Fowler of Rahinstown, Enfield.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

FOX, “Fox of Kilcoursey, King’s County and Galtrim.  Co. Meath.”  in Visitation of Ireland Ed. by F.A.  Crisp privately printed 1911.  Volume 6.

FOX, The Fox of Doolistown, Trim.  Burke’s Irish Family Records.  1976.

THE FOX, of Galtrim House, Burke’s Irish Family Records.  1976.

FRENCH, French of Ardsallagh, Navan.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  1912.

GARNETT, Garnett of Williamstown, Kells, Co. Meath.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  1912.

GARNETT, Garnett of Summerseat, Clonee, Co. Meath.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  1912.

GARNETT, Garnett of Arch Hall, Wilkinstown, Co. Meath.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  1912.

GAUGAN, The families of Gaughan and Vaughey of Slane, Co. Meath as recorded in the Slane Vestry Books, 1738-1862 by CEF Trench.  Irish Ancestor 1980.

GERNON, Gernon of Athcarne Castle.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  1912.

GERRARD, Gerrard of Gibbstown Navan.  Burke’s Landed Gentry.  1937 Supplement.

GERRARD, The Meath Geraldines.  Henry James Gerrard.  Pub. c. 1964.

GIFFARD, Giffard, Co. Meath.  Irish Builder Vol 30 p. 177.

GIFFARD, Giffard,  Castle Jordon,  King’s County.  Irish builder.  1888.

GORGES, The Story of a Family through Eleven Centuries by Raymond Gorges.  Published in Boston, 1944.

GRADWELL, Gradwell of Platten Hall, Donore.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1958.

GRADWELL, Gradwell of Dowth Hall, Slane.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1958.

GRAHAM, Graham of Platen Hall by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times April 20th 1940.

GRAHAM, Graham late of Platten, Coolester, Drogheda and now of Cromore.  by Col. James Grove White in Historical & Topographical Notes on Buttevant,  Castletownroche,  Doneraile, Mallow and places in their Vicinity.  Volume II, p.285, 1911.

GRIERSON, The Griersons of Co. Meath.  by J.R.H. Greeves.  Irish Genealogist III (1959) 136-43

HAMILTON, Hamilton of Hamwood,  Dunboyne.  Burke’s Irish Family Records.  1976.

HARMAN, Harman of Crossdrum,  Oldcastle.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  1958.

HUSSEY, Baron Hussey of Galtrim.  Lodges Peerage VII 45.

JAMESON, Jameson of Garretstown House, Dunshaughlin.  Irish Family Records.  1976.

JAMESON, Jameson of Delvin Lodge, Gormanstown.  Burke’s Irish Family Records.  1976.

JONES, Jones of Dolanstown Knocknatulla late of Headfort.  Burke’s Landed Gentry.  1937 Supplement.

LACY, The roll of the house of Lacy by E. De Lacy Bellingarri,  Baltimore.  1928.

LAMBART, Lambart of Beauparc.  Burke’s Peerage.

LAMBART, Baronett Lambart of Hayes, Navan.  Burke’s Peerage.

LANGFORD, Langford of Summerhill by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times January 16th 1937.

LANGFORD, Baronet Langford of Summerhill.  Burke’s Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies.

LANGISHE, Baronet Langrishe of Ringlestown House,  Kilmessan.  Burke’s Peerage.

LEONARD, Walter Leonard and Bridget Duffy – From Meath to Balmain – The story of a convict couple and their family by Patricia Stemp.  Published in 1989 in New South Wales, Australia.

LIGHTBURNE, Lightburne, Co. Meath.  Irish Builder 1888.

LOFTUS, Loftus of Killyon Manor, Hill of Down sub Magan.  Burke’s Landed Gentry.  1868.

LOWTHER, The Lowther Family by Hugh Owen.

LOWTHER, Lowther in Ireland in the 17th Century by Sir Edmund Bewley.  Kendal.  1902.

LOWTHER, Lowther of Kilrue.  Lodges Peerage II 301.

LUDLOW, Earl Ludlow, Irish Builder.  1890.

LUDLOW, Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow Esq, Lieutenant General of the Horse, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Ireland.  3 Vols. 2nd Edition London 1721.

LYNCH, Lynch, The Knock.  Kildare Journal VI 265.

MACARTNEY-FILGATE, Macartney Filgate of Stedalt,  Stamullin.  Burke’s Irish Family Record 1976 sub Filgate.

MAC COGHLAN, “The Mac Coghlans of Delvin Eathra” by Liam Cox.  Iriah Genealogist IV 1970 534 – 546 (V) 1971 21 -32.

MC DONNELL, Mc Donnell of Kilsharvan, Julianstown.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

MAC EVOY, Mac Evoy of Tobertynan, Enfield.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.  Sub de Stacpoole.

MC VEAGH,  Mc Veagh of Drewstown,  Athboy.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.

MAGAN, Magan of Killyon Manor, Hill of Down.  Burke’s Irish Family Records.  1976.

MAGAN, Umma-More The Story of an Irish Family by William Magan.  Published Dorset, England 1983.

MANGAN,  Mangan of Dunboyne Castle,  Sub Tindal-Carill-Worsley.  Landed Gentry.  1972.

MARWARD, Marward, Baron of Skryne Lodges Peerage VI 186.

Mathews, Mathews of Mount Hanover, Duleek.  Burke’s Landed Gentry.  1937 Supplement.

MEREDYTH, Meredyth of Dollardstown, Slane.  Baronet of Greenhills.  Burke’s Peerage 1909.

MOLLOY, The Molloy Family of Kells.  Irish Genealogist III (1961) 187 – 89.

MOORE, “The Anglo – Norman Moores in Ireland”.by V. Hussey Walsh.  Genealogist N.S. XXXIII  (1916) 1 – 8.

MOORE, The family of Moore by the Countess of Drogheda.  Dublin 1906.

MOORE, Earl of Drogheda.  Lodges Peerage Vol 2.

MOORE, “The Moores of the City of Drogheda” by V. Hussey Walsh.  Genealogist N.S.  XXX  III (1916)  127 – 8.

NANGLE, “A short Account of the Nangle Family” compiled by F.E. Nangle in collaboration with J.F.T.  Nangle.  Privately published 1986.  Ardglass, Co. Down.

NANGLE, Burke’s Irish Family Records.  1976.

NAPER, Naper of Loughcrew.  Burke’s Irish Family Records.  1976.

NETTERVILLE, Netterville of Dowth Hall by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times, June 28th 1941.

NETTERVILLE, Viscount Netterville.  Lodges Peerage Vol 4.

NETTERVILLE,  Case on behalf of Authur James Netterville of Cruicerath in the Co. of Meath Esq. claiming to be Viscount Netterville of Douth in the Peerage of Ireland.  No place of publication shown.  1834.

NETTERVILLE, Viscount Netterville of Dowth, Slane.  Burke’s Dormant and Extinct Peerages.

NICHOLOSON, Nicholson of Balrathbury,  Kells.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

O’BRIEN, Baron Inchiquin.  Duleek House, Duleek.  Burke’s Peerage.

OGLE, Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1958.

O’Hart, The last princes of Tara or a brief sketch of the O’Hart ancient royal family by J. O’Hart Dublin 1873.

O’HIGGINS, O’Higgins of Freyne House, Athboy.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

Ò’HIGGINS, Ambrose O’Higgins: an enquiry into his origins and ancestry by Brian de Breffny, Irish Ancestor II 2 (1970) 81 – 9.

O MELAGHLINS, The O’Melaghlins Kings of Meath in Viscissitudes of Families by Sir B. Burke, London 1883 Vol II p.336 – 51.

O’REILLY, O’Reilly of Baltrasna, Oldcastle.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1912.

O’REILLY, O’Reilly formerly of Baltrasna, Co. Meath in visitation of Ireland.  Ed. by F.A. Crisp privately printed 1911.  Volume 4.

OWEN, Owen of Managhanduffe and of Ballydrumny, Co. Meath etc.  in History of the County of Monaghan by Evelyn P. Shirley.  Chapter 8 London 1879.

PENTHENY, Memoir of the ancient family of Pentheny or De Pentheny of Co. Meath, Dublin.  1821.

PEPPER, Pepper of Ballygarth Casatle,  Julianstown.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  1912.

PERCEVAL, Perceval of Knightbrook Lodges Peerage II 395.

PERCIVAL, Percival of Meath.  Burke’s Colonial Gentry 817.

PLUNKETT, Plunkett of Dunsany Castle by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times, September 11th 1937.

PLUNKETT, Plunket of Killeen Castle by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times, September 12th 1936.

PLUNKETT, Plunkett of Killeen.  History of Killeen Castle by Mary-Rose Carty.  Published Dunsany.  1991.

PLUNKETT, Plunkett, Lord Dunsany.  Lodges Peerage Vol 6.

PLUNKETT, The Plunkett Family of Loughcrew by M. O’Reilly.  Irish Genealogist V 422-430.

PLUNKETT, “The Plunkett Family of Loughcrew” by Matthew O’Reilly Riocht na Midhe no.4 (1958) 49 – 53.

PLUNKETT, The ancestry of St Oliver Plunkett, a genealogical puzzle by Rev. S.B.  Barnewell Irish Genealogist V (1977) 428 – 430.

PLUNKETT, Plunkett, Knight.  Killeen.  Lodges Peerage VI 175.

PLUNKETT, Baron Dunsany, Burke’s Peerage.

PLUNKETT, Earl Fingall.  Burke’s Peerage 1970.

POLLOCK, Pollock of Moutainstown.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  1958.

PRESTON, Preston of Gormanstown by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times July 10th 1937.

PRESTON, Preston of Gomanstown.  Lodges Peerage III 75.

PRESTON, The Gormanstown Register by Mills and Mac Enery.  Dublin 1916.

PRESTON, Gormanstown Papers.  Analecta Hibernica.  XXV  149 – 83.

PRESTON, Preston of Swainston,  Kilmessan.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

PRESTON, Viscount Gormanston, Burke’s Peerage.

PRESTON, Preston of Bellinter.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

REEVES, Reeves of Platten Hall, Donore.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1912.

ROTHERHAM, Rotheram of Crossdrum, Oldcastle. Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1958.

ROTHWELL, Rothwell of Co. Meath.  The History of the County of Monaghan by Evelyn P. Shirley.  p.256 London 1879.

ROTHWELL, Rothwell of Rockfield, Kells.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1912.

ROWLEY, Viscountess Langford.  Lodges Peerage Volume 5.

ROWLEY, Rowley of Sylvan Park,  Kells.  Burke’s Landed Gentry 1863.

Rowley, Baron Rowley Langford.  Burke’s Peerage.

HAMILTON-RUSSELL, Viscount Boyne of Stackallen.  Burke’s Peerage.

SADLEIR, Sadleir of Dunboyne Castle, sub Trench.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

SINGLETON, Singleton of Aclare House,  Drumconrath.  Burke’s Landed Gentry 1912.

SMITH, Smith of Annesbrook, Duleek.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1912.

SOMERVILLE, Somerville of Somerville House by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times, February 18th 1939.

SOMERVILLE, Baron Athlumney of Dollardstown, Slane.  Burke’s Peerage 1929.

SOMERVILLE, Somerville Baronet of Athlumney / Balrath.  Burke’s Peerage.

AGNEW-SOMERVILLE, of Somerville, Balrath.  Burke’s Peerage.  Sub Agnew Bt. of Clendry.

SOMERVILLE, Baron Athlumney in Visitation of Ireland.  Ed. by F.A.  Crisp.  Privately published 1911.  Volume 4.

SOMERVILLE, Somerville of Co. Meath Irish Builder Vol 29 p.152.

TALBOT, Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, of Talbot Castle, Trim.  Burke’s Peerage.

TALBOT, Talbot of Liscarton Castle see Duke of Tyreconnell in Burke’s Dormant and Extinct Peerages.

DASHWOOD-TANDY, Dashwood – Tandy of Johnsbrook, Kells.  Sub De Burgh.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

TAYLOR, Earl of Bective.  Lodge’s Peerage V3.

TAYLOUR, Taylour of Headfort House by James Fleming in the Weekly Irish Times June 25th 1938.

TAYLOUR, Marquiss Headfort, Burke’s Peerage.

THOMPSON, Thompson of Rathnally.  Landed Gentry of Ireland 1958.

THUNDER, Thunder of Lagore, Dunshaughlin.  Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland 1958.

TISDALL, Tisdall of Charlesfort,  Kells.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

TISDALL, Pedigree of Tisdall of Mt. Tisdall, Charlesfort, Bawn, Carrickfergus etc.  by Beresford. D. Tisdall Hendon.  Not Dated.

TISDALL, Tisdall of Charlesfort, Kells.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

TYRRELL, Genealogical history of the Tyrrells sometime of Castleknock in Co. Dublin,  Fertullaghin,  Co. Westmeath and now of Grange Castle,  Co. Kildare,  Clonard,  Co. Meath and elsewhere by Joseph H. Tyrell 1904.

USSHER, USSHER of Balsoon.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

VAUGHEY, The families of Gaughran and Vaughey of Slane, Co. Meath as recorded in the Slane Vestry Books 1738-1862 by CEF Trench. Irish ancestor 1980.

WACHMAN, Sub Daly of Bective House.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

WACHMAN, Wachman of Dunboyne Castle, sub Daly.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

WADE, Wade of Clonebraney, Crossakeel.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

WADE, “Wade of Clonebraney, Co. Meath” in Visitation of Ireland.  Ed by F.A.  Crisp privately printed 1911 Volume 4.

WAKELY, The Wakelys of Navan and Ballyburly by E. Hickey Riocht na Midhe V (1974) 3 – 19.

WALLER, Waller of Allenstown.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

WARD, Ward of Normans Grove, Clonee, Co. Meath.  Burke’s Irish Family 1976.

WARD, Ward of Gunnock’s, Clonee.  Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976.

WENTHWORTH, of Fyanstown, Meath.  Burke’s Colonial Gentry.

WELLESLEY, Dangan,  Mornington and the Wellesleys by Rev.  C.C. Ellison.  Riocht na Midhe – Vol. 3.  No. 4 p.3 1966.  vol. 4.  No. 1 P.3, 1967.

WELLESLEY, Wellesley of Dangan Castle.  Burke’s Peerage under the Duke of Wellington.

WESLEY, Wesley of Dangan,  Meath.  Lodges Peerage III 67.

WINTER, Winter of Agher, Meath.  Burke’s Colonial Gentry 792.

WOODWARD, Woodward of Drumbaragh,  Kells. Landed Gentry 1875.


Local History

Meath is a particular historic county – at one time being one of the five provinces of Ireland.  Pre-historic man left his tracks here in the magnificent tombs of Newgrange, Dowth and Knowth.  The High Kings of Ireland ruled from their palaces on the Hill of Tara.  Christianity is said to have entered Ireland through the Boyne Valley and during the early Christian period many monasteries flourished in the area.  Who has not heard of the famous Book of Kells which may have been written there.  Meath was one of the main strongholds of the Anglo-Normans.  Trim possesses the largest medieval castle in Ireland where many parliaments were held.  Meath has always been a rich county – rich with history, rich in productive land and rich in tradition.

Local histories can give vital clues to the family historian.  These books are compiled by local people who know the area very well but local histories vary in standard and in content.  They usually deal with the historical development of an area and give some of the more important social and economic aspects of that history.  They may also have sections devoted to famous personalities, wildlife or folklore.  Local histories may even mention your family.

The Meath Archaeological and Historical Society publish a journal, “Riocht na Midhe” almost annually.  Lectures and historical walks are also organised.  The Old Drogheda Society is also a very active society.  Smaller societies operate in Duleek, Oldcastle, Skryne and Rathfeigh.

The following is a selection of the best known local histories.

Brady, J. A Short History of the Parishes of the Diocese of Meath 1867 – 1937.  Pub.  1937 – 1944.

Cogan, A.  The Ecclesiastical History of the Diocese of Meath.  Pub.  1874.

Cogan, Very Rev. J. Ratoath.  Pub. c. 1963.

Conlon, L. The Heritage of Collon 1764 – 1984. Pub. 1984.

Coogan, O. A Short History of South – East Meath.  Pub.  1979.

Coogan, O.  A Short History of Dunshaughlin, Culmullen and Knockmark.  Pub. 1990.

Coogan, T. A History of Cortown – Earliest times to 1922.  Pub.  1985.

Coogan, T. and Gaughran,  J.  Charlesfort.  The story of a Meath Estate and its people.  1668-1968.  Pub.  1991.

D’Alton, J.  The History of Drogheda.  Pub.  1844.

D’Alton, J.  Antiquities of the County of Meath.  Pub.  1833.

Fagan, Fr. J.  (Ed.) Killallon Church Sesquicentenary 1837 – 1987.  Pub. 1987.

Farrell, V. Not so much to one side.  (Moynalty parish history)

Fitzsimons, H. The Great Delvin.  Pub. 1975.

Fitzsimons, J. The Parish of Kilbeg.  Pub 1974.

FiIzsimons, J. The Plains of Royal Meath.  Pub. 1978.

French, N. A Short History of Athboy.  Pub. 1985.

French, N. Battle of the Boyne. Pub. 1989.

French, N. Navan by the Boyne.  Pub. 1986

French,N. Trim,Traces and Places. Pub. 1987

French, N.  (Ed.) Nobber, A Step – Back in Time.  Pub.  1991.

Healy, J. A History of the Diocese of Meath (Church of Ireland) Pub. 1908.

Johnstown’s I.C.A. A Local History of Johnstown Parish.  Pub. 1985.

Julianstown I.C.A. A History of Julianstown.  (Ed. E. Delaney) Pub. 1985.

Kelly, F. (Ed.) The Flame – Parish of Kilmainhamwood and Moybologue.  Pub. 1967.

Kingscourt Union (C. of I.)  Historical Sketches of St. Davids church, Syddan & St. Ernan’s church, Kingscourt.  Pub. c. 1980.

Mc Clenaghan, H. Dunshaughlin – Historical Notes.  RCB Library Ms.130.

McCullen, J. The Call of St. Mary’s (Drogheda). Pub. 1984.

McKeever, E. History of Kilmessan and its Environs.

Moore, Dr. B. Typescripts about many parishes and subjects in County Meath.

O’Boyle, E. A History of Duleek.  Pub. 1989.

O’Conghaile, M. Gaeltacht Rathcairn.  Pub. 1986.

O’Meachair, D. A Short History of County Meath.  Pub. 1928.

Paterson, J. (Ed.) Meath and Kildare.  An Historical Guide.  (to the Church of Ireland churches and parishes.)  Pub. 1981.

Rathfeigh Historical Society.  A Window on the Past.  (Skryne and Rathfeigh) Pub. 1987.

Rathfeigh Historical Society.  A Window on the Past II.  Pub. 1991.

Rathkenny  I.C.A.  Rathkenny Parish A Local History.  Pub. 1983.

Simms, A. with K. Simms.  Kells.  Irish Historic Towns Atlas.  Pub.  1990.

Summerhill I.C.A.  Between Dangan Town and Ballymagash.  (A local history of Summerhill and its surrounding areas.)  Pub. 1982.

Trench, C.E.F. Slane.  Pub. 1976.

Thompson, R. Statistical Survey of County Meath.  Pub. 1802.

Ward, M. Sacred Heart Church, Laytown, 1876-1976.  Pub. 1976.

Wilde, W. The Beauties of the Boyne and Blackwater.  Pub. 1850.

The two source books edited by Richard J. Hayes are useful for locating local information in manuscripts or periodicals.  These are – Manuscript sources for the History of Irish Civilisation, published 1965 with a supplement published in 1979, and Periodical Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation published 1970.

The Meath Heritage Centre

the Meath Heritage Centre now houses the most comprehensive research material, held at any one place, to enable individuals with Meath roots to trace their ancestry.  We are continually adding to our source material.

The Meath Heritage Centre was established in 1987.  In order to provide a family history and genealogical service the centre has its main objective the indexation of all the family history source material for the county.  The Centre aims to index all the primary sources:-

parish registers, Tithe Applotment Books, Griffith’s Valuation, Census Records, Civil Registration and gravestone inscriptions.  Initially concentrating on parish registers (baptisms, marriages and burials) a data base of over 300,000 individual records was built up in the first five years of existence.  A reference library has been built up at the centre.

The Meath Heritage Centre provides employment and training for the unemployed in the Meath area.  The Meath Heritage Centre is a non-profit making organisation and all fees received are used to improve our services.

We at the Meath Heritage Centre have the time, the interest, local knowledge and the resources to help you trace your Meath ancestors.

Success cannot be guaranteed in any search and an unsuccessful search is usually more time consuming than a successful one.  The fees charged to enquirers are kept to a minimum and are based on the time and expense involved in the search and not according to the results.  Positive results cannot be guaranteed.  How far back a search goes is dependent on what date the records start in the area to be searched.  Research will be completed as soon as possible, usually within one month, however, where more involved research is required or at peak periods such as Summer reports may take a little longer.


In June 1987 the Heritage Centre idea was first put to Trim Forum for Employment.  The first scheme from FAS commenced at temporary offices at the Credit Union Building in November of that year.  In May 1988 we commenced computerisation of the records on two small personal computers, with a program devised by Fr. Eanna Condon.  The scheme finished in November 1988 and a new scheme did not commence until February 1989.  In March 1989 the Centre’s new offices at High Street were officially opened by Michael Regan who kindly donated the premises for the use of the centre.  In March 1990 the project moved onto a different FAS scheme.  In December of that year our Digital computers arrived.  These will be capable of creating a master index for the county.  Also in that month came news that Trim was to be recognised as a Heritage Town and that a purposely designed Heritage Centre was to be constructed.  In April 1991 Mr. Bertie Ahern, Minister for Labour, officially launched the Meath Heritage Centre’s first publication – a history of the parish of Nobber.  In July of that year the centre acquired a photocopier and microfilm reader/printer with the help of the Irish Genealogical Project.

In September 1992 the President, Mrs Mary Robinson, launched the Heritage Centre’s

second publication – “Wellington – his Irish connections”.

The Meath Heritage Centre would like to acknowledge the great help and support of FAS and the Trim Forum for Employment.  The centre would like to specially thank all the FAS personnel, Martin Daly, Oliver Flood, Con Shanahan, Margaret Toale, Michael Regan, Aiden Heffernan, Peter Higgins, Ferdia Kelly, Offaly Historical Society personnel, John Kearney, Michael Byrne, Fr. Sean McGearty, Meath County Library personnel, Liam Smith, Andy Bennett, Pat Daly, Dr. Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, the Parish Priests in the County, Bishop Walton Empey, Bishop of Meath and Kildare, the Clergy of the county, Monsignor S Kenny, the late Dean Bredin, Meath Chronicle, Weekender, Ken Davis, Una Devine, Christina Hessian, Trim Focus, Meath Archaeological and Historical Society, the IGP, Danny Mc Loughlin, Michael Nicholson, Liam Tracy, Mary Kenny, Anne Finnegan, Thomas Murphy, Sr. Regina O’Reilly, Billy Wilson, Gerard Lee, Sean Cleary, and Trim Chamber of Commerce.


Thank you to all the trainees and supervisors who put in so much effort into the project.  The Centre has received support from many bodies, organisations and individuals.  We would like to thank all who helped and supported the Centre over the years.


Useful Addresses


Railway Street, Navan, Co. Meath. Telephone: 046 – 21134

The Meath County Library is a valuable archive to consult if tracing your ancestors in County Meath.  The local studies section is based at the County Library and is open during normal office hours (9.30 am to 5.00 pm).  The entrance to this section is at the side of the building.

The Local Studies section holds a copy of Griffith’s Valuation, the Tithe Applotment Books (on micro-film), Board of Guardian minute books and Workhouse records for all the county (mostly dating from 1839 to 1921), Meath County Infirmary records (1809 – 1960), some estate records, a current register of Voters and a genealogical reference section.

The County Library has a large collection of local histories and books by local authors. Branch libraries hold small collection of local material.  The County Library would have copies of all this material.  The Library also maintains a bibliography of the county on cards.

Librarians are usually very busy so come prepared with your questions and know what records or books you require if possible.  Librarians do not undertake searches.

BRANCHES AT – Ashbourne, Athboy, Duleek, Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Kells, Laytown, Navan, Nobber, Oldcastle, Slane, Trim.





C/o The Deanery, Loman Street, Trim, Co. Meath

This Office held a collection of miscellaneous records relating to the Church of Ireland Diocese of Meath.  Some information in relation to the clergy was held which may be of benefit to the researcher.  Records transferred to R.C.B Library in 1991. NOW IN RCB LIBRARY





Duleek, Co Meath

Published the Annals of Duleek annually from 1971 to 1977.  Lectures and events are also organised regularly.



Millmount Museum, Drogheda, Co Louth

The Old Drogheda society publish an annual journal giving much local and family history information in relation to the Drogheda area.





University College, Belfield, Dublin 4.



2 Kildare St, Dublin 2



Joyce House, 8-11 Lombard St. East, Dublin 2.



Bishop Street, Dublin 8



Kildare St, Dublin 2.



Phoenix Park, Dublin 8



King’s Inn, Henrietta Street, Dublin 1



Breamor Park, Rathgar, Dublin 14



Church House, Fisherwick, Place, Belfast BT1 69W.



Swanbrook House, Morehampton Rd, Dublin



6 Ely Place, Dublin 2



P.O. Box 36, Naas, Co, Kildare.



Irish branch, Eton Brae, Orwell Rd, Rathgar, Dublin 14.



Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Willows, Finglas Road, Dublin.




C/o Mr. Noel Ross, 5 Oliver Plunkett Park, Dundalk, Co Louth.



The Secretary, Cumann Seachais Ard Mhaca, Pharochial House, Armagh.



Ara Coeli, Armagh, BT6 7QY

This Centre is in the process of indexing all Catholic Parish records for the Diocese of Armagh, which includes Co. Louth. Partial research service.



C/o Cavan Co. Library, Cavan.

Partial Research Service for Co. Cavan.



10 North St, Swords, Co. Dublin.

Partial Research Service for North County Dublin.



Co. Library, Newbridge, Co. Kildare

Partial Research Service



Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly

Full research Service for Co. Offaly



Dun Na Si Heritage Centre, Moate, Co Westmeath.

This Centre is in the process of indexing family history material for Co. Westmeath.


Further Reading

D.F. Begley (ED.) Irish Genealogy: A Record Finder.  Pub. 1981. Dublin

A. Black – Your Irish Ancestors. Pub. 1974, London.

de Breffny – Bibliography of Irish Family History and Genealogy. Pub. 1974, Cork.

Burtchael and Sadlier – Alumni Dublinenses.  Pub. London 1924

Clare – Simple Guide to Irish Genealogy.

A. Dickson Falley – Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research. Pub. Virginia, U.S.A. 1962.

Dublin Public Libraries – How to Trace your Family tree.  Pub. 1988 Dublin.

Genealogical Dept. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – A Genealogical Research Guide for Ireland.  Pub. 1978.

I.A. Glazier and M. Tepper (Eds). The Famine Emigrants – List of Irish emigrants arriving at the Port of New York, 1846 – 1851.

I. Grehan – Irish Family Names.  Pub. 1973. London.

J.  Grenham – Tracing your Irish Ancestors.  Pub. 1992. Dublin.

Heraldic Artists – Handbook of Irish Genealogy.  Pub. 1973, Dublin.

Irish Family History Society – Directory of Parish Registers Indexed in Ireland.  Pub. 1992 Naas.

Mc Carthy – The Irish Roots Guide. Pub. 1991 Dublin.

Mc Lysaght – Bibliograph of Irish Family History. Pub. 1981. Dublin.

Mc Lysaght – Irish Families: Their Names, Arms and Origins. Pub. 1957.

Mc Lysaght – More Irish Families. Pub. 1982.

Magee – Tracing Your Irish Ancestors. Pub. 1986. U.S.A.

B.S. Mitchell – Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy.  Pub. 1988, U.S.A.

B.S Mitchell – A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland.  Pub. 1986. Baltimore U.S.A.

Nolan – Tracing the Past Pub. 1982, Dublin.

Quinn – An Introduction to Irish Ancestry. Pub. 1990. Bray.

Quinn – Trace Your Irish Ancestors. Pub. 1989, Bray.

G. Ryan – Irish Records: sources for Family and Local History. Pub. 1988, Salt Lake City.



 Analecta Hibernica

Directory of Irish Genealogy

Irish Ancestor

Irish Family History. The Journal of the Irish Family History Society.

Irish Genealogist. The Journal of the Irish Genealogical Research Society.

Louth Archaeological Journal.

Riocht na Midhe.