County Galway


"Galway, a county of Ireland, in Connaught, 82 m. long and 42 broad; bounded W by the Atlantic, N by Mayo and Roscommon, E by Roscommon, King's county, and Tipperary, and S by Clare and Galway bay; it contains 2593 square miles, is divided into 116 parishes, and sends 2 members to parliament. The greater part is very fertile; but towards the N and W the soil is coarse. It abounds with rivers and lakes: of its rivers, the principal are the Shannon, the Suck, and the Blackwater: lakes, lough Corrib, lough Reagh, and lough Contra. Pop. 286,921. Chief town, Galway."
[From The New London Gazetteer (1826)]

"COUNTY GALWAY, a maritime county in the province of Connaught, Ireland. It is bounded on the N. by the counties Of Roscommon and Mayo, on the E. by Roscommon, King's County, and Tipperary, on the S. by Clare and Galway Bay, and on the W. by the Atlantic. It lies between 52° 57' and 53° 42' N. lat., and from 7° 53' to 10° 15' W. long. It extends to either side of Connaught; its greatest length from E. to W., from the Shannon to the further extremity of Ennisboffin, being 80 miles, and from N. to S., from the Suck to a point near Toberdony, 42 miles, comprising an area of 1,566,354 acres, of which 742,805 are land under the plough, 90,300 are water, 708,000 are uncultivated or pasture, and 23,718 are plantation. It has a bold coast-line on the S. of 160 miles, exclusive of numerous indentations, the principal of which are Killery Harbour, to the N. of which lies Ballynakill Harbour, offering excellent shelter for large craft; Claggan Bay; Streamstown, a narrow creek; Ardbear Harbour, with the fishing town of Clifden; Mannin Bay; Slyne Head, with two lighthouses; Roundstone, a remarkably fine harbour; Galway Bay lying on the S., with the Islands of Arran protecting the entrance........More
[Description from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

"COUNTY GALWAY, a county, in the province of CONNAUGHT, bounded on the east by the counties of Roscommon, Kings county, and Tipperary, from the former of which it is separated by the Suck, and from the two latter by the Shannon; on the north, by those of Roscommon and Mayo; on the west, by the Atlantic Ocean; and on the south, by Galway bay and the county of Clare. It extends from 52° 57' to 53° 42' (N. Lat.), and from 7° 53' to 10° 15' (W. Lon.); and comprises an area, according to the Ordnance survey, of 1,510,592 acres, of which 955,713 are cultivated land, 476,957 are unprofitable bog and mountain, and 77,922 are under water. The population, in 1821, exclusively of the town and liberties of Galway, which forms a county of itself, was 309,599; and in 1831, 381,564. .....More"   [
[Transcription from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland - Samuel Lewis - 1837  by Mel Lockie ©2013]


Archives & Libraries

Galway City Library

Galway City Museum  "Galway City Museum is a collecting institution – this means that it collects objects and material that relate to Galway, the city and it’s people, past and present. The collection currently comprises over 1,000 objects, most of which have been kindly donated by the people of Galway over the past 40 years....."



Galway Cemetery Records - on IGP

Galway Headstone Photos - on IGP

Search the Archives' Burial Ground Records  at Galway City Library

County Galway, Ireland Cemetery Records - on interment.net

Galway Burial Transcriptions - on Find-a-Grave



Galway Census Records - on IGP

Galway; National Censuses/Substitutes - on fianna

1911 Census - Co Galway FHLC numbers - on fianna


Church Records

Galway Church Records - on IGP

Galway Roman Catholic records - on Irish Ancestors

County Galway; Roman Catholic Records, list - on fianna


Civil Registration

Galway Vital Records - on IGP


Description & Travel

Galway Photos (places) - on IGP

County Galway - on wikipedia

"The county is divided into East and West Ridings, comprising 18 baronies, viz: Athenry, Clare, Dunkellin, Galway, Dunmore. Ballymoe, Killian, Tiaquin, Conmacroon, Kilconnell, Leitrim, Longford, Kiltartan, Loughrea, Ballinahinch, Moycullen, and Ross (the last three are still known as Joyce's Country), Jarconnaught and Connemara; which baronies comprehend 120 parishes, and five-parts of parishes, containing upwards of 75,400 inhabited houses, with a population of 254,256 in 1861, not including the county town of Galway. It contains 12 market towns, viz: Galway, the county town, Gort, Clifden, and Tuam in the West Riding; Ballinasloe, Loughrea, and Portumna in the East Riding; and Eyrecourt, Headford, Athenry, Dunmore, and Kinvarra. The first six of these towns are Poor-law Unions, and the first seven sessions towns, together with Oughterard." 

The principal roads are from Galway to Athenry by Oranmore; to Dublin by Oranmore, Craughwell, Loughrea, Eyrecourt, and Banagher; to Athlone by Athenry, Kilconnel, Augbrim, and Ballinasloe; to New Village by Monivea, Castleblakeney, Ballinamore, and Grey Abbey; to Clare, by Galway, Tuam, and Dunmore; to Connemara, by Lough Corrib, Oughterard, Ballynahinch, and Clifden; or by Oughterard to Maam, Turc, and the Killeries.

The principal fair towns of the county are Aghrinlands, Galway, Ballinamore, Ballinasloe, Claremore, Clonbur, Clonfert, Dunlo, Fairhill, Gort, Kilcorban, Killymore, Mount Bellew Bridge, Tuam, Tubberhadden, Turloughmore, and Williamstown."

[Descriptions from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]



Galway Directory Records - on IGP

Directories, list - on fianna


Emigration & Immigration

County Galway Immigration Records - on IGP

Bios - Galway > Pennsylvania, USA (CONROY, WAKEFIELD, WALSH, CAREY) - on IGP



The transcription for this county from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.

The transcription for this county from the 1837 Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland [ Mel Lockie ©2013]



Researching Your Family Tree - on Galway County Library

John Grenham Website - Free Irish Genealogy Education Site - an excellent resource, including civil, church, property and census records.

Galway Records - on Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

ConnorsGenealogy with assorted records for County Galway and a  look up service.

Galway Photos (people) - on IGP

Miscellaneous records, list - on fianna

County Galway - fianna (Guide to Irish Genealogy)

Farrell, Noel. Ballinasloe Town (Galway). (In the "Exploring Family Origins" Series.). Noel Farrell, Park Road, Longford, Ireland (1998).

Historical Geography

Galway civil parishes - on Irish Ancestors

See the county Galway page on logainm.ie which has links to its civil parish pages

    "The Placenames Database of Ireland was created by Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge in collaboration with The Placenames Branch (Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht). This is a comprehensive management system for data, archival records and placenames research conducted by the State. It is a public resource for Irish people at home and abroad, and for all those who appreciate the rich heritage of Irish placenames."



Oaths of Allegiance 1775 - on IGP

Galway Local History - at Galway County Library


Land & Property

List of Landowners in 1870's - on IGP

Galway Land Records (inc.Encumbered Estates) - on IGP

Griffiths Valuation 1847/64 on the Ask about Ireland site. Use the search box to bring up entries showing Barony/Parish/Townlands and lists of Occupants

Tithe Applotment Books for county Galway and its  parishes are available online on the National Archives of Ireland website (free).

  • The Tithe Applotment Books were compiled between 1823 and 1838 as a survey of land in each civil parish to determine the payment of tithes (a religious tax). Unlike Griffith's Valuation they do not cover cities or towns.

Military Records

Galway Military & Constabulary (Irish Constabulary with native county of Galway, 1831+) - on IGP


Monumental Inscriptions

Galway Headstone Photos - on IGP

Galway Memorial Cards - on IGP

Galway Burial Transcriptions - on Find-a-Grave


Names, Personal

Surnames found in Galway 1100-1600 - on IGP



Galway Newspaper Records - on IGP



Galway Obituaries & Funeral Entries - on IGP



"At Oughterard a very handsome green serpentine is quarried. Green, black, and some other very fine marbles are brought from Ballinahinch, Angliham, and Merlin Park, and are largely exported. Copper and lead ore are also found, and the Twelve Pins are highly metalliferous. Ironstone is abundant at Woodfood, Lawrencetown, and Gort, at which last place manganese is procured. Yellow ochre is raised at Athenry, and a sulphur mine is worked at Connemara.

The climate of Galway is mild, and, though damp in some localities, is as a whole very salubrious. Frost and snow are little known, and cattle during winter are often left unhoused. The coast country suffers severely from frequent storms and heavy rains. The best soil is found in a district stretching over Gort, Loughrea, Eyrecourt, and Ballinasloe, upon which very excellent wheat is raised, the other principal crops are oats, barley, potatoes, and meadow. The fences are mostly constructed of stone, and there are extensive tracts of pasture land. The state of agriculture is very backward, except in the most favoured districts, and on the properties recently purchased under the Encumbered Estates Act by English and Scotch proprietors, who have already introduced great improvements, chiefly in the draining and weeding of the land, Great numbers of cattle are driven to Ballinasloe fair.

The inhabitants of the coast are nearly all engaged in the fisheries, which are very considerable, chiefly cod, herring, turbot, mackerel, salmon, oysters, and lobsters; formerly the harpooning of the sunfish, or basking-shark, was pursued with great spirit. Kelp' is made in large quantities along the coast.

Linens of inferior quality, woollens, and felt goods are manufactured."

 [Description from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]



At Galway County Library (online) "The Galway Reader is a journal published by Galway County Libraries between 1948 and 1954, and edited by Samuel J. Maguire, the first County Librarian for Galway, 1926-1955. The journalis comprised of a series of articles, primarily written by Maguire, on the history of Galway based on the resources in the Library’s local studies collection. Many of these are short but are highly readable and very accessible. The articles cover a wide range of topics relating to County Galway, from famous events and people, to the Famine and War of Independence, and to sport and flora and fauna."

From Fianna:

Blazer: The Craughwell and Ballymona Parish Magazine (annual)
Mr. P.J. Callanan, N.T., Benison House, Craughwell

Galway Archaeological and Historical Society Journal (annual)
Mr. P. O'Dowd, Hon. Secretary, Business Studies Department
R.T.C., Galway


Poor Houses, Poor Law


  • There were ten workhouses in county Galway.  Those at Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, and Tuam were established in the 1840s. The Unions at Glenamaddy, Mountbellew, Oughterard and Portumna were established in 1852. Galway County Council Archives holds some archives, mainly Board of Guardian minutes, from all Unions except Oughterard and only one item for Portumna Union.

    • Map of Galway City, circa 1900, showing location of the Workhouse and County Hospital

    • G00/5 Ballinasloe Poor Law Union 1842-1931

    • Clifden Poor Law Union GPL3/, 1849 – 1921

    • Galway Poor Law Union, 1839 - 1937

    • GPL1 Glenamaddy Poor Law Union 1894-1913‌, 2 volumes only

    • Loughrea Poor Law Union, 1839 – 1922

    • GPL4/ Mountbellew Poor Law Union, 1850 –1921 (1st 10 volumes)

    • Mountbellew Girls A Tale of Two Workhouse Emigrants 1852

    • GS01/4 Portumna Poor Law Union, 1881-1884

    • GPL5/ Tuam Poor Law Union, 1839 – 1926



Probate Records

Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland - 1536-1810 - Galway Extracts "A-B Surnames" - on IGP

Galway Wills - on IGP


Religion & Religious Life

Meeting of Catholic Inhabitants of Galway - 1792 - on IGP