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County Westmeath

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"Westmeath, a county of Ireland, province of Leinster, bounded N by Cavan, E by Eastmeath, S by King's county, NW by Longford, and W by Roscommon, 33 Irish m. long from E to W and 27 broad, contains 249,943 acres, Irish plantation measure, including bogs, mountain, and waste. It is agreeably interspersed with beautiful lakes. The chief rivers are the Shannon, Inny, and Brosna. It returns 3 members to the Imperial parliament. Pop. 128,042." [From The New London Gazetteer (1826)]

"COUNTY WESTMEATH, an inland county in the province of Leinster, Ireland, is bounded N. by the counties of Longford, Cavan, and Meath, E. by the county of Meath, S. by King's County, and W. by Roscommon and Longford. It lies between 53° 8' and 53° 48' N. lat., 6° 54' and 7° 55' W. long. Its extreme length from E.N.E. to W.S.W. is 36 miles, and its greatest breadth at right angles to that line is 2 miles. Its area is 708 square miles, or 463,468 acres, of which 365,218 are arable, 56,392 are uncultivated, 8,803 in plantations, 628 in towns, and 22,427 under water. The population in 1841 was 141,300, in 1851 it was 111,407, and in 1861 it was 90,879, or only 64 per cent, of the population in 1841. In 1861, 16,589 houses were inhabited, 435 were uninhabited, and 39 in course of construction. The Poor-law valuation in 1851 was £257,551, and the general valuation in 1861 was £314,544. The number of persons from this county who emigrated from Irish ports with the expressed intention of not returning between May, 1851, and December, 1865, was 24,456, or 22 per cent. of the population at the former date. The county formed the western division of the kingdom of Meath, to which Longford also belonged...........More "  [Description from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

"WESTMEATH, a county, of the province of LEINSTER, bounded on the east by the county of Meath 3 on the north, by those of Meath, Cavan, and Longford; on the west, by those of Longford and Roscommon; and on the south, by the King's county. It extends from 53° 18' to 53° 47' (N. Lat.j, and from 6° 55' to 7° 55' (W. Lon.) 3 comprising an area, according to the Ordnance survey, of 386,251 statute acres, of which 313,935 are cultivated land, 55,982 are unimproved mountain and bog, and 16,334 are under water. The population, in 1821, amounted to 128,819; and in 1831, to 136,872....More"  [Transcription from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland - Samuel Lewis - 1837 Mel Lockie ©2013]

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Archives & Libraries

Westmeath County Libraries

Local Studies - at Westmeath County Libraries

Archives Dept - at Westmeath County Libraries

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Cemeteries

Westmeath Cemetery Records - on IGP

Westmeath Headstone Photos  - on IGP

County Westmeath Cemetery Records - on interment.net

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Census

Westmeath; National Censuses/Substitutes - on fianna

1911 Census - Co Westmeath FHLC numbers - on fianna

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Charities

List of orphans from the Protestant Orphan Society in Westmeath - on IGP

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Church Records

Westmeath Church Records - on IGP

Westmeath Roman Catholic records - on Irish Ancestors

County Westmeath; Roman Catholic Records, list, dates - on fianna

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Civil Registration

 Westmeath Vital Records - on IGP

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Court Records

Grand Jury Records - at Westmeath County Libraries

Oaths of Allegiance - 1775 - on IGP

Return of all Offences committed in the above County since Summer Assizes 1869 to Spring Assizes 1870    on IGP 
Return of all Offences committed in the above County committed since Summer Assizes 1870    on IGP

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Description & Travel

"The Midland Great Western railway passes through the county from E. to W., and communicates with Dublin and Galway, with branch lines from Mullingar to Sligo, and to Clones and the N., and the Tullamore branch of the Great Southern and Western line affords easy access to the S. The principal roads are those from Dublin to Longford, Granard, and Athlone respectively; branches from these lead to the other portions of the county.." [Description from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

Westmeath  - on wikipedia

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Directories

Directories, list - on fianna

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Gazetteers

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]

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Genealogy

The Ireland Genealogy Project's County Westmeath page, and its listing of the Project's available Westmeath Records.

The Irish Ancestors website (subscription) has the following types of records: State Registration of Births, Marriages & Deaths, Census returns, Land records, Church records, Genealogical Office records, Gravestone inscriptions, Directories, Newspapers, Wills, Deeds, and Occupations.

Irish Ancestors' extensive County Westmeath website.

The LDS FamilySearch Wiki's Ireland Online Genealogy Records for County Westmeath.

The Fianna website's pages for County Westmeath provide important addresses and extensive information about online and other genealogy resources.

Roots Ireland (subscription) "offers access to a unique database of more than 20 million Irish records". Its Westmeath coverage includes Baptismal/Birth Records, Marriage Records, Burial/Death Records, Gravestone Inscriptions, Griffith's Valuation (Free Access), and Census Substitutes.

Genealogy  - at Westmeath County Libraries

Local study ebooks - on the Internet Archive

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Historical Geography

"[The county] is divided into 12 baronies -Brawny, Clonlonan, Corkaree, Delvin, Farbill, Fartullagh, Fore, Kilkenny West, Moyashel and Magheradernan, Moycashel, Moygoish, and Rathconrath, and contains 63 parishes." [Descriptions from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

Civil Parishes - on Irish Ancestors

See the county Westmeath 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."

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Land & Property

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

Westmeath Landowners 1870's - on IGP

Various land records - on IGP

Rental of the Estates of the Trustees & Guardians of Wilson's Hospital in the County of Westmeath - on IGP

Tithe Applotment Books for county Westmeath 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.
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Law & Legislation

Westmeath Murders, 1848-1870 - on IGP

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Merchant Marine

"The Shannon is navigable through its entire course to the sea, and steamers ply on it daily between Athlone and Limerick. The Royal canal, connecting Dublin with the Shannon navigation at Termonbarry, crosses the county from E. to N.W., passing near Killucan and Mullingar, and there is a branch from the Grand canal between Philipstown and Tullamore to Kilbeggan in this county. " [Description from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

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Military Records

Westmeath Military & Constabulary Records (Irish Constabulary with native county of Westmeath 1840+)  - on IGP

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Monumental Inscriptions

Westmeath Headstone Photos  - on IGP

Westmeath Memorial Cards - on IGP

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Names, Personal

Westmeath Surnames County West Meath 1100 thru 1600  - on IGP

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Newspapers

Westmeath Newspaper Records - on IGP  (inc. Fugitives for Debt - Westmeath 1730-31)

Local Newspapers at Westmeath County Libraries

Newspapers Available on microfilm at the Local Studies Dept., Mullingar Library.

    Midland Reporter and Westmeath Nationalist 1891-1939
    Westmeath Guardian 1835-1896
    Midland Chronicle and Westmeath Independent: Mullingar 1827
    Midland Herald 1949-1956
    Westmeath Journal 1813, 1823-1834
    Westmeath Examiner 1882-2009
    Sunday Tribune 1983-1985

Original newspapers at  Mullingar Library

    Midland Topic 1975-1977, 1986-1990
    Westmeath Topic 1991-2008

Newspapers Available on Microfilm at Aidan Heavey Library , Athlone.

    Athlone Independent 1833-1836
    Athlone Sentinel 1834-1861
    Athlone Conservative Advocat June 1837
    Athlone Mirror 1841-1842
    Westmeath Herald 1859-1861
    Westmeath Independent 1860-1920, 1923- 2009
    Athlone Times 1887, 1889-1900
    Athlone News 1961-1962
    Athlone Observer 1985-1995

Original newspapers at Aidan Heavey Library , Athlone.

    Athlone Topic 2004-2007
    Athlone Voice 2003-2008

 

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Obituaries

Westmeath Memorial Cards - on IGP

Westmeath Obituaries - on IGP

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Occupations

"The soil in the eastern parts is a rich loam, from 7 to 12 inches in depth, resting on a yellow till, producing fine pastures. The central and northern districts are hilly, but large numbers of sheep and black cattle are fed on it. The soil in the western parts is interspersed with bog, but it produces potatoes, oats, and flax. Horses are extensively reared to supply the Dublin and English markets, and large numbers of pigs are kept. Dairies are numerous, and a small quantity of cheese is made. Wheat and barley are very little grown; the principal crops are oats and potatoes. In 1865, 115,177 acres, or 32 per cent. of the arable land was under crops. Of this extent only 1,196 acres were under wheat, and 668 under barley, here, and rye, 38,660 under oats, 16,548 of potatoes, 6,619 of turnips, 1,301 of other green crops, 342 of flax, and 50,943 of meadow and clover.

There were only three counties in Ireland, of which a large proportion of the entire area was grass, exclusive of meadow and clover-viz:, Meath, Limerick, and Fermanagh. In 1863 there were on 11,943 holdings 13,481 horses, 4,192 mules and asses, 79,312 cattle, 132,428 sheep, 15,634 pigs, 4,405 goats, 218,503 poultry, of the estimated value of £792,132. The peasantry are intelligent, and readily adopt improved systems of farming. Their houses are small, but neatly kept. Of 17,526 families in 1861, 7,334 were returned as engaged in agriculture, 2,736 at some manufactures or trades, and 7,455 were employed at other pursuits. Flour and meal are manufactured in large quantities, and there are two woollen factories containing 1,692 spindles, and 25 where about 120 persons are employed. "

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

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Politics & Government

"The county returns three members to parliament, two for the county at large, constituency 3,568 in 1865, and one for Athlone burgh, constituency 219." [Descriptions from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

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Poor Houses, Poor Law

Board of Guardian records - at Westmeath County Libraries

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Probate Records

Westmeath Wills - on IGP

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Religion & Religious Life

"The county belongs chiefly to the diocese of Meath, but also to that of Ardagh, which is united to the sees of Kilmore and Elphin. In the Roman Catholic distribution it is in the diocese of Meath, and the joint diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. Of the population in 1861, 6,336, or 7.0 per cent., were members of the Established church; 83,749, or 92.1 per cent., were Roman Catholics; and 794, or 0.9 per cent., belonged to other denominations. "  [Descriptions from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

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Schools

"In 1861 there were 110 National schools, 30 schools under the church education and other societies, and 27 private schools, in which primary education was given, and there were 7 superior schools in which the course of instruction included at least one foreign language. In that year 38 per cent. of the population over five years of age were wholly ignorant, 21 per cent. could read only, and 41 per cent. could read and write. In 1841 the percentages were 52, 22, and 26 respectively. In 1863 there were 124 National schools, attended by 6,422 males and 7,122 females. "[Descriptions from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018]

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Voting Records

Athlone Voters List - 1861 - on IGP