County Offaly, in Ireland was formerly known as King’s County. It is located in the Irish Midlands in the province of Leinster and consists of 771 square miles with its greatest length being 52 miles from the River Ollatrim near Moneygall to the boundary near Edenderry.
Anciently, it was part of the Kingdom of Ui Failghe from which it gets its present name. The British began occupation in the thirteen century, but did not gain control until the sixteen century when it was named King’s County in 1547 in honour of King Philip II of Spain. Its name was changed to Offaly in 1920 and it became part of the Republic of Ireland on its formation in 1921.
In 1821, the population was 131,088. It increased to 146,857 in 1841, but then began to decrease to 52,592 in 1926. In 2006, the population was 70,868. In 1871, 88.8% of the population were Roman Catholic with 9.9% of the Church of Ireland, 0.4% Presbyterians and 0.5% Methodists. In 1926, 92.6% were Roman Catholic with 6.5% Church of Ireland.
1885 County Map: Courtesy of London Ancestor | Note that during this time period it was known as King's County
Game Licences for Co. Offaly and Co. Galway in 1821. List of Game Licences for each applicant of Co. Offaly and Co. Galway published in the Limerick Crhronicle. Each entry gives name, and their residential address. Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol. XVII no. 1. 1985 pages 23-25. Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i
Abstracts of Wills. Article has a collection of Will Abstracts, gathered from many sources including Owine Dempsie, of Cloinguaine, King's County 24 Feb. 1637. Article found in The Irish Ancestor, vol.II, no. 2 1970 page 117-127, Family History Ref. 941.5 B2i
Goodbody, Olive C. Quaker Inventories. Deaths and inventories of some Quakers in Co. Kildare, Dublin and Offaly including Robert Fayle, a farmer at Killone (Killowen) in the parish of Castlejordan in the northern part of Offaly, whose Will was proved in Prerogative Court in 1758. Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol.III. no.1.1971 pages 52-62, Family History Ref. 941.5 B2i
Abstract of Wills. Article lists heirs of John Baldwin of Coroghlanty, Kings Co. dies 1699. Article in The Irish Ancestor, vo.V. no.1.1973 pages 53-61. Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i v5-6.