County Waterford, Ireland Genealogy
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Guide to County Waterford ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
County Waterford (Irish: Contae Phort Láirge) is a county in Ireland. It is located in the province of Munster. County Waterford is a maritime county and is located on the southeastern coast of Ireland, in the province of Munster. Its area is about 710 square miles (1838 sq km) and is the 21st largest county in Ireland. The county was named for Waterford City whose name comes from the Old Norse name of Vadrarfjord, which is said to mean Windy Fiord. It is also referred to as “The Déise” or Decie. The Déise is the name of a major tribe that migrated southward from Meath and settled in what is now County Waterford. Waterford City, however, was settled by the Danes in the ninth century and became one of their raiding settlements.
The Normans invaded Waterford in the twelfth century and Waterford City became their stronghold, second only to Dublin in importance. Part of the county was confiscated from its owners and given to English settlers in 1583 after the insurrection of the Earl of Desmond. King John granted the territory a charter in 1206. Due to a war with Hugh O’Neill many English settlers left in 1598. Waterford was part of the insurrection of the Catholic confederacy which fought Cromwell’s army in 1641 and lost. This led another small settlement in 1650.
The population was 261,865 in 1821 and grew to 312,956 in 1841. Its population decreased to 312,956 in 1851; an 18% decrease primarily due to the potato famine. The population continued to decrease until it was only 127,586 in 1926. In 2006, the population was 107,961 in 2006. The predominant religion in the county is Roman Catholic. In 1861, 93.8% of the population were Roman Catholic followed by the Church of Ireland at 5.4% with 0.3% each being Presbyterian and Methodists. Overtime there has been a slight increase in the percentage of Roman Catholic to 96.9% in 1926. In 1926, the Church of Ireland decreased to 2.6% with 0.16% and 0.121% being Presbyterian and Methodist, respectively.
General Information about this county
- The county of Waterford is a maritime county of the province of Munster, and is bounded by Cork, Tipperary, Kilkenny, and Wexford.
- The county comprises the whole of the diocese of Waterford and the greater part of Lismore in the province of Cashel. It is divided into the baronies of Coshbride and Coshmore, Decies-without-Drum, Decies-within-Drum, Gaultier, Glenahiery, Middlethird, and Upperthird. The county contains the borough, market, and seaport town of Dungarvan; the seaport, market, and post-town of Dunmore; the seaport and market-town of Tramore; and the seaport town of Passage East. It also has the market and post-towns of Lismore and Tallow, as well as the post-towns of Cappoquin, Clashmore, Portlaw, and Kilmacthomas. There is also the maritime village of Bonmahon.
- Two-thirds of the county is agricultural with wheat, barley, bere, oats, and potatoes the main crops.
- Carrick-on-Suir was once the centre of extensive woollens manufacturing.
[Information provided by the 1847 edition of Samuel Lewis' 'Topographical Dictionary of Ireland]
- Further information about County Waterford is available at the GenUKI site.
Archives and Libraries
Waterford County Council Library Service,
Dungarvan Central Library
Telephone: (+353) 58 41231
Civil Jurisdictions and Parish Research Information
Land and Property
- 1885 County Map: Courtesy of London Ancestor
- Abstracts of Wills. Article is a collection of Will Abstracts gathered from many sources, and includes Samuel GORDON of Spring Garden. 26 Aug. 1755, proved in the Prerogative Court, 23 July 1757. Article found in The Irish Ancestor, vol.II, no.2, 1970 pages 117-127, Family History Library 941.5 B2i.
- To view a list of Waterford web sites, visit FHLFavorites.info
- GENUKI - Genuki
- RootsChat Waterford Resources and Help pages. (Free).
- Genealogy links
- Iirish pen pals
- Waterford City and County - Research Family History
- Waterford Genweb
- Waterford Genealogy - Irish Family History Foundation