County Wexford, Ireland Genealogy
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Guide to County Wexford ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
Wexford is part of the province of Leinster on the south-east coast of Ireland. Wexford is named after the City of Wexford which was named by the old Norse word Waesjord, meaning inlet or bay of washed mud flats. The county covers about 909 square miles (2,352 sq km). Its length is 55 miles from the south-west boundary of Arklow (County Wicklow) to Hook Head. Its breadth is 29 miles from Greenore Point to New Ross.
Settlements in Wexford are shown on maps dated in the second century. The Norse Vikings established the town of Wexford in the ninth or tenth century as a trading settlement. The Norse were eventually driven out of this area to the area around Rosslare where they gradually were assimilated into the local population. They were replaced by the steady influx of Normans, Flemish, French and Welsh. The first Norman invasion was in 1169. In 1610, there was a small plantation of English settlers in northern part of the county.
Wexford was part of the Confederacy of Irish Catholics who rebelled in 1641 which led to Oliver Cromwell besieging Wexford in 1649. On their surrender, the lands of the chief leaders of the rebellion were confiscated. Many were transported to the West Indies or forced to move west of the Shannon. The confisgated lands were given to those supporting the English Parliament or to Cromwell’s officers and soldiers as payment. Later, many English families were brought to Enniscorthy in 1661 to work at the iron works. In the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishment, the county was a major center. A large army of the United Irishmen took control of Wexford and Enniscorty and controlled the county.
The population was 170,806 in 1821 and grew to 202,033 in 1841. It was affected less by the potato famine than most counties. Its population only decreased to 180,158 in 1851. The population, however, continued to decrease until it was only 95,848 in 1926. In 2006, the population was 131,749. The predominant religion in the county is Roman Catholic. In 1871, 90.7% of the population were Roman Catholic followed by the Church of Ireland at 8.5% with 0.3% each being Presbyterian and Methodists. Overtime there has been a slight increase in the percentage of Roman Catholic to 94.0% in 1926. In 1926, the Church of Ireland decreased to 5.3% with 0.15% and 0.23% being Presbyterian and Methodist, respectively.
General Information about this county
- The county of Wexford is a maritime county of the province of Leinster bounded by Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny, and Waterford.
- The county, with the exception of two parishes (which are in the diocese of Dublin), is entirely within the diocese of Ferns. The county is divided into the baronies of Ballaghkeen, Bantry, Bargy, Forth, Gorey, Scarawalsh, Shelbourne, and Shelmalier. The county contains the ancient episcopal town of Ferns; the borough and market-towns of Wexford and New Ross; the market and post-towns of Gorey, Enniscorthy, Newtownbarry, and the disfranchised borough of Fethard; and the post-towns of Arthurstown, Broadway, ClonegalCamolin, Taghmon. The smaller villages or penny posts are Ballycarny, Bannow, Bridgetown, Duncannon, Kyle, and Oulart.
- In the eastern and southern districts of County Wexford, the temperature is milder because of their proximety to the sea.
- The major crops are potatoes, barley, oats, beans, and clover.
- Previously, the manufacture of coarse woolen cloth was important throughout the county, particularly in and around Tintern. The industry eventually died out.
Information provided by the 1847 edition of Samuel Lewis' "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland."
General County Research Information
Further information about County Wexford is available at the GenUKI site.
Archives and Libraries
County Wexford Heritage and Genealogy Centre
Yola Farmstead, Tagoat, County Wexford
Website: County Wexford Heritage and Genealogy Centre
Wexford County Library
Teach Shionoid, Abbey Street, Wexford, County Wexford
Website:Wexford County Library
Wexford Town Public Library
McCauley's Car Park (off Redmond Square), Wexford, County Wexford
Civil Jurisdictions and Parish Research Information
Land and Property
- 1885 County Map: Courtesy of London Ancestor
- Valentine Gill map of Co. Wexford, 1811 at the Wexford County Archive
Ffolliott, Rosemary. Some Connecting Links between Ireland and the New World from Old Newspapers. Article contains alphabetical listings of births, marriages and deaths in the Munster newspapers, covering U.S.A, Canada, West Indies and England. Article found in The Irish Ancestor, vol 2, no. 1, 1970 pages 62-69. Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i
Bannow Historical Society
Taghmon Historical Society
Website Taghmon Historical Society
Wexford Family History Society
Wexford County Wexford
Wexford Historical Society