Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors

Like the other county books in this series, Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors, by Gretta Connell, describes the records available for County Westmeath. Descriptions include the location of these resources, how they can be accessed, and how they can be used in tracing local families.

“Westmeath is an inland county in the province of Leinster, it is often referred to as ‘The Lake County’. It is primarily agricultural, with prime grazing land and a reputation for its beef. The main towns are Athlone, Mullingar, Castlpollard, Kilbeggan and Moate.”

Ironically, the county’s population was less affected by the Great Famine than most of the country. However, that has not stopped the populations from declining from 141,000 in 1845 to around 86,000 today.

The original population was predominately Gaelic. The main Gaelic surnames in the county are:

  • O’Flanagan
  • MacAuley
  • MacGeoghegan
  • Brennan
  • O’Coffey
  • O’Mulleady
  • O’FInlan
  • O’Growney
  • O’Melaghlin
  • O’Daly

The 1169 Norman invasion brought the following names to the area:

  • DeLacy
  • Plunkett
  • Nugent
  • Tuite
  • Petit
  • Delamar
  • Dalton

And, of course, other names were added during the Cromwellian period; including:

  • Ledwich
  • Dardis
  • Gaynor

Many of the sources listed in this book are common to other counties as well. For example, the National Archives, serves all areas. There are, however, plenty of local resources to examine and learn about.


Table of Contents



Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Conducting Family Research

Chapter 3 Administrative Divisions

Chapter 4 Civil Registration

Chapter 5 Censuses and Census Substitutes

Chapter 6 Church Records

Chapter 7 Land Records

Chapter 8 Will, Administrations and Marriage Bonds

Chapter 9 Newspapers

Chapter 10 Directories and Occupational Sources

Chapter 11 Memorial Inscriptions

Chapter 12 Education

Chapter 13 Family Names and Histories

Chapter 14 Further Reading

Chapter 15 Repositories and Useful Addresses



Copies of Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors are available from Family Roots Publishing; Sale Price: $18.66; Reg. Price: $21.95

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