County Wexford Genealogy

County Wexford Genealogy

Wexford Ancestry - County Wexford Family History

Irish name: Loch Garman

County Wexford is one of the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland and one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland. It is located in the province of Leinster. It was named after the town of Wexford (which derives from the Old Norse name Veisafjǫrðr or Waesfjord).

In pre-Norman times it was part of the Kingdom of Uí Cheinnsealaig, whose capital was at Ferns. The population of the county is 131,749 according to the 2006 census. Wexford is the 13th largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and 16th largest in terms of population. It is the largest of Leinster’s 12 counties in size and fourth largest in terms of population.

The county is rich in evidence of early human habitation. Portal tombs (sometimes called dolmens) exist at Ballybrittas (on Bree Hill) and at Newbawn — and date from the Neolithic period or earlier. Remains from the Bronze Age period are far more widespread. Early Irish tribes formed the Kingdom of Uí Cheinnsealaig, an area that was slightly larger than the current County Wexford. The county was one of the earliest areas of Ireland to be Christianised, in the early 5th century. Later, from 819 onwards, the Vikings plundered many Christian sites in the county. Wexford town became a Viking settlement near the end of the 9th century.

Wexford was the site of the invasion of Ireland by Normans in 1169 at the behest of Diarmuid Mac Murrough, King of Uí Cheinnsealaig and king of Leinster (Laigin), which led to the subsequent colonisation of the country by the Anglo-Normans.

The native Irish began to regain some of their former territories in the 14th century, especially in the north of the county, principally under Art MacMurrough Kavanagh. Under Henry VIII the great religious houses were dissolved, 1536-41 - in Co. Wexford this included Glascarrig Priory, Clonmines Priory, Tintern Abbey, and Dunbrody Abbey.

On 23 October 1641, a major rebellion broke out in Ireland, and Co. Wexford produced strong support for Confederate Ireland. Oliver Cromwell and his English Parliamentarian Army arrived 1649 in the county and captured it. The lands of the Irish and Anglo-Normans were confiscated and given to Cromwell's soldiers as payment for their service in the Parliamentarian Army. At Duncannon, in the south-west of the county, James II, after his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne, embarked for Kinsale and then to exile in France.

Co. Wexford was the most important area in which the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was fought, during which significant battles occurred at Vinegar Hill (Enniscorthy) and New Ross. The famous ballad Boolavogue was written in remembrance of the Wexford Rising. At Easter 1916, a small rebellion occurred at Enniscorthy town, on cue with that in Dublin. During World War II, German planes bombed Campile. In 1963 John F. Kennedy, then President of the United States, visited the county and his ancestral home at Dunganstown, near New Ross.

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Civil Parishes of County Wexford

If you are researching Wexford ancestors, there are many civil parishes in County Wexford and the church registries can be researched in the Public Records Offices of Northern Ireland in Belfast or National Library in Dublin. They are as follows;

Genealogy Sources for each Irish County

Antrim Armagh Carlow Cavan
Clare Cork Derry (Londonderry) Donegal
Down Dublin Fermanagh Galway
Kerry Kildare Kilkenny Laois
Leitrim Limerick Longford Louth
Mayo Meath Monaghan Offaly
Roscommon Sligo Tipperary Tyrone
Waterford Westmeath Wexford Wicklow

Major Sources of Irish Ancestry

Church Records Land Records Directories
Registry of Deeds Wills Emigration Records
Newspapers

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OUR PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IS NOW REDUCED

My Irish Ancestors have reduced our Preliminary Research by 65%

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