County Carlow, Ireland Genealogy
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Guide to County Carlow ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
The Normans invaded Carlow in the twelfth century and the land came into the possession of Strongbow, the Norman leader. The town of Carlow was an important Norman stronghold and was walled in 1361 to protect it from the neighboring Gaelic chieftains, who eventually captured the town in 1405. The County joined the Catholic Confederacy in 1641, which was defeated by Cromwell’s forces in 1650. Famine wiped out a lot of the population, cutting it in half.
Carlow Castle was constructed, to guard the vital river crossing. It was also to serve as the capital of the Lordship of Ireland from 1361 until 1374. This imposing structure survived largely intact until 1814 when it was mostly destroyed in an attempt to turn the building into a lunatic asylum. The original structure was largely replaced and widened in 1815 when it was named Wellington Bridge in celebration of the defeat of Napoleon's army by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo in June of that year. The bridge was built across a small island in the river and a 19th-century house was constructed on the bridge – this was for a time occupied by the Poor Clares, an enclosed religious order. In 1650, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Carlow was besieged and taken by English Parliamentarian forces, hastening the end of the Siege of Waterford and the capitulation of that city. During the 1798 rebellion Carlow was the scene of a massacre of 600 rebels and civilians following an unsuccessful attack on the town by the United Irishmen, known as the Battle of Carlow. In 1650, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Carlow was besieged and taken by English Parliamentarian forces, hastening the end of the Siege of Waterford and the capitulation of that city. During the 1798 rebellion Carlow was the scene of a massacre of 600 rebels and civilians following an unsuccessful attack on the town by the United Irishmen, known as the Battle of Carlow. The Liberty Tree sculpture in Carlow, designed by John Behan, commemorates the events of 1798.
The Great Famine of 1845-1847 badly affected the County. Ten thousand people died of starvation or other impacts of the Great Famine. The population continued to decrease reaching 34,476 in 1921. Carlow is predominately Roman Catholic. In 1891, the percentage of Roman Catholic 88.3%. The Church of Ireland, Presbyterians and Methodists decreased to 4.3%, 0.2% and 0.2%, respectively, with other or no religions increasing to about 5%.
The population of County Carlow is roughly 24,272 people.
General Information about this county
- The county of Carlow is an inland county of the province of Leinster and is bounded by Wicklow, Wexford, Kilkenny, Laois, and Kildare.
- The county is completely within the diocese of Leighlin. The county contains the burough, market, and assize town of Carlow; the market and post-town of Tullow, Bagnalstown, and Leighlin-Bridge; the market-town of Hacketstown, and the post-town of Clonegal. The county courthouse and gaol are in Carlow.
- Carlow is almost exclusively an agricultural district.
Information provided by the 1847 edition of Samuel Lewis' "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland."
- 1901 - Ireland Census, 1901 at FamilySearch — index
- 1911 - Ireland Census, 1911 at FamilySearch — index
Civil Jurisdictions and Parish Research Information
- 1845-1913 - Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1845-1958 - Ireland Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958 at FamilySearch — index and images
Land and Property
Archives and Libraries
Carlow Central Library
Tullow Street, Carlow
Old School, College Street, Co. Carlow
Link Road, Tullow, Co. Carlow
Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society
P. O. Box
162, Carlow, Ireland
- GENUKI County Carlow
- RootsChat Carlow Resources and Help.
- County Carlow Ireland GenWeb
- Genealogy of the UK, County Carlow
- Genealogy Links Carlow
- Irish Pen Pals Carlow County
- IrishRoots Carlow County