County Wicklow, Ireland Genealogy

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Gotoarrow.png Ireland Gotoarrow.png County Wicklow
County Wicklow Map Ireland.jpg

County Wicklow is known as the “Garden of Ireland” because of its great variety of scenery and is located in the province of Leinster on the east coast of Ireland just south of County Dublin.

The County is named after the town of Wicklow, whose name is derived from Viking settlers in the late eighth and early ninth centuries. Some historians believe the origin of the name is from Viking Alo (Viking’s Beacon) or Viking's Meadow.

The County’s Irish name is Chill Mhantáin (kill man-tawn). When St. Patrick returned to Ireland in 432 AD, he landed at Travilahawk. The local chieftain sent his people out to discourage their arrival. Stones were tossed down on them and one of St. Patrick’s monks lost his teeth. The toothless monk later returned to Wicklow Town to build a church and became known as Manntan (Gubby). They called the place Cill Mhantain (Gubby’s Church), which is the Irish or Gaelic name for County Wicklow.

Its length is 41 miles from Bray to the southern corner near Ballingate House and it is 31 ½ miles in breadth from Mizen Head to the boundary near Dunlavin. The area is 781.6 square miles (2,024.4 sq km).

The County was the territory of the O’Brynes and O’Tooles in pre-Norman times. Along its coast, there were also several Viking settlements including Wicklow and Arklow. The Normans invaded the County near the end of the twelfth century and the coastal towns were under their power. In 1606, County Wicklow was formed from land that was previously part of Counties Dublin and Carlow; becoming the last county to be formed in Ireland, about 400 years after the first county.  After the Irish Catholic Rebellion in 1641, Cromwell took over the forts and strongholds, but the mountains of Wicklow provided refuge for the rebels until after the 1798 rebellion, when the Military Road was built through the mountains to provide access to end the rebellion.

In 1821, the County’s population was 110,767 and increased to 126,143 in 1841. During the Great Famine of 1845-1847, the population decreased until it was 98,979 in 1851. The population continued to decrease to 57,591 in 1926. In 2006, the population was 126,194. County Wicklow is predominately Roman Catholic. In 1891, the percentage of Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist was 79.3%, 18.7%, 0.7% and 1.0%. Overtime, the Roman Catholics increased to 81.8% in 2002, while the Church of Ireland, Presbyterians and Methodists decreased to 6.9%, 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively, with other or no religions increasing to about 5.8%.

General Information about this county

  • The county of Wicklow is a maritime county of the province of Leinster and is bounded by Dublin, Kildare, Carlow and Wexford.
  • The county is partly in the diocese of Ferns, but chiefly in the diocese of Dublin. The county is divided into the baronies of Arklow, Balinacor, Newcastle, Half-Rathdown, Shillelagh, Lower Talbotstown, and Upper Talbotstown. The county contains the incorporated seaport, market and assize town of Wicklow; the incorporated market-town of Baltinglass; the seaports and market-towns of Arklow and Bray; the disfranchised borough, market and post-town of Blessington; the market and post-towns of Rathdrum, Carnew, Dunlaven, Tinahely, and Stratford-upon-Slancey; the post-towns of Newtown-Mount-Kennedy, Enniskerry, Ashford, Annamoe, Delgany, Glanealy, and Newbridge. The principle villages are Bolinolea, Rathnew, Donard, Kilcoole, Roundwood, and Redcross.
  • Agriculture includes potatoes, wheat, barley, oats, and turnips.

Information provided by the 1847 edition of Samuel Lewis' "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland."

General County Research Information

Further information about County Wicklow is available at the GenUKI site.

Archives and Libraries

Wicklow County Archives
Wicklow Local Authority Archive
Wicklow County Council Buildings
Station Road, Wicklow Town, County Wicklow
Telephone: 353-01-0404-20126

Wicklow Family History Centre
Wicklow's Historic Gaol
Kilmantin Hill, Wicklow, County Wicklow
Telephone: 00-353-(0)-404-20126
Fax: 00-353-(0)-404-61612

Wicklow Local History" Ballywaltrim Library
Boghall Road, Bray, County Wicklow
Telephone: 353-01-2723205
Fax: 353-01-2866581

Civil Jurisdictions and Parish Research Information

A map of the Civil Parishes of County Wicklow is available at Irish Times site.

Civil Parish - Church of Ireland

Barony Poor Law Union Catholic Parish[1] Catholic Diocese[1]
Aghowle Shillelagh Shillelagh
Ardoyne Shillelagh Shillelagh
Arklow Arklow Rathdrum
Ballinacor Ballinacor South Rathdrum
Ballintemple Arklow Rathdrum
Ballykine Ballinacor South Rathdrum
Ballynure Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Baltinglass Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Blessington Lower Talbotstown Naas
Boystown Lower Talbotstown Baltinglass

Boystown Lower Talbotstown Naas
Bray Rathdown Rathdown
Burgage Lower Talbotstown Naas

Burgage Lower Talbotstown Naas
Calary Ballinacor North Rathdrum

Calary Newcastle Rathdrum
Calary Rathdown Rathdown
Carnew Shillelagh Shillelagh
Castlemacadam Arklow Rathdrum
Crecrin Shillelagh Shillelagh
Crehelp Lower Talbotstown Baltinglass
Crosspatrick Ballinacor South Shillelagh

Crosspatrick Shillelagh Shillelagh
Delgany Rathdown Rathdown
Derrylossary Ballinacor North Rathdrum

Derrylossary Newcastle Rathdrum
Donaghmore Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Donard Lower Talbotstown Baltinglass

Donard Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Drumkay Arklow Rathdrum

Drumkay Newcastle Rathdrum
Dunganstown Arklow Rathdrum
Dunlavin Lower Talbotstown Baltinglass

Dunlavin Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Ennereilly Arklow Rathdrum
Freynestown Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Glenealy Arklow Rathdrum

Glenealy Newcastle Rathdrum
Hacketstown Ballinacor South Baltinglass

Hacketstown Ballinacor South Shillelagh
Hollywood Lower Talbotstown Baltinglass

Hollywood Lower Talbotstown Naas
Hollywood Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Inch Arklow Rathdrum
Kilbride Arklow Rathdrum
Kilbride Lower Talbotstown Naas
Kilcommon Arklow Rathdrum

Kilcommon Ballinacor South Shillelagh
Kilcommon Newcastle Rathdrum
Kilcoole Newcastle Rathdrum
Killahurler Arklow Rathdrum
Killiskey Newcastle Rathdrum
Kilmacanoge Rathdown Rathdown

Kilmacanoge Rathdown Rathdrum
Kilpipe Ballinacor South Rathdrum

Kilpipe Ballinacor South Shillelagh
Kilpoole Arklow Rathdrum
Kilranelagh Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Kiltegan Ballinacor South Baltinglass

Kiltegan Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Knockrath Ballinacor North Rathdrum

Knockrath Ballinacor South Rathdrum
Liscolman Shillelagh Shillelagh
Moyacomb Shillelagh Shillelagh
Moyne Ballinacor South Shillelagh
Mullinacuff Shillelagh Shillelagh
Newcastle Lower Newcastle Rathdrum
Newcastle Upper Newcastle Rathdrum
Powerscourt Rathdown Rathdown
Preban Ballinacor South Shillelagh
Rathbran Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Rathdrum Ballinacor North Rathdrum
Rathnew Newcastle Rathdrum
Rathsallagh Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Rathtoole Upper Talbotstown Baltinglass
Redcross Arklow Rathdrum
Tober Lower Talbotstown Baltinglass


1885 County Map: Courtesy of London Ancestor


Abstracts of Some Neale and O'Neill Wills, Administrations and Marriage Licence Bonds from the Diocese of Ferns. Article covers the above title, from years 1621-1816. Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol.XI. Nol.1. 1979, pages 27-30, Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i vol.10-11.


Bray Cualaan Historical Society
Attention: Claire Crowther
128, Newcourt Road, Bray, County Wicklow

 Web Sites

To view a list of Wicklow web sites, visit or click on the following for some great sites.

GENUKI - Genuki.

Websites - igp-web

- Rootsweb.ancestry

- genealogy-of-uk

- Genealogylinks

- Wicklowshistoricgaol

- interment

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ryan, James G. Irish Records: sources for family and local history. USA:, 1997. FHL 941.5 D23r