Galway Local History
The Galway local history collection includes
• A comprehensive collection of old local newspapers
• Griffith's Valuation for Galway on microfilm. This is also available on-line on the Ask About Ireland website. Griffith's Valuation was compiled between 1848 and 1864. It lists all householders in Ireland at the time of compilation.
• Trade Directories
o Pigot's Directory for the years 1820, 1821, 1822 and 1824
o Slater's Directory of Ireland for the years 1846, 1856, 1870, 1881 and 1894
o Thom's Directory for 1848
• Local maps
• Historical photographs of Galway
• The 1901 and 1911 censi on microfilm. These are online at the National Archives of Ireland
• For details on archive collections see our Archives Service
Phone, Fax and Email
Phone:(+353) (0)91 509388
Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Is an Appointment Necessary?
It is advisable to make an appointment by phoning 00 353 91 562471 or faxing 00 353 91 565039. Some material requires the use of microform readers and these may have to be reserved in advance.
Online Resources on Galway History
Original Ordnance Survey Maps for Galway
The 1842 Ordnance Survey 6 Inch Maps for Galway are now available online. This project was commissioned by three organizations and the work was undertaken by Mr. Rainer Kosbi. The organizations involved are
• Galway County Council
• Galway and Mayo Institute of Technology
• National University of Ireland, Galway
The Down Survey of Ireland
Taken in the years 1656-1658, the Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever detailed land survey on a national scale anywhere in the world. The survey sought to measure all the land to be forfeited by the Catholic Irish in order to facilitate its redistribution to Merchant Adventurers and English soldiers
Ordnance Survey Place Name Books for Galway
In 1838, John O'Donovan was commissioned to list the place names of Ireland. For each place name, he listed variations of its name, its Irish form, its translation, its situation, and a brief description. This information is available online at the Galway Placenames Database.
Lawrence Family Album
The Lawrence Family, of Lisreaghan, also known as Belview, owned extensive land in the east county Galway region in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and founded the village of Lawrencetown.
The Album, an important archive, is a wonderful history, pictorial and textual, of the family and the district of Lawrencetown. It contains much rich detail on the family, together with late nineteenth century photographs of the village of Lawrencetown, family portraits and interior views of the house.
This album is now available, in its entirety, on the Ask About Ireland website.
The Galway Reader
The Galway Reader and Samuel J. Maguire
The Galway Reader is a journal published by Galway County Libraries between 1948 and 1954, and edited by Samuel J. Maguire, the first County Librarian for Galway, 1926-1955.
The journalis comprised of a series of articles, primarily written by Maguire, on the history of Galway based on the resources in the Library’s local studies collection. Many of these are short but are highly readable and very accessible. The articles cover a wide range of topics relating to County Galway, from famous events and people, to the Famine and War of Independence, and to sport and flora and fauna.
Galway Public Libraries wish to gratefully acknowledge the donation from the Hawkins family in memory of Seán Hawkins in 2018, which facilitated the digitisation of this publication.
Other Sites on Galway's History
Researching your family tree is a website that provides information on resources for researching your family tree.
Irish News Archive is a database of national and regional newspapers from centuries past. It includes newspapers from Galway. The database is searchable. It is also possible to browse the collection by newspaper title and date.
Online Books on Galway's History
A number of books on Galway's history are available online at http://www.galway.net/galwayguide/history/ . These include
• History of Lough Corrib by William R. Wilde
• History of Galway by James Hardiman
• Iar Connaught by Roderick O'Flaherty
• Waterways of Galway by IEI
Historical Newspapers of Galway
Some old Galway newspapers are available, in digital format, at the Irish Newspaper Archives Web site. This subscription site is available for free in all of our libraries on our public PCs.
We also have a collection of old newspapers on microfilm. The collection dates from 1823 to the present day. These newspapers are listed chronologically on this site.
The Local History department is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm.
To read this material requires the use of microfilm readers and these may be reserved in advance by phoning 00 353 91 562471 or emailing email@example.com
Chronological List of Newspapers at Galway Public Library
• 1823 to 1843
• 1828 to 1833
• 1829 to 1832
• 1832 to 1835
• 1835 to 1839
• 1837 to 1878
• 1839 to 1840
•1841 to 1843
• 1841 to 1899
• 1844 to 1860
• 1845 to 1869
•1852 to 1854
• 1853 to 1920
• 1859 to 1869
• 1860 to 1861
• 1862 to 1863
• 1871 to 1873
• 1878 to 1892
• 1883 to 1923
• 1884 to 1886
• 1884 to 1896
• 1888 to 1902
• 1889 to 1923
• 1899 to 1901
• 1901 to 1903
• 1904 to 1911
• 1905 to 1920
• 1909 to Present
• 1913 to 1921
• 1921 to 1926
• 1925 to 1966
• 1927 to 1945
• 1936 to 1949
• 1938 to Present
• 1950 to Present
• 1984 to Present
Galway Weekly Advertiser
Galway Free Press
Galway Mercury:A Connacht Weekly Advertiser
Galway Packet: A Connacht Advocate
Warden of Galway
Western News: A Weekly Examiner
Western News: A Weekly Examiner
Connacht People: A Ballinasloe Independent
Western News: A Galway Guardian
East Galway Democrat
Western News: A Galway Leader
East Galway Democrat
WEB SITES DEALING WITH GENEALOGY
Many of the web sites in this list deal with specific years. Those not dealing with specific years are presented first. Those dealing with specific years are presented chronological order with the earliest years at the top of the list. The years appear in red throughout the body of the document.
A useful site for anyone of Galway extraction wishing to research their family tree. It covers every county in Ireland and is a free service.
National Library of Ireland
A general guide to researching your family tree is available from the National Library of Ireland.
The Irish Times Ancestors page
This is a search tool which guides the user towards what is available and where it is to be found. It will mostly steer you towards resources which are not available on the web. In such cases, it will provide the geographical addresses of where these resources are located. The site itself stresses 'Please be clear: the record references returned by the searches are, in the main, bibliographical and do not include the original records - in other words, they are detailed aids to research rather than the research itself ' ). This is a subscription site and costs $60 for full searches.
Ireland Reaching Out
The national reverse genealogy programme. Working to reconnect 70 million Irish diaspora back to their place of origin in Ireland.
Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild
This is a searchable database of half a million passengers who arrived in the United States since the 1600s up to 1929.
Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Church records and some civil records are available at http://rootsireland.ie. Church records include baptismal records and marriage records. These mostly date from the 1840s. A few parishes have earlier records. Civil records, which date from 1864, are in the process of being added to the site. These include birth, marriage and death records. This is a subscription site.
Church records and civil records are also available at http://www.familysearch.org, and this site is free. This is a work in progress and does not include all records.
Finally, you can obtain photocopies of civil records (which date from 1864) by contacting the General Register Office at http://www.groireland.ie
• The National Library of Ireland lists its collection of Roman Catholic church records. These predate 1880.
• The General Register Office gives an account of its collection of civil or state registers which cover the period 1864 to the present.
• Church of Ireland registers cover the period 1750 to the present.
These are available from 1751 to 1894. These list the owners of businesses in urban centres. These are not available on the Internet but may be accessed at the National Library of Ireland .
The National Archives of Ireland Transportation Records Database
This is a searchable database of records relating to convicts transported to Australia between 1788 and 1868 inclusive.
Tithe Allotment Books
These were compiled between 1823 and 1837. It lists the occupiers of land holdings in rural parishes. The Tithe Applotment books are also available at http://www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie
Famine Irish Passenger Record Data File
This is a searchable database of 604,596 persons who arrived in the United States between December 1846 and December 1851.
This was compiled between 1848 and 1864 and lists all occupiers of property living in Ireland at this time.The Primary Valuation was the first full-scale valuation of property in Ireland. It was overseen by Richard Griffith and published between 1847 and 1864. It is one of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical sources.
Ellis Island Records
This lists all people who came through Ellis Island between the years 1892 and 1924. The site is searchable.
The Censi of 1901 and 1911
This lists all people living in Ireland in these years. The 1901 and 1911 censi are available here
Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Debt of Honour List
This is a searchable database of all soldiers in Commonwealth countries who died during the two World Wars. It is estimated that 35,000 Irish people were killed in the First World War while serving in the British army. Information on the Royal Dublin Fusileers, including finding war graves, is here.