County 
Wexford Map
Wexford is a maritime county set in the south-east corner of Ireland. It extends from 52 2' to 52 44' north latitude and from 6 17' to 7 4' west longitude. The county encompasses a land area of 909 sq. miles (1454 sq. Km) which makes it the 13th largest county in Ireland. It is bounded by the Blackstairs and Wicklow Mountains along the county's western and northern borders, and by the sea on the east - St. George's Channel. The coastline is low, irregular, and hazardous to navigation, with the result that there have been many wrecks along the coast from Viking long boats to German U-boats.

Along its 75 miles (120 Km) of sandy beaches lie the main bays - Wexford Bay; Rosslare Bay; Ballyteige Bay; Bannow Bay; Sandeel Bay; Lumsdin's Bay; and Tacumshin Bay. The main rivers flowing through the county are the Slaney; Barrow; Corock; and the Bann. Mount Leinster at 2610 feet (796m) is the highest point in the county.

Wexford boasts the country's richest agricultural land with approximately one-third of the land under cultivation. Principal crops being grains and root vegetables. Pigs, poultry and dairy cattle are also raised on the land, while slate and marble are mined, and the coastal waters support numerous fisheries.

With a population of approximately 105,000, the county of Wexford has four main towns, Wexford, Enniscorthy, Gorey and New Ross.

Wexford also has some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland, and enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other part of Ireland.

Administrative Divisions

Of the administrative divsions of Ireland, five are civil divisions of antiquity: Province, County, Barony, Civil Parish and Townland; four are associated with mid-nineteenth century introduced legisation: Poor Law Union, Dispensary District, Superintendent Registrar's District and Registrar's District; and two are ecclesiastical divisions: Diocese and Parish.

The most familiar is the county. The structure of the county framework as we know it today was created by statue in 1606 of Wicklow. The county has been and still is the principal unit of local government, and most collections of documents are organised by county.

The Province
Ireland's 4 Provinces and County WexfordThe Province dates back to the time of the Celtic Gaels. From their more than 150 petty dominions, five emerged as the predominant Gaelic Kingdoms which approximately equated to the present four provinces of Ireland. Ulster in the north, Leinster to the east, Connaught to the west and Munster in the south. The fifth was the smaller kingdom of Meath, which eventually was assumed into Leinster.

County Wexford lies at the south east corner of the Province of Leinster.

The Baronies of County Wexford
Baronies 
of County WexfordIn Ireland, Baronies are a portion of a county, or a group of Civil Parishes and may span parts of more than one county. Their origin is thought to have dated from Norman or pre-Norman times and be based on the Gaelic family teritory. This division was used from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century in surveys, land transactions and censuses.

County Wexford contains the Baronies of Gorey, Scarawalsh, Ballaghkeen North, Ballaghkeen South, Bantry, Shelmalliere West, Shelmalliere East, Shelburne, Bargy and Forth.

Poor Law Unions of County Wexford
County 
Wexford Poor Law UnionsThe division of Poor Law Union was introduced to Ireland under the Poor Law Relief Act of 1838. They were named after a local large town in which a workhouse was built for the relief of the detitute poor within the Union. This division does not always conform to county boundaries. Rates, and land taxes were collected within these areas for the maintenance of the local poor. The same districts later became used as General Registrar's Districts.

County Wexford is divided amongst the Poor Law Unions of Gorey, Enniscorthy, New Ross, Wexford and Shillelagh.

Diocese of County Wexford
Wexford 
DiocesesBoth the Catholic church and the Church of Ireland arrange their parishes into Dioceses, each presided over by a bishop. Both churches divise the Diocese to include a certain number of church parishes resulting in boundaries that do not conform with county boundaries. Similarly the boundaries of the diocese of both churches do not conform with one an other. The Church of Ireland dioceses are important for record purposes such as administration of wills.

The majority of the county falls within the Dioceses of Ferns. The exceptions being the Civil Parishes of Inch and Kilgorman which fall in the Dioceses of Dublin, and the Civil Parish of St. Mullin's which is in the Dioceses of Leighlin.

Roman Catholic Parishes of Wexford  
Adamstown Clonegal Kilmore Rathangan
Ardcolm Craanford Kilmuckridge Rathnure
Arklow Crossabeg Kilrush St Mary's Enniscorthy
Ballindaggin Cushintown Kiltennell St Mary's Newtown Barry
Ballygarrett Davidstown Lady's Island St Mullin's
Ballymitty Edermine Marshaltown Sutton's
Ballymore (and Mayglass) Ferns Monageer Taghmon
Bannow Glynn and Barntown Monamolin Tagoat and Kilrane
Bannow (Carrick-on-Bannow) Gorey Moyglass Templetown and St James
Blackwater Hook New Ross Tintern (Ballycullane)
Bree Horsewood Newtownbarry Tomacork (Carnew)
Camolin (Ballyoughter) Kilanieran Oulart  
Carnagh Killaveny Oylegate  
Castlebridge Killegney (Cloughbawn) Piercestown  
       
       
       
       
Civil Parishes of County Wexford

As the name implies these were originally ecclesiastical divisions and they originated around the thirteenth century. They are important units for record purposes.

The Civil Parishes of County Wexford are:
Adamstown Clongeen Killegney Mayglass Tellarought
Ambrosetown Clonleigh Killenagh Meelnagh Templeludigan
Ardamine Clonmines Killesk Monamolin Templescoby
Ardcandrisk Clonmore Killianne Monart Templeshanbo
Ardcavan Coolstuff Killila Moyacomb Templeshannon
Ardcolm Crosspatrick Killincooly Murankin Tikillin
Artamon Donaghmore Killinick Newbawn Tintern
Ballingly Doonooney Killisk Oldross Tomhaggard
Ballyanne Drinagh Killurin Owenduff Toome
Ballybrazil Duncormick Kilmacree Rathaspick Wexford City
Ballybrennan Edermine Kilmallock Rathmacknee a. St. Briget's
Ballycanew Ferns Killmannan Rathroe b. St. Doolge's
Ballycarney Fethard Kilmokea Rossdroit c. St. Iberius
Ballyconnick Hook Kilmore Rosslare d. St. Mary's
Ballyhogue Horetown Kilmuckridge Rossminoge e. St. Michael's of Feagh
Ballyhuskard Inch Kilnahue St. Helen's f. St. Patricks
Ballylannan Ishartmon Kilnamanagh St. Iberius g. St. Peter's
Ballymitty Kerloge Kilenor St. James & Dunbrody h. St. Selskar's
Ballymore Kilbride Kilpatrick St. John's Whitechurch
Ballynaslaney Kilbridgeglynn Kilpipe St. Margaret's Whitechurchglynn
Ballyvaldon Kilcavan Kilrane St. Mary's (Enniscorthy)  
Ballyvoo Kilcomb Kilrush St. Mary's (New Ross)  
Bannow Kilcormick Kilscanlan St. Mary's (Newtonbarry)  
Carn Kilcowan Kilscoran St. Michael's  
Carnagh Kilcowanmore Kiltennell St. Mullin's  
Carnew Kildavin Kiltisk St. Nicholas  
Carrick Kilgarvan Kilturk St. Peter's  
Castle-Ellis Kilgorman Ladysisland Skreen  
Chapel Killag Liskinfere Tacumshin  
Clone Killann Maudlintown Taghmon  

Townlands of County Wexford

The Townland is the smallest unit of land area in Ireland. The size of a townland varies greatly, from less than ten acres to several thousand acres. Although the name implies it, a Townland does not necessarily contain a town. For rural dwellers the Townland is usually the most specific "address" available.

This link will bring up an alphabetical list of the Towlands in County Wexford.

Maps

Ordanance Map Selection If you are looking for descent maps to locate where in Wexford your family came from or for touring, then it is suggested you look at the Ordanance Survey of Ireland Discovery Series which are at a scale of 1:50 000. To cover the whole of County wexford you will require maps #'s 62, 68, 69, 76 and 77 from the series. They are topographical maps, and include Townland names, though the boundary of individual Townlands is not depicted. There is no index to place names printed on the map so you will have to study them well to locate your Townlands of interest if you are not sure where they are relative to larger towns/villages marked on the map.

Links

Ireland Now Geography page The Geograpichal Society of Ireland
Meaning of Irish Place Names Parishes of Diocese of Ferns
Wexford Camross
Enniscorthy Gorey
New Ross Maps of IrelandOther Days Web site
Irish Mountains Irish Peat Bogs
Co Wexford Planning Online