Kildare County Council makes Naas and Athy ‘Poor Law Union’ Records available Online
Kildare County Council’s County Archives service has made nearly 18,000 pages of some of its records relating to the Poor Law Unions of Athy and Naas available to view online. These include Naas Poor Law Union Minute books and Athy Poor Law Union Indoor Relief registers.
These records are an invaluable source for historians and family history researchers and are available to view via Kildare Count Council’s Online Archives service at: https://kildarecoco.ie/Library/LocalStudiesGenealogyandArchives/Archives/OnlineArchives
The Poor Law Unions were set up by 'An Act for the more Effectual Relief of the Destitute Poor in Ireland, 1838’, which extended the English poor law system to Ireland.
County Kildare was served by five Poor Law Unions (PLUs), with workhouses at Naas, Athy and Celbridge, in addition to workhouses in Edenderry, Co. Offaly, and Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, which covered some parts of the county.
The Naas Poor Law Union Minute Books cover the pre-Famine, Famine, and post-Famine era, from April 1839 to June 1858. They provide an account of the minutes of the weekly meetings of the Naas Board of Guardians including details of how the workhouse was run, weekly statistical information on the state of the workhouse, how many men, women and children were entered, left, or died, as well as details of food, medicines, and other supplies. During the years of the famine there are details of outdoor relief, fever hospitals and temporary workhouses.
Seventeen Athy Indoor Relief Registers and an index register covering the years September 1878 to July 1918 contain thousands of names. These Indoor Admission and Discharge registers include information recorded under headings such as Number, Name of Pauper, Sex, Age, Marital Status, Child of/Orphan/Deserted, Trade, Religious Denomination, Disabled and Nature of disability, Name of Spouse, Number of Children, Observations on condition of pauper upon admission, Electoral Division/Townland, Date admitted or when born in the workhouse, and Date of death or discharge. Each volume contains an alphabetical index.
It should be noted that there are pages missing from some of the volumes and some are in poor condition.
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