Family History

Family History

Our local history section in our Navan Library has information relating to family history / genealogy

This includes:

  • Board of Guardians Minute Books
    The Poor Law of 1838 was aimed at providing accommodation for the destitute poor, and by 1845, there were 123 workhouses in Ireland, paid for by a poor tax levied on local landlords.

    The Admissions Registers, which would give the names of the inmates, for the 5 Poor Law Unions in Meath have not survived.

    The Board of Guardians Minute Books are the business records of the workhouses. Visit Library Headquarters in Navan to access these. See Form and Procedures below.
  • Census Returns
    1901 and 1911 census are available at Library Headquarters in Navan on microfilm and digitally at
  • Griffith's Valuation
    The primary valuation was the first full scale valuation of property in Ireland between 1847 and 1864. It is one of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical sources. A hardcopy is available at Library Headquarters in Navan. You can also go online and use the form to search for a particular family name in Griffith's Valuation
  • ‘Diocese of Meath: Ancient and Modern’
    Fr. Anthony Cogan (1826-1872) was a priest and scholar of the diocese of Meath. He was born in Slane, Co Meath in 1826 and died there, according to his memorial in Slane Roman Catholic church, at the age of 45 years.

    Fr. Cogan was a committed amateur historian. He was well read and largely self-taught. He began writing articles for the Tablet in 1856 and went on to write what his biographer, the scholar Alfred P. Smyth, has described as “the first complete post-Reformation history of an Irish Catholic diocese”. His book ‘Diocese of Meath: Ancient and Modern’ (3 Vols) is available at
  • AskaboutIreland
    Visit, at the search  box select Filter by ‘Articles’, and type in ‘Meath’ to access a variety of local studies content.
  • Catholic Parish Registers
    The website contains images from the NLI’s collection of Catholic parish register microfilms. The registers contain records of baptisms and marriages from the majority of Catholic parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland up to 1880.
  • Graveyard Records
    Visit - A community based heritage project which digitally records and publishes historic graveyard surveys and stories.

    Visit  - is a publisher of cemetery transcriptions for use by genealogists and local historians. They maintain an online archive of transcriptions that spans tens of thousands of cemeteries across the world. Visitors use the online library to help them locate burials of their family and friends, trace their family history, and learn about local history.
  • Newspapers
    The Irish News Archive is available online within local library branches. Go to a pc or use your own device at your local branch and access .
    • The Drogheda Independent,
    • The Meath Herald, and
    •  The Irish Peasant

 are available on microfilm at Library Headquarters in Navan. Ask for the Local Studies Librarian.

  • Schools Folklore Collection
    The National Folklore Collection of Ireland is one of the largest folklore collections in the world and contains the Schools Folklore Collection. The Schools Folklore Collection for Meath is available at Library Headquarters in Navan on microfilm. Ask for the Local Studies Librarian.

    They are also available digitally at (if you allow access to your location it will automatically display information for County Meath.
  • Tithe Applotment Books
    The Tithe Applotment Books are a vitalpre-famine source for genealogical research. They were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay in tithes to the established church.

    The Tithe Applotment Books are available at Library Headquarters in Navan on microfilm and digitally at
  • Local history texts on people and places
    Books published by local history societies and heritage groups in Meath are available at Library Headquarters in Navan in the Local Studies Collection. Information about these publications can be also accessed digitally at the Library Catalogue
  • Maps
    Maps including the first Ordnance Survey 1827-1842  are available to view digitally at,578432,756724,0,10.

    Some hardcopies are also available from the Local Studies Collection at Library Headquarters in Navan for research purposes.
    World's largest online collection of family history records, including:
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Local Studies / Family History Research information is available in varying formats from printed material, to microfilm or microfiche material.

If you wish to research a particular subject area please contact the Local Studies Librarian on 046 - 9021134 or email:

The Department's Microfiche and Microfilm readers operate on a booking system so it is recommended to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Ask a librarian for assistance with any of the above.

All of the above are available on request at our Navan Library. Please note that users are expected to carry out their own research.

Please book in advance, by phoning 046 9021134 or further genealogical records can be found at the Meath Heritage Centre Website -