Fascinating insights into your Irish ancestors from County Meath. 

Known as the ‘Royal County’ for its historical association with the seat of the High King of Ireland at Tara, County Meath is situated in the east of Ireland.

It is the second-largest county in Leinster in terms of size and the third-largest in the province by population. If your Irish ancestors came from County Meath, here are some fun facts you may not have realized:

1. The name of the county derives from the Kingdom of Mide meaning in the middle. This ancient kingdom included all of Westmeath and parts of Cavan, Dublin, and other counties too.

2. If you’re tracing your Meath ancestors’ births, marriages and deaths you’ll need to know the civil registration districts that lie within the county borders. There are twelve – Ardee, Balrothery, Celbridge, Delvin, Drogheda, Dublin North, Dunshaughlin, Edenderry, Kells, Navan, Oldcastle and Trim.

3. Newspapers are a great resource for finding out about your Meath family history. For example, try exploring the Drogheda Journal or Meath and Louth Advertiser on Findmypast and see what gems you can unearth.

4. A productive agricultural economy in nineteenth-century Meath gave way to mining and furniture manufacturing as prominent industries your ancestors may have been involved with in the twentieth century.

5. Meath inhabitants played a part in the famous 1798 Rebellion where the Irish rebels took on the British forces. As a result, you may be able to find them in the 1798 Claimants and Surrenders records on Findmypast.

With so many excellent resources available online your Meath ancestors are just waiting to be discovered!

For more stories on tracing your Irish heritage from Findmypast click here. Originally published in 2016 in partnership with Findmypast. Updated in 2024.