Fonds BG85 - Records of Edenderry Union

Identity area

Reference code



Records of Edenderry Union


  • 1879 - 1919 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

10 volumes

Context area

Name of creator

(1839 - 1925)

Administrative history

Edenderry’s Poor Law Union was formed on the 7th of May in 1839. The Union was controlled by twenty-two elected Board of Guardians, as well as seven ex-officio Guardians, who all met weekly. It covered an area of 172,410 acres, representing electoral divisions from three different counties: from Offaly (King’s) – Ballaghassan, Ballyburly, Ballymacwilliam, Bracknagh, Clonbullogue, Clonmore, Clonsast, Croghan, Edenderry, Esker, Knockdrin and Monasteroris. From County Kildare – Ballynadrummy, Cadamstown, Carbury, Carrick, Cloncurry, Drehid, Dunfierth, Killinthomas, Kilpatrick, Kilrainy, Lullymore, Rathangan, Thomastown and Windmill Cross. From County Meath – Ardnamullen, Ballyboggan, Castlejordan, and the Hill of Down.

Edenderry workhouse, designed to accommodate 600 people, was completed in 1841 and took in its first residents in 1842. While the workhouse closed in 1921, the administrative structures of Edenderry Union were abolished in 1925, with the Board of Guardians powers being formally transferred to the county council’s Board of Health. The workhouse building itself had various uses in the following decades before being levelled in 1976 to make way for a home for the aged ‘Ofalia House’.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Only 10 minute books survive as records of Edenderry Union covering the years 1879-1919, with many large gaps. There are no extant workhouse registers, registers of deaths, workhouse ledgers, outdoor relief registers, or registers of accounts.

A further known minute book from 1895, which was rescued from the workhouse following its demolition in 1976 and is now in private hands, has been transcribed by Dr Ciaran Reilly in an article ‘The minute book of Edenderry Poor Law Union, 1895’ in Offaly Heritage, Vol. 7 (Tullamore, 2013)

The minutes contain the proceedings of the meetings of the boards of guardians and contain reports from the clerk of the union, the master of the workhouse, the sanitary officers and others.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The minute books were arranged in sequential order and numbered to take account of the missing volumes.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

By appointment only. Contact Offaly Archives at [email protected]

Conditions governing reproduction

May be reproduced in accordance with provisions of the Copyright and Related Rights Act (2000). No reproduction online, in print or broadcast without express permission of copyright holder.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Microfilm available at Local Studies, Offaly Libraries, Tullamore.

Related units of description

Publication note

Michael Murphy, Anne Coughlan and Gráinne Doran, 'Grand Jury to Áras An Chontae', (Jetprint: Tullamore, 2003).

Publication note

Ciaran Reilly, 'The minute book of Edenderry Poor Law Union, 1895' in Offaly Heritage, Vol.7, (Tullamore, 2013)

Publication note

Michael Murphy, 'Edenderry: A Leinster Town', (Tullamore, 2004)

Notes area


The following significant gaps are noted in the sequence of Edenderry Union Minute Books -
1839-July 1879
November 1881 - July 1897
August 1899 - July 1901
October 1902 - December 1907
February 1909 - July 1915
September 1916 - August 1917
April 1918 - February 1919
November 1919-August 1921

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Rules and/or conventions used


Dates of creation revision deletion

Original listing, Gráinne Doran
ISAD (G) description, June 2019, Erin Sears
Revised May 2022, Lisa Shortall


  • English



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