Genealogy has been described as the study and investigation of lines of descent.

Many people out of interest in their personal and family origins undertake the study.   As a hobby it can become pleasantly addictive.

What is your aim

Develop a plan.   Think what line you want to follow.   You have two parents, four grandparents, eight grandparents and so on.   You have to decide which parent to research first.  It is best to concentrate on just a small part of the family tree at any one time.   You can always move to another part when you get stuck.

Beginning the search

It is best to work backwards from known information.   Start with your immediate family.   Ask questions of family members whom you think might know a little bit more about the family history.   Consult old photographs on which names and dates may be noted as well as family gravestones and any documentation in which family information is recorded.

Church Records

Church Records are a valuable source of information.   The Church records for Templemore/Killea/Clonmore commence around 1809.

They are held in parish church in Templemore, also at National library, Dublin on microfilm  (Births and marriages only).
Baptism records  – show child’s name, date of Baptism, parents names, and sponsors names.   Most rural parishes also carry addresses.  Generally a child was baptised the day after birth or within two or three days.   Mothers did not attend the ceremony.

Civil Records

Civil registration commenced in Ireland in 1864 but one finds that in the early years not all birth and marriages were registered.  The marriage records should, but do not always, record the bride and groom’s father’s names and occupation.   The death records are particularly useful as they carry the age of the person.   They do not contain women’s maiden surnames.

1901 & 1911 census

1901 census is the earliest surviving census in Ireland which contains the actual Form A completed by or on behalf of the householder, and Form B which contains physical details of each house.   It does not carry maiden name of married women.  It tells if family member can read and write ages and marital status.1911 census also show number of years a couple are married, number of children born to marriage and number of surviving children.Both 1901 and 1911 census is now available on line.

To access the census records you will need to select your D.E.D (ie District Electoral Division) which for majority of people living in Killea will be ‘Killea’.

It is interesting to note that the 1901 census return the following inhabitants  in the townsland of Kilduff.
Bohan, Purcells, Bourke, Casey, Hayes, Shelly, Coffey, Cosgrove, and Treacy.

Only the Bourke and Coffey name remain today the remainder have since disappeared. Inhabitants of Kilduff 2010 are Bourke, Byrne, Coffey, Doyle, and Maher.

Griffiths Valuation

This valuation was carried out for the purpose of valuing every dwelling, out office and area of land for tax purpose.  It was carried out in Killea area around 1850.  It records the occupier’s name, the extent of his holding, and the immediate landlord, and of tax levied. This information is also available on line, can also be obtained from Tipperary Studies at Thurles Library.

For the purpose of researching Griffiths Valuation on line you will need to know:

Your Townsland,
Your Barony -  which is Ikerrin
Your County -  Tipperary
Your Parish  -  Killea
Your Union  -  Roscrea.


Other useful sources of information

North Tipperary Genealogy Service
The Governors House
Kickham St

Phone 067 33850

Research is carried out on a fee basis.

South Tipperary

Bru Boru
Rock of Cashel
Co Tipperary

Tel 062 61122

Registration of Births Deaths & Marriages   Tel  067  31312

Health Service Executive
Kenyon St

They will assist your search/ Requests should be made in writing

There is a fee charged for this service

Useful Links

Local History

Killea, we are told, derived its name from the Irish

Cill Shleibhe – The Church on the Hill or

Cill Aodha – The Church of Aodh (Hugh)

The name Killea is an anglicised form of the old Gaelic name.It has been used for many centuries but in the Papal Taxation Records of 1291, when Killea Church contributed £2 – 1 – 4 per year to help the crusades, the name was spelt as Kylsle.In other records dated 1540 the name was spelt as Killecleive.A much-respected historian, the late Canon Fogarty maintained that those names were a derivation of Cill Shleibhe – The Church of the Mountain.

Killea Townslands

From the field books of the early surveys the following translations are given for some Killea townslands:

Kilduff – Black wood

Killawardy – Church of the Guard

Kilkip – Wood of the stock

Kyleballyhemiken – Church of O Hemiken’s town

Kilmaduddy – McCuddy’s wood

The same books state that there were 15 forts in the parish.

Some interesting features in Killea may also be mentioned:

A high street in Kilkip

Idlers hill in Kilduff

The Devil’s track in Garretts’s Mill

A Spa well in Bohernaruda.

Killea lies 3 miles North West of Templemore in the foothills of the Devils Bit Mountain. It is a parish steeped in history and folklore. It has been said that O Sullivan Beara passed through Killea on his famous march up north after the Battle of Kinsale 1602.

Hidden Treasure

Over the years the Devils Bit has earned itself a name as a spot for hidden treasures and numerous anecdotes exist to this day about the finding of such treasures.

Book of Dimma

Historians talk about the rescue of the Book of Dimma and its shrine by young boys in the early nineteenth century. The Book of Dimma, is an illuminated manuscript of the Gospels attributed to Dimma of Roscrea.. Tadhg O Carroll, Prince of Eire, had a shrine made for the book in 1150 and both were preserved until they fell into the hands of laymen. Some say the book was later found in a cave at the foot of the Devil’s Bit. The Book of Dimma is now on display in Trinity College alongside the Book of Kells. The shrine is prominently displayed in the National Musum.

Borrisnoe Collar of Gold 1836

A collar, which has its origins in prechristian times, was discovered by a man named Russell who was cutting turf. Today in the National Museum it is regarded as one of Irelands most prized treasures.

O Meagher Crown

The original gold O Meagher crown was found in the bog on the mountain in 1692.

The Civil Survey of 1654 states, that in 1640, Killea was one of the few parishes in which the land was held under the ancient tenure of the Gael and entirely owned by the O’Meagher’s the chiefs of Ikerrin. The survey states that the whole parish of Killea is shown to have been individually distributed between numerous proprietors all descended out of the house of O ‘Meagher. People in Killea, like all the Irish clans, resisted the Norman and English invasions, and in 1690, Capt. John Meagher and his followers, attacked some of King Williams troops on their way to the siege of Limerick. A fight took place near the Devils Bit and O Meagher and some of his men were captured. They were taken to Marlborough (now Portlaoise) and hanged. The defeat of the Irish at Limerick had, of course, far reaching consequences, the country and the people were now subjected to the terrible severity of the Penal laws.


There was a large population in Killea before and during the famine.

The population in Killea in 1841 was 1,978 people living in 208 houses.

In 1979 there were 355 people living in 102 houses.

The houses in the village, as was the custom of the time, were built close together. An old man predicted that the village would be burned as all the houses were thatched at that time.

There was a public house, a butcher shop, a grocery shop, a blacksmith , a Post Office, a school, R.I.C. barracks, and of course a church.

During and after the famine, however, due to the spread of disease and fever houses in villages were built further apart.