- 1879 - 1919 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
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’.
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
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
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
Michael Murphy, Anne Coughlan and Gráinne Doran, 'Grand Jury to Áras An Chontae', (Jetprint: Tullamore, 2003).
Ciaran Reilly, 'The minute book of Edenderry Poor Law Union, 1895' in Offaly Heritage, Vol.7, (Tullamore, 2013)
Michael Murphy, 'Edenderry: A Leinster Town', (Tullamore, 2004)
The following significant gaps are noted in the sequence of Edenderry Union Minute Books -
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
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Dates of creation revision deletion
June 2019, Erin Sears
Revised May 2022, Lisa Shortall