The registers of Newtownbarry (Bunclody) Union transcribed and indexed by the Anglican Record Project now online
|To access the registers, please click here.|
As the diocesan website describes it ‘Bunclody Union is essentially a picturesque, rural, farming parish, containing some of the finest land for growing malting barley in Ireland’ (see this link: www.cashel.anglican.org)
Located along the north–western boundary of county Wexford with county Carlow, the original parish of Newtownbarry (alias Bunclody) was created on 3 May 1776 when the townlands of Ballynavorin, Ballyphilip, Ballypracus, Bolanesmore, Bolycreen, Bunclody, Cashel, Clonyhyrone, Coolatin, Coolgarrow, Corduff, Cremoge, Currane, Glanamenaugh, Glaslackin, Kamatoge, Kilmacdermot, Kilmanne, Mandoram, Myedy, Ryland and Tombrick were separated from Templeshanbo parish, which retained townlands to the south. Then as now, Newtownbarry contained most of the town of the same name – hence the interchangeable names. Originally the urban settlement was the hamlet of Bunclody, which owed its development and name to James Barry, Sheriff of Dublin in 1572, but grew into a sizeable settlement, that eventually came into the possession of John Maxwell, in 1719, who afterwards was created Lord Farnham, by marriage. The parish covered an area of some 8200 acres and the living was a rectory in the Diocese of Ferns.
The parish church of St. Mary’s Newtownbarry, was completed in the 1770s. The Hon Barry Barry had given an acre of land for a Churchyard in 1770, and the church built about 1775 at the cost of the Maxwell (Farnham) family. The registers of baptism, marriage and burial were commenced a few years later in 1799, and provide a continuous record of Church of Ireland families ever since. Click here to view the Newtownbarry registers.
Due to a rapidly expanding local population by the early 19th century, a chapel of ease for Newtownbarry– dedicated to St. Paul at Kildavin – was constructed in 1812. This was in fact a very ancient place located in the Leighlin diocesan parish of Barragh just inside the county of Carlow boundary, where it centered on the village of Kildavin, but also contained the most westerly suburbs of the growing town of Newtownbarry. The chapel of ease was built on the site of the ancient church of Barragh parish(hence the inter–changeable use of the parish name of Barragh with Kildavin) . Like those of Newtownbarry, the chapel–of–ease registers commence in 1799, giving a continuous picture of population change in this westerly part of the parish union. Click here to view the Kildavin registers.
Whilst Newtownbarry and Kildavin were always part and parcel of the same parish union of Newtownbarry – the latter as a chapel of ease of the former, the adjoining parishes of Kilrush and Clonegal were only formally joined to the union on as recently 16 June 1970, in the light of population change.
The parish of Kilrush adjoins the town of Newtownbarry to the north east, very close to the town. The date of the church of this parish is unknown but has close links to the corps of Ferns cathedral church, as its early rectors dating back to the year 1400 served concurrently as prebandaries of the cathedral. Dedicated to St. Brigid, Kilrush church remains a plain, peaceful, small church containing an unexpectedly lovely east end, and built on what would appear to be a pre–Christian site by a small stream in the midst of quiet countryside. Unfortunately the early registers for this parish were destroyed in the fire at the Public Records Office of Ireland during the Civil War in 1922, but the ARP project has covered all surviving entries of baptism, and burial from 1878, and marriages from 1845 to the year 1903 inclusive. Click here to view the Kilrush registers.
The parish of Clonegal, or most properly Moyacombe which is the original medieval parish name, lies to the north west of Newtownbarry, straddling the counties of Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow. It centres on the town of Clonegal, where St Fiaac’s church is located – hence the inter–changibility of the town and parish names. The registers survive from 1792 onwards, and in the ARP presentation have been transcribed and indexed up to the year 1831. Click here to view the Clonegal registers.
A useful index to all of the names recorded in all of the registers transcribed for the four churches of the union is provided here. Click here to view the index page.
For further information please contact:
Dr Susan Hood
Churchtown Dublin 14