Ancestry UK

Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford

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Kilmacthomas was one of the new Poor Law Unions created in Ireland between 1848 and 1850. Kilmacthomas formally came into existence on 7th June 1850. It was created from the eastern part of the Dungarvan Union and the western part of the Waterford Union. The new union occupied an area of 101 square miles. The population falling within the Kilmacthomas Union at the 1901 census was 7,109. In 1905, it comprised the following electoral divisions:

Co. Waterford: Annestown, Ballylaneen, Carrigcastle, Comeragh, Dunhill, Fews, Fox's Castle, Gardenmorris, Georgestown, Kilbarrymeaden, Kilmacthomas, Knockmahon, Mountkennedy, Newtown, Stradbally, Tinnassaggart.

The Guardians met each week on Tuesday.

The new Kilmacthomas Union workhouse was erected on a six-acre site to the south-east of Kilmacthomas. Designed by the Poor Law Commissioners' architect George Wilkinson, its construction cost £5,650 plus £955 for fittings etc. Its location and layout are shown on the 1914 map below.

Kilmacthomas workhouse site, 1914

Kilmacthomas from Union Road, 2004.
© Leo Daniels.

At the entrance to the site, two stable blocks flanked the gateway.

Kilmacthomas stable blocks, 2004.
© Leo Daniels.

The main building, like its contemporaries at Donaghmore, Borrisokane and Mountbellew, had two long blocks at the front linked by a central entrance archway. To the rear was a T-shaped block with the central chapel running towards the entrance.

Kilmacthomas main buildings, 2004.
© Leo Daniels.

A fever hospital was located at the east of the workhouse, and a mortuary to the south.

Kilmacthomas dead-house or mortuary, 2004.
© Leo Daniels.

The Union had its own graveyard to the north of the workhouse where paupers were buried in unmarked graves.

Kilmacthomas Union graveyard, 2004.
© Leo Daniels.

At the 1901 census, the population of the Union was 7,109.

The workhouse closed in 1919. The buildings are in the process of being renovated for residential and local business use.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.


  • The Workhouses of Ireland by John O'Connor (Anvil Books, 1995)


  • None.


  • Thanks to Leo Daniels for providing pictures of Kilmacthomas.

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