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Workhouse Registers

Details of the workhouse registers in the Wicklow County Archives, which date from famine times.

Extract from Rathdrum Workhouse register 1849

The County Archives collection of admission and discharge registers of the Rathdrum and Shillelagh workhouses date from famine times. They tell the story of the poor and destitute of the county in stark reality. Some of the headings under which information was recorded include:

  • Number
  • Name of pauper
  • Single/Married/Widow/er
  • Child of
  • Trade/Calling
  • Disabled and nature of disability
  • Observations on condition upon admission
  • Date admitted or when born in the workhouse
  • Date of death or discharge

These are perhaps our most poignant records, illustrating the suffering of the poor in the lists of names of those admitted to this institution, not only in famine times but throughout the 19th and early 20th century.

Our collection:

  • Rathdrum Workhouse, 1842-1914
  • Shillelagh Workhouse, 1842-1921

Indoor Admission & Discharge Books (Less detailed than above workhouse registers):

  • Rathdrum Workhouse, 1850-1921 (subject to restrictions)
  • Rathdrum County Home, 1923-1948 (subject to restrictions)