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"KENMARE,a post-town and parish, in the barony of GLANEROUGH, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER; 30½ miles (S.) from Tralee, and 160 miles (S.W.) from Dublin, on the new road from Killarney to Glangarriff; containing 4957 inhabitants, of which number, 1072 are in the town...
The town, formerly called Nedeen, is situated near the north-eastern extremity of the great river, or rather bay, of Kenmare, and consists chiefly of one wide street of neat and well-built houses, from which another diverges towards the Sound. The number of houses, in 1831, was 170, and since that period several others have been erected, in consequence of the encouragement for building given by the proprietor, the Marquess of Lansdowne.
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (1837)]


Note: The Civil Parish of Kenmare ceased to be used for census purposes in the mid nineteenth century when District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) were introduced.

The Civil Parish of Kenmare was split between the DEDs of Cappagh and Kenmare:
Cappagh DED Caher East, Caher West, Cappagh, Cooragweanish, Cummeenboy, Currabeg, Derreenacahill, Derrylahan, Doughill, Dromatouk, Fustane Lower, Fustane Upper, Gearhadiveen, Gortalassa, Gortalinny North, Gortalinny South, Gortlahard, Gortnacurra, Kilgortaree, Kilpatrick , Lackaroe, Letter Lower, Letter Upper, Rossboy and Tullig townlands.
Kenmare DED Ballygriffin, Barraduff, Cappamore, Carhoomeengar East, Carhoomeengar West, Carrignahihilan, Derrygarriv, Derrynacaheragh, Derrynacoulagh, Dromanassig, Dromcahan East, Dromcahan West, Dromneavane, Gortagass, Gortnaboul Lower, Gortnaboul Upper (nil), Gortnadullagh, Gortrooskagh, Gowlane, Inchimore, Istalea Lower, Istalea Upper, Kenmare, Kenmare Old, Kilcurrane East, Kilcurrane West, Kilkeana, Killowen, Killmurry, Lissaniska, Lissyclearig Lower, Lissyclearig Upper, Mucksna, Rusheens, Tooreenbreanla townlands and Kenmare Town.

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Church History

The parish of Kenmare was combined with neighbouring parishes at an early period in both the established Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic church.

In the Church of Ireland Kenmare was combined with various other parishes as the incumbent minister changed. These included Kilgarvan (1673-82), Tuosist (1673-1682, 1703 on), Knockane (1673-82), Templenoe (1678-1809), Kilcrohane (1678-1718). In 1924 Kenmare became part of the Union of Kenmare, Templenoe and Kilgarvan. This has since been enlarged to the Union of Kenmare and Dromod.

The old parish church at Killowen, on the Kilgarvan road, was replaced by a new structure in 1814. This is now a ruin in the graveyard there. St. Patrick's Church, which replaced Killowen, was consecrated in 1858.

In the Roman Catholic Church by 1819 the parish of Templenoe, Kenmare and Douros had been established. The parish appears to have been renamed Kenmare and Templenoe by 1839. In 1876 the parish was slightly enlarged. There were two churches in the parish in 1846 and 1863. The present church at Kenmare is Holy Cross church, consecrated in 1864. There is also a church at Templenoe.

There are pictures of the two current churches on the Neidin.Net website.

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Church Records

The Church of Ireland registers for baptisms, marriages and burials start in 1799. These registers remain in local custody.

Roman Catholic parish registers for both baptisms and marriages begin on 1st January 1819. There are gaps in the registers, however: births from March 1824 to January 1826 and marriages from July 1838 to January 1839 are missing.

The registers remain in the custody of the parish priest, although microfilm copies are at the National Archives of Ireland. Written permission from the Bishop of Kerry is required to view these records.
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Civil Registration

From 1863 Kenmare was part of the Kenmare Superintendant Registrar's District. The townlands in Kenmare DED were included in Kenmare Registrar's District, those in Cappagh DED in Kilgarvan Registrar's District. See the Registration Districts page.

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John Hayes has scanned entries for Kenmare from the following directories, where they can be downloaded in Adobe PDF format:

Dr Jane Lyons has transcribed the 1931 Trades Directory on the From Ireland genealogy website.

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A Map showing the Townlands of Kenmare from Rootsweb
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[Last updated: 14-Aug-2005 12:23 PM - Laurence Jones]