"TRALEE, a borough, assize, sea-port, market and post-town, and a parish, in the barony of TRUGHENACKMY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER; 58¼ miles (W. N. W.) from Cork, and 151 (S. W. by W.) from Dublin; containing 11,021 inhabitants, of which number 9568 are in the town. Its ancient name Traleigh, "The Strand of the Leigh," is derived from its situation near the point at which the river Leigh discharges itself into the broad sandy bay of Tralee.
The parish contains 4393½ staute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: it is intersected by the small rivers Ballymullen and Leigh, which unite just before they fall into the strait or haven at the western entrance of the town. The soil is in general of superior quality, and chiefly in tillage; the system of agriculture is gradually improving: it contains some mountain pasture and shallow bog. Limestone and black marble are found within its limits.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, and in the patronage of Sir Edw. Denny: the tithes amount to £408. 7. 7.
The church, which was enlarged in 1819 by a loan of £2450 from the late Board of First Fruits, and more recently by a fund raised by subscription and sale of the pews, is a large and and handsome structure with a square tower surmounted with pinnacles. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the greater part of the parishes of Annagh, Clogherbrien, and Ratass : the chapel is a spacious and hadsome edifice, the entrance to which from the High-street is through a fine avenue bordered with trees. A convent for nuns of the order of the Presentation, established about 12 years since, has a small chapel attached to it. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Independaents and Wesleyan Methodists."
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (1837)]
Note: The Civil Parish of Tralee ceased to be used for census purposes in the mid nineteenth century when District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) were introduced. Tralee was divided between the following DEDs:
Doon DED: Curravogh North, Curravogh South, Doon North, Doon South, Garrane, Lissanearla East, Lissanearla West, Listellick North, Listellick South townlands.
Tralee Rural DED: Balloonagh, Ballynahoulort, Ballyvelly, Buntalloon, Cahermoneen, Caherslee, Carrigeendaniel, Cloonanorig, Croogorts, Farranstephen, Gallowsfields, Killeen, Knockanacuig, Lisloose, Monavally (nil), Mounthawk, Pluckeen, Rahoonane, Tralee (part) townlands
Tralee Urban DED: Cloonalour (part), Shanakill townlands
Tralee Urban No.1 DED: Cloonalour townland (part
And the following streets of Tralee Town:
Big River Road, Boherboy (part of), Brewery Road, Bridge Lane, Castledemesne (part of), Castle Street Lower, Castle Street Upper, Chutes Lane, Connor's Lane, Court House Lane, Court of Boherboy, Daly's Lane, Denny Street, Edward Street, Giles Lane, Green Lane, Keane's Lane, McGowen's Lane, McEnnery's Lane (part of), Moyderwell, Nelson Street, New Street, O'Connell Lane, Pound Lane, Pound Lane off Nelson Street, Sullivan's Lane, Walpole's Lane
Tralee Urban No.2 DED:
The following streets of Tralee Town:
Abbey Street Lower, Abbey Street, Barrack Lane, Blackpool, Bridge Place, Bridge Street, Broguemaker's Lane, Cahiranne Road, Canal Basin, Canal New Road, Castle Lane, Castle McEllistrum, Chapel Lane, Church Lane, Church Place, Church Street, Crass Lane, Dawson's Lane, Day Place, Domonick Street, Friar's Lane, Godfrey Place, Green View Terrace, High Street, Infirmary Road, Island of Geese, James' Street, John Street, Market Place, Mary Street, Murphy's Lane, Oak View Terrace, Pembroke Street or Ballooragh, Prince's Quay, Rocket Lane, Rae Street, Reidy's Lane, Rack Street, Russell Street, Spa Road, Steepleview, Staughtons Row, Strand Street, The Mall, The Square, The Terrace, Waterloo Lane, William Street, Windmill Street
Note: Parts of Tralee Town are contained in the parishes of Annagh and Ratass.
A transcription of the Heads of Household in Tralee Town in 1851/2 from Griffiths Valuation is on the Kerry Rootsweb site.
Valuation lists, which list landowners, have been microfilmed
by the Family History Library of the Church of the Latter Day
The film numbers are:
Tralee Urban: FHL British Films 840798 - 840801
Doon: FHL British Film 840789
Tralee Rural: FHL British Film 840795
The Church of Ireland church of Saint John was built on the site of the ancient parish church, in 1623. This church was rebuilt in 1819, enlarged in 1831, and is still in use. It stands in a burial ground in Ashe Street (formerly Nelson Street).
The Roman Catholic church, also dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, was built off Castle Street, and rebuilt in 1870. The contact details for the Parish of Saint John, Tralee are listed at the diocesan website.
The Dominican Priory of Holy Cross was established in AD 1243 by John of Callan, founder of the Kerry Geraldines. The priory had a large cemetary with the burials of many Fitzgeralds. The Priory was officially supressed in 1580, but continued to function until 1652, when it was completely destroyed. The site of the church and burial grounds was built over and there are no substantial remains. The Dominicans reestablished a church in Tralee in 1871, and this continues under the parish of Saint John.
A Presbyterian congregation was formed from Tralee's Scottish population in 1840. A church was built in Edward Street in 1846. By the 1870s the majority of the members were Irish. The church was closed and sold in 1971 and the Presbyterians were merged with the Methodists. The church was demolished in 1974.
The Wesleyan Methodists established a chapel off Denny Street in 1829, relocated to Listowel Road in 1947. The Methodist and Presbyterian congregations merged in 1971, using the Listowel Road church until 1976 when Non-Conformist services in Tralee ended. The church is now a furniture warehouse.
The Church of Ireland registers begin in 1771
The registers are in local custody.
The Roman Catholic registers for Baptisms start in 1772 and Marriages in 1774.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.
The Presbyterian registers begin in 1840, and are said to remain in "Local Custody", although there is now no Presbyterian congregation in County Kerry.
The Wesleyan registers have not survived.
From 1863 Tralee was in the Tralee Superintendant Registrar's District, and the Registrar's District of Tralee No.1. See the Registration Districts page.