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Offaly History (short for Offaly Historical & Archaeological) was first formed in 1938 and re-established in 1969 and is located at Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly since 1993(next to the new Tullamore D.E.W Visitor Centre).

We are about collecting and sharing memories. We do this in an organised way though exhibitions, supporting the publication of local interest books, our website , Facebook, open evenings, our library and offices at Bury Quay.

Our Mission
To promote Offaly History including community and family history

What we do:

  • Promote all aspects of history in Co. Offaly.
  • Genealogy service for counties Laois and Offaly.
  • Co. Offaly photographic records for study and sale in addition to a limited number of publications on Laois and Irish general historical interest.
  • Purchase and sale of Offaly interest books though the Society’s book store and website.
  • Publication of books under the Society’s publishing arm Esker Press.
  • The Society subscribes to almost all the premier historical journals in Ireland.

Our Society covers a diverse range of Offaly Heritage:

  • Architectural heritage, historic monuments such as monastic and castle buildings.
  • Industrial and urban development of towns and villages.
  • Archaeological objects and artifacts.
  • Flora, fauna and bogs, wildlife habitats, geology and Natural History.
  • Landscapes, heritage gardens and parks, farming and inland waterways.
  • Local literary, social, economic, military, political, scientific and sports history.

Offaly History is a non-profit community group with a growing membership of some 150 individuals.

The Society focuses on enhancing educational opportunities, understanding and knowledge of the county heritage while fostering an inclusive approach and civic pride in local identity. We promote these objectives through:

  • The holding of monthly lectures, occasional seminars, exhibitions and film screenings.
    Organising tours during the summer months to places of shared historical interest.
  • The publication of an annual journal Offaly Heritage – to date nine issues.
  • We play a unique role collecting and digitising original primary source materials especially photographs and oral history recordings
  • Offaly History is  the centre for  Family History research in Counties Laois and Offaly.
  • The Society is linked to the renowned Irish Family Foundation website and Roots Ireland where some 900,000 records of Offaly/Laois interest can be accessed on a pay-per-view basis worldwide. Currently these websites have an estimated 20 million records of all Ireland interest.
  • A burgeoning library of books, CD-ROMs, videos, DVDs, oral and folklore recordings, manuscripts, newspapers and journals, maps, photographs and various artifacts.
  • OHAS Collections
  • OHAS Centre Facilities

The financial activities of the Society are operated under the aegis of Offaly Heritage Centre Limited, a charitable company whose directors also serve on the Society’s elected committee. None of the Society’s directors receive remuneration or any kind. All the company’s assets are held in trust to promote the voluntary activities of the Society. Our facilities are largely free to the public or run purely on a costs-recovery basis.

Acting as a policy advisory body –  Offaly History endeavors to ensure all government departments, local authorities, tourism agencies and key opinion formers prioritise heritage matters.

Meet the current committee:

Our Committee represents a broad range of backgrounds and interests. All share a common interest in collecting and promoting the heritage of the county and making it available to the wider community.

2017 Committee

  • Helen Bracken (President)
  • Pat Wynne (Vice President and Joint Treasurer)
  • Niall Sweeney (Vice President)
  • Michael Byrne (Secretary)
  • Lisa Shortall (Deputy Secretary)
  • Dorothee Bibby (Record Secretary)
  • Charlie Finlay (Joint Treasurer)
  • Darrell Hooper
  • Brian Pey
  • Fred Geoghegan
  • Noel Guerin
  • Henry Edgill
  • Peter Burke
  • Angella Kelly
  • Rory Masterson
  • Shaun Wrafter
  • Ronnie Matthews
  • Oliver Dunne
  • Ciara Molloy
  • Stephen Callaghan (Heritage Items)

If you would like to help with the work of the Society by coming on a sub-committee or in some other way please email us or let an existing member know.

+353-5793-21421 Open 9am-4.30pm Mon-Fri
Family History Service

Have our researcher find your ancestors for you

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Unique and personalised Family History reports completed since 1983

Our sources for client research:

  • Births, Marriages and Deaths
  • Griffiths Valuation
  • Church Records
  • Parish Maps and Local Photographs
  • Census Data
family history

"Each story is unique and is thoroughly researched and bound into a book form report, maps are also enclosed, together with information on the local parish where your ancestors lived"

Avail of our initial assessment and have our Family History Researcher compile your own personal family history for you.

Each story is unique and is thoroughly researched and bound into a book form report, maps are also enclosed, together with information on the local parish where your ancestors lived.

It would make a really great gift for your parents,grandparents or even if you are thinking of having your own family history researched, contact us now and let the journey begin.

Before you make a payment for this service, please note the following guidelines:

  • Our centre has records for counties Offaly (King’s County) and Laois(Queen’s County) ONLY.
  • Most parish records (Roman Catholic) begin circa 1820 with no records available before that date.
  • For county Laois, we have all RC records. We also have Church of Ireland records for Ballyfin (1866-1899) and Portlaoise (1793-1899) only. We do not have  Church of Ireland records for any other parish in Laois.
  • Our researcher can advise but cannot guarantee success with every initial enquiry.
  • Some parish records are complete but other parishes have gaps and omissions.
  • We are letting you know about this before you submit your initial enquiry as we don’t want to disappoint.
  • The fee of EU35 covers the research time involved using records that are available to us.
  • The monies will not be refunded as it covers the researcher’s time/cost.
family history

"My report arrived safe and sound. I loved your presentation and inclusion of maps, pictures and history of the area during the time period of my ancestors..."

"Thank you for the report you prepared for me. Hopefully I will travel to Ireland again and enjoy your wonderful country and hospitality."

"Thank you for all your detective work! Got your package through the post. It is indeed very complete. There are some intriguing details in there..."

"Many thanks for the wonderful research! The gravestone inscription for my great-great-great-great grandfather is an amazing find - love it!"

"Everyone says how lovely people are in your part of the world and you've just confirmed it!
Thank you!"

Step 1

Pay for the Initial Enquiry and complete the payment (€35)

Avail of our initial assessment and have our Family History Researcher compile your own personal family history for you.

Step 2

When your order is complete, you must fill out a simple form with your Ancestors details.
Provide as much information as possible. You will be asked for your Order Number ( you will find it in the confirmation email we sent after your payment.)

Our family history researchers will need to assess your information in order to identify if research is possible before we can accept a research commission.

Each assessment may take 2-3 hours of the researcher’s time to research and compile a reply. Due to the high level of interest in local and family history we have introduced a fee of €35 to cover the researcher’s time.

Please note the fee of €35 is for the initial assessment only. The researcher will work on your request in rotation and will advise you of the results within 8-10 working days of starting the research, and let you know the overall cost if you decide to follow up with a family search / report. Also, the success of an application depends greatly on the amount of detail that you provide and the extensiveness of our records.

That’s it for now. Our researcher will conduct the initial assessment and be in touch to advise you of the next step(s) involved in tracing your ancestors.

Offaly History Store

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