Survey of Graveyards in Laois

A survey of all burial grounds in Laois was carried out in 2011. A total of 208 burial ground were recorded. The full report on the survey is available to download.

Volume I contains a description of the survey aims, methodology and key conclusions.

Volume II contains a detailed gazetteer with descriptions of each burial ground recorded.

In addition to the reports, details of all the graveyards in Laois have also been uploaded to the Historic Graves Website, where a description of the site, and details of any memorial and oral history recording carried out at these sites can also be viewed. If you have recorded memorials in your local graveyard, this data can be uploaded to the Historic Graves website, allowing your research to be shared with anyone with an interest in Laois heritage worldwide.

The survey was carried out by Barker & Associates Archaeologists on behalf of Laois Heritage Forum, with the support of the Heritage Council.


Memorial Recording

A great deal of cultural and genealogical information can be gleaned from the inscriptions in headstones in our historic graveyards. In 2011, in partnership with Laois Partnership, we commenced a programme of community training in memorial recording. The aim of this was not only to record the details on the headstones around the county, but also to build capacity within each community in recording their own local heritage.

The training was provided by Eachtra Archaeology and the results have been uploaded to the Historic Graves Website. It is hoped that further training and memorial recording will continue in future years.


Many graveyards across the country have had headstones transcribed by volunteers down the years, and some are not in a format suitable for upload to Historic Graves website. Some are available as hard copies in the local studies section of Laois County Library, and some are available in pdf format. We will list these here as they are made available.


Rearymore Graveyard

The memorials at Reary More Graveyard were recorded by local school children in the 1980s. The details have been collated and kindly made available by Niamh-Denise Griffith, and our thanks to her for making the material available.

The placename appears variously as Rearymore and Reary More. Accrording to the Placenames Database of Ireland the Electoral Division of Rearymore contains within it the Townland of Reary More.

In the  document available for download you will find:

  • The story of how the inscriptions in Reary More cemetery came to be collected
  • A key to the inscriptions as a guide to those searching through them
  • The numbered inscriptions themselves, typed
  • The numbered inscriptions as recorded by the schoolchildren of Reary N.S. in the 1980s
  • An alphabetical list of names and grave numbers for easy searching
  • A numbered map corresponding to the inscriptions



Recording memorials in Kilmanman graveyard, near Clonaslee

Recording memorials in Kilmanman graveyard, near Clonaslee


Other Resources

There is great interest in researching the graveyards and memorials of Laois. Some resources you may find interesting are detailed below. (Please note these websites are external to Laois County Council).

Run by Dr Jane Lyons, this website contains tremendous resource for anyone interested in the history of Ireland. Gravestone inscriptions and photographs from all over the country are included with a large number from Laois. There is also information on researching genealogy in Ireland, with information on official sources, including civil birth, marriage and death registers, census records and more.

Irish Midlands Ancestry

The Family History Centre for Laois and Offaly provides a fee-based genealogy research service.


Advice Available

All work in graveyards must be carefully planned. The Heritage Officer is available to discuss any works planned for caring for your graveyard and to outline the help that may be available. A checklist of good practice for groups planning to undertake any work in a graveyard, published by the National Monuments Service, is available to download.

Early Christian cross inscribed slabs, Clonenagh near Mountrath, Co Laois

Early Christian cross inscribed slabs, Clonenagh near Mountrath, Co Laois


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