The counties of Laois (formerly known as Queen's County) and Sligo had the largest numbers of Meredith families in Ireland in the late 18th and throughout the 19th centuries. The Merediths in Queen's Co. were concentrated in two areas, the parishes of Clonenagh and Rearymore.
The earliest recorded date for a Clonenagh Meredith is 1761, when the name of John Meredith of Cappagh appeared in a list of Freeholders of Queen's Co. There is no documentary evidence to show exactly how the Clonenagh and Rearymore branches are connected; nevertheless, DNA analyis of Meredith descendants from both branches has confirmed a close relationship. A possible connection is summarised in this Schematic Diagram, which also shows how both these branches might connect to the Wicklow branch, for which there is also a close relationship confirmed through DNA analysis.
The implication is that the earliest known ancestor of the Clonenagh Meredith branch is Rice Meredith of Oghill who was listed in the Arklow Hearth Money Rolls of 1669. It is not known whether this Rice Meredith of Oghill was the first of this branch to immigrate to Ireland from Wales, but no earlier records that connect to this particular branch have been found.
Several Clonenagh Merediths born in the second half of the 1700s have been identified as possible children of John of Cappagh, although documentary evidence has yet to be found:
Wilkinsons of Queen's Co.:
There are close marital connections between several generations of the Meredith families of Clonenagh and the Wilkinson families of Queen's Co. The Wilkinson names documented on this website can be found in the Surname Index, as well as through the Search function. The descent of several co-lateral lines of Queen's Co. Wilkinsons is shown on an Indented Chart and a Box Chart, linked to biographical entries, and on a Fan Chart.
Clarkes of Queen & King's Cos.:
There are also close connections between the Merediths and Wilkinsons of Clonenagh with the Clarke families of Queen and King's Cos. Some of the related Clarke individuals are documented on this website. Wider research into the early ancestry and descendants of these Clarkes was carried out by Sharon Haggerty. Her research (no longer updated) can be accessed through the following indented charts in an archival version of her database:
The names of specific persons in this Family Line can be found in the Surname Index.
The family history can also be explored through different types of chart: