The counties of Laois (the former Queen's Co.) 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 Rearymore and Clonenagh.
The earliest recorded Meredith ancestor in Rearymore was Rice Meredith, who was buried in the churchyard of St. Brigid's, Rosenallis in 1732, aged 72. The adjacent burial plot is that of Thomas Meredith (c1702-1761) so it highly likely that Thomas was a son of Rice, although there is no documentary evidence. Adjacent to both is the burial plot of Mathew Meredith (c1743-1793) who is known to be the son of Thomas.
The 1761 will of Thomas Meredith (c1702-1761) names a cousin John. It seems likely that this John is John Meredith (c1712-1786) of Templeraney in Co. Wicklow, thus connecting the Rearymore and Wicklow Merediths. A close genetic relationship between the two branches has been confirmed by y-DNA analysis of Meredith descendants, which also confirmed their relationship with the Clonenagh family line. The diagram on the right illustrates this possible relationship, and it is shown in more detail on this Schematic Diagram.
The implication is that Matthias Meredith of Templerainey and Rice Meredith of Rearymore were probably brothers. Indeed there is a reference to both a Matthias and Rice in 1691 in the Wicklow Monthly Meeting Record Book of the Quakers. Moreover, in 1696 a Rice Meredith of Templerainey leased land at Ballymoney in Co. Wicklow from Ralph Howard of Dublin. It is possible therefore that the earliest known ancestor of the Rearymore 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.
There are two distinct lines of descent from Thomas Meredith (c1702-1761) of Rearymore:
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: