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Mayo, Irish Maigh Eo (�Plain of the Yew Trees�) county in the province of Connaught, western Ireland. With an area of 2,084 square miles (5,398 square km), it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean (north and west) and by Counties Sligo (northeast), Roscommon (east), and Galway (southeast and south). Mayo's extensive coastline is wild and broken, with many inlets from Killala Bay in the north to Killary Harbour in the southwest. Westport and Ballina are port towns, and there are numerous islands and inland lakes. Stretching east and north from Lough (lake) Carrowmore is the largest expanse of bog in Ireland, 200 square miles (520 square km) in area. The principal rivers in Mayo are the Moy and the Errif. The low peaks of Nephin (2,646 feet [807 m]) and Croagh Patrick (2,510 feet [765 m]) dominate the landscape; and Mweelrea (2,688 feet [819 m]), to the north of Killary Harbour, is the highest mountain in Connaught.

At the close of the 12th century the territory that now constitutes County Mayo was granted by King John of England to the Norman William de Burgh, but Mayo remained loosely subject to the Gaelic overlordship of O'Donnell, chief of Tyrconnell. In the 14th century the land passed to a branch of the de Burgh family known as MacWilliam Iochtair. In 1603 Theobald Burke, of the MacWilliam Iochtair, surrendered his lands and received them back to hold with the title of Viscount Mayo.

The county is rich in Neolithic remains and has strong associations with the early Irish ministry of St. Patrick. There are round towers at Killala and Turlough. Ballintober Abbey, founded in 1216, is still in use as a church. Monastic ruins are widespread.

Castlebar is the county town (seat) and an urban district, as are Ballina and Westport. Ballina is the seat of the Roman Catholic bishop of Killala.

In the rugged mountains of the north and west, the farms are small, and most of the population supplements its earnings by migration to Great Britain. Cattle for the British market and sheep and pigs are raised extensively. Tourism is developing, and the area is particularly attractive to fishermen and bird hunters. The county's industries include those in Ballina (flour milling), Westport (clothing), Foxford (woolens), Castlebar (bacon), and Belmullet (toys). Pop. (1986) 115,184.


General Information

Mayo Family History Centre

Mayo North Family Heritage Centre
Co Mayo
Tel: + 353 (0) 96 31809
Fax: + 353 (0) 96 31885

South Mayo Family Research Centre
Main Street
Co Mayo
Tel: + 353 (0) 92 41214
Fax: + 353 (0) 92 41214


Please make sure to stop by and visit the Genuki - Mayo website for more genealogical resource information about this county.


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�  2001.  County Mayo, IrelandGenWeb Project.