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1911 Census of Ireland

Information concerning 1911 census of Ireland.

The 1911 census of Ireland took place on Sunday, 2nd April. As Ireland was still under control of the British government, the census was recorded on the same day as the other home countries of England, Scotland and Wales. Although these returns are obviously very recent in genealogy terms they are still extremely useful.

Each census record contained the following information;

  • Name of every occupant who was present in each dwelling.
  • Relationship to the head of household.
  • Religion
  • Education & Literacy
  • Respective ages
  • Their rank, profession or occupation
  • Maritial Status and for women the length of marriage as well as the number of children born in that marriage and the number still alive.
  • County of Birth
  • Ability to speak either English or Irish.
  • If anyone was either deaf, blind, idiot, imbecile or lunatic.
  • Example of 1911 census Ireland return

    An Example of 1911 Census of Ireland Return.

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    The 1911 census returns also recorded details of each particular house, giving the number of rooms, out-houses and windows as well as the type of roof. An important addition in this census from the one take a decade previously was that women were required to sate the number of yeras they had been married, the number of children born alive and the number of children still living. Unfortunately, widows were not required to give this information, although a large number did so in any case. Policemen stationed at the various R.I.C. barracks throughout Ireland were not required to enter their full names but entered the initial only. This was also the same for inmates of mental hospitals.

    AGE

    The age of each occupant or tenant is obviously the most useful information given in the 1911 census of Ireland. However the information needs to be treated with caution. Compared to the previous census in 1901, the ages people do not match, especially for older people living at this time. Nevertheless the age of people can still be used as a rough guide and can help narrow the ranges of years needing searched for birth, marriage or death records in either civil or church records.

    LOCATION

    When the names of all or most of the family are known, along with the general area, but not the precise locality, it is possible to have the returns searched of that entire area to identify the relevant family. This is useful for genealogy researchers when the surname is very common; the likelihood of two families of Kelly's living in the same area giving the exact christian names to their children is slight.

    RESEARCHING THE 1911 CENSUS

    As with the 1901 census of Ireland, the basic geographical unit used in carrying out the 1911 census is the District Electoral Division. These are subdivisions of a county and were used for electoral purposes. Within each D.E.D. the census was then divided into townlands and, in urban areas, street names.

    The question on religion was very specific with instructions that "Members of Protestant Denominations are requested not to describe themselves by the vague term 'Protestant' but to enter the name of the Particular Church, Denomination, or Body to which they belong".

    Major Sources of Irish Ancestry

    Church Records Land Records Directories
    Registry of Deeds Wills Emigration Records
    Newspapers

    Genealogy Sources for each Irish County

    Antrim Armagh Carlow Cavan
    Clare Cork Derry (Londonderry) Donegal
    Down Dublin Fermanagh Galway
    Kerry Kildare Kilkenny Laois
    Leitrim Limerick Longford Louth
    Mayo Meath Monaghan Offaly
    Roscommon Sligo Tipperary Tyrone
    Waterford Westmeath Wexford Wicklow

     

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