Census Records

Although a census of the Irish population was taken at ten yearly intervals from 1821, only those from 1901 and 1911 survive.

Hostilities in the Irish Civil War led to a fire in the Public Records Office in June 1922. It destroyed census returns for 1821 to 1851. Fragments of returns from 1841 and 1851 remain but are of limited use as they cover only a tiny fraction of the population. Given that the Government had already ordered the destruction of the 1861 to 1891 census records, no census returns remain for 19th century Ireland.

And so, the only publically available census returns are those of 1901 and 1911.Census of Ireland 1901

(The next census conducted in Ireland did not take place until 1926 and these returns have not yet been released by The Irish Government as we have a 100 year confidentiality rule surrounding them.)

The 1901 and 1911 census returns are wonderfully informative. Amongst the many discoveries you may make are:

Census records are available to view on Microfilm in the National Archives of Ireland but are also freely available to search and view on their website.

Most people can find their families through the National Archives website but if you would like advice or assistance, Irish Family Footsteps will be happy to help.

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