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National Archives of Ireland - Census



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The National Archives of Ireland census pages provide access to the census returns for 1901 and 1911.

The returns are arranged by townland (the smallest division of land) or, in urban areas, by street.  The 1901 census lists, for every member of each household; name, age, sex, relationship to head of the household, religion, occupation, marital status and county or country of birth. The census also records an individual’s ability to read or write and ability to speak the Irish language.

The same information was recorded in the 1911 census, with one significant addition: married women were required to state the number of years they had been married, the number of their children born alive and the number still living.



 Census - Ireland

Both censuses also contain returns for police and military barracks, public and private asylums, prisons, hospitals, workhouses, colleges, boarding schools and industrial schools among other institutions.

Both censuses also give details of houses, recording the number of windows, type of roof and number of rooms occupied by each family. Each house is also classified according to its overall condition.  The number of out-offices and farm buildings attached to each household is also given. This information is recorded by the enumerator, who provided summaries of the returns for each townland and street, including the religious denomination of occupants. These summaries include a list of heads of household, thus providing a nominal index for each townland or street.

Surviving census fragments and substitutes for 1821-51 are a valuable, if limited, resource for the pre-Famine period.


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