Uncovering Your Roots - Exploring Irish Census Records

Posted 2 years ago in BUSINESS.

If you know your ancestors' names, search for them in online Irish genealogy

Uncovering Your Roots - Exploring Irish Census Records

Uncovering Your Roots - Exploring Irish Census Records

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. hosts the PBS series Finding Your Roots, which traces celebrities' family histories and often uncovers surprising connections.

Relatively few historical Irish census records survive, but those that do can be a valuable resource in tracing your family history.

Start your search by entering your ancestors' names into Ireland's online census. Then narrow your results by selecting the county and place of residence.

Search for your ancestors.

If you know your ancestors' names, search for them in online Irish genealogy collonsecti. Most repositories have digitized microfilms of historical documents. You can search for these by name, date, and record type.

While it's heartbreaking to learn that many of Ireland's most valuable records were lost in the 1922 Four Courts Fire (a series of explosions and fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin), you can still progress your research. For example, census substitutes and other records—including National School registers, commercial directories, and land records—can open doors to your ancestors' lives.

Griffith's Valuation, the first full-scale property tax assessment, also contains information on families and locations in which they lived. The for-fee website Irish Ancestors has compiled the data from Griffith's Valuation into searchable maps by surname, county, and parish. The map below shows how common the Kennedy surname was in the mid-1800s.

Find out where they lived.

Knowing where your Irish ancestors lived, you can discover more about their lives. You can do this by searching Ireland Census 1821–1911 records. These records name everyone in a household and their relationship to the head of the family and provide information about the home and land.

For the most part, these records have been digitized and are available on Findmypast. You can search for your ancestors in these records using their full names or dates of birth and death. You can also use these records to locate the townland where your ancestors lived, which is essential for your family history research.

In addition to digitized records, such as Irish genealogical records, you can also turn to local archives and libraries for assistance. These facilities often have documents relating to genealogy and books of local and national importance. Many of these institutions have been working to rebuild their collections since the Irish Famine and are now home to an array of resources that can help you trace your roots in the Emerald Isle.

Search for your ancestors' names.

Due to a massive fire in 1922, virtually all Irish census records for the 19th century were destroyed. As a result, genealogists have had to rely on other sources for this period, called 'census substitutes, such as land records (especially Griffith's Valuation), religious censuses, church records, school registers, and old age pension applications, as well as various lists of names (like trade directories).

Many surviving fragments of the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses have been indexed by surname, and some of these indexes are available online. However, it is essential to remember that indexes can be inaccurate, and you should always search the original census records for the area in which your ancestor lived.

Other vital records to look for include emigrant passenger lists, church and civil marriage and death certificates, and personal papers and letters. Also, be sure to check for mention of your ancestor's place of birth on the documents they submitted to get their Social Security cards. This information was often included on the SS-5 application forms, and it can help you identify the correct county of origin in Ireland.

Search for your ancestors' occupations.

Tracing your Irish ancestors can be complex, but you can uncover their stories with the right tools and support. One of the most important details you can discover is your ancestors' occupations, which can reveal much about their lives. Whether you're starting from scratch or have been searching for years, professions can help to guide your research and uncover new clues.

Census records should be your go-to source for discovering your ancestors' occupations. They can provide valuable information about your ancestors' daily lives and their economic standing in the community. Census records can also reveal changes in a person's occupation over time, giving you a sense of the trajectory of their life.

You can also trace your ancestors' occupations through other sources, such as workhouse records, union records, and poverty relief loan records. In addition, look for your ancestors' occupations in local newspapers and on their tombstones or other grave markers. Finally, search for professional membership societies or other trade organizations related to your ancestors' profession. These can be great resources for finding historical information about their occupations and current members who may have more current knowledge.

Search for your ancestors' names in the Irish language.

When your Irish ancestor immigrated to the United States, they likely recorded their place of origin in a census or other historical document. The most common way they did this was by using their family name in the Irish language. These names are often spelled phonetically because they speak with an accent. This can make them difficult to understand, especially for an American enumerator or clerk unfamiliar with the Irish language.

The good news is that there have been some significant revolutions in the availability of online record transcripts over the past decade, including digitized Irish census records and other types of Irish genealogy documents. In addition, you can find mentions of your ancestor's hometown in old newspaper articles.

The for-fee website Irish Ancestors offers a searchable map of Ireland based on surnames and parish. You can use this to narrow down where your family originated in Ireland. It is also important to consider migration patterns when searching for your Irish ancestors. Most Irish emigrants came from the urban centers in the Republic of Ireland rather than the rural areas of Northern Ireland.

 

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Jessica Adison

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