Using Irish Census Records to Find Your Family

1-2 minute read

By Niall Cullen | March 9, 2017


Census records are one of the main brick walls researchers encounter when trying to trace their Irish ancestors. That's because relatively few survive when compared with the UK or the USA, making it a challenge to pinpoint your family every ten years. However, as a starting point into your Irish family history, the collections that do remain are a vital resource.

What's Missing and What Survives?

The only fully surviving census returns for Ireland are from 1901 and 1911. Only fragments remain for the 19th century. All of these collections have been made available on Findmypast in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland and are fully indexed and searchable.

Using The Records

Here's some useful tips for getting the most out of Findmypast's Irish census collections.

1. The 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses on Findmypast feature a transcript with the most important information from the record transcribed. To see the original image and perhaps gain more insight, you can click the link through to the National Archives of Ireland website. The original record along with a transcript is included in Ireland Census 1821-1851

2. A neat feature of the 1901 and 1911 census, that you won't find on other websites, is the ability to search by other household members. This is particularly useful when the person you are searching for has a common name. Including someone you expect to be in the same household can help you narrow results.

3. You can also search all of our Irish census records by birth year and use our +/- year variance tool to include surrounding years. Differences in your ancestors' ages from census records to other records are quite common, making this feature indispensable.

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Picture of Niall Cullen - Content Marketing LeadNiall Cullen