Eighteenth & Nineteenth Century Census Substitutes
provided by Patrick Hogan|
Below is a list of various records that could help in your research where
standard public documents have not produced the results you need. Search any of
the titles listed in an Internet Search engine to find out more.
The Convert Rolls
Elphin Diocesan Census
The Religious Survey of 1766
Charlton Trust Fund Marriage Certificates
Spinning Wheel Premium Lists
Persons who suffered losses in 1798 Rebellion
Tithe applotment Books
National School Records
Landowners in Ireland
Lists of Freeholders
Voters Lists and Poll Books
1703-1838 : The Convert Rolls
Eileen O Byrne, Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1981. (NL Ir ) A list of those
converting from Catholicism to the Church of Ireland. The bulk of the entries
date from 1760 to 1790.
1740 : Protestant householders
This is for parts of Cos Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Donegal and Tyrone.
Arranged by barony and parish, it gives names only. Parts are at the Public
Record Office of Northern Ireland, The Genealogical Office, the National
Library and the Representative Church Body Library.
1749 : Elphin Diocesan Census
Arranged by townland and parish, and listing householders, their religion,
the numbers, sex and religion of their children, and the numbers, sex and
religion of their servants.
1766 : Religious Survey
In March & April of this year, Church of Ireland rectors (on the instructions
of the government) compiled lists of householders in their parishes. The lists
they compiled were not confined to member of the Church of Ireland, Catholics
were also included. This was known as the Religious Survey of 1766. No rules
were laid down on the amount of detail to be collected, nor the manner in
which the information was to be presented.
Some rectors produced only numerical totals of population, some drew up
partial lists, and others detailed all householders and their addresses
individually. All of the original returns were lost in 1922, but extensive
transcripts survive for some areas, and are deposited with various institutions.
The only full listing of all surviving transcripts and abstracts is in the
National Archives Reading Room, on the open shelves. However, this does not
differentiate between those returns which supply names and those which merely
give numerical totals.
1795 1862 : Charlton Trust Fund Marriage certificates.
The Charlton Trust Fund offered a small marriage gratuity to members of the
Protestant labouring classes. To qualify, a marriage certificate, recording
occupations and fathers names and signed by the local Church of Ireland
clergyman, had to be submitted, and these are now in the National Archives.
They are particularly useful for the years before the start of registration
of non Catholic marriages in 1845. The areas covered by the Fund were mainly
in Cos Meath and Longford, but a few certificates exist for parts of Cos Cavan,
King s (Offaly), Louth, and Westmeath, as well as Dublin city. They are
indexed in the NA.
1796 : Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists
As part of a government scheme to encourage the linen trade, free spinning
wheels or looms were granted to individuals planting a certain area of land
with flax. The lists of those entitled to the awards, covering almost
60,000 individuals, were published in 1796, and record only the name of the
individual and the civil parish in which he lived. The majority, were in
Ulster, but some names appear from every county except Dublin and Wicklow.
A microfiche index to the lists is available in the National Archives, and
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
1798 : Persons who Suffered Losses in the 1798 Rebellion
A list of claims for compensation from the government for property
destroyed by the rebels during the insurrection of 1798. Particularly
useful for the property owning classes of Cos Wexford,Carlow, Dublin, Kildare
1831-1921 : National School Records
In 1831, a countrywide system of primary education was established, under
the control of the Board of Commissioners for National Education. The most
useful records produced by the system are the school registers themselves,
which record the age of the pupil, religion, father's address and occupation,
and general observations. Unfortunately, in the Republic of Ireland no
attempt has been made to centralise these records; they remain in the
custody of local schools or churches. The Public Record Office of Northern
Ireland has a collection of over 1500 registers for schools in the six
counties of Northern Ireland. The administrative records of the Board of
Commissioners itself are now held by the National Archives in Dublin.
These include teachers salary books, which can be very useful if an ancestor
was a teacher.
1876 : Landowners in Ireland
Return of owners of land of one acre and upwards . , London: Her Majesty's
Stationery Office, 1876. [Reissued by The Genealogical Publishing Company,
This records 32,614 owners of land in Ireland in 1876, identifying them by
province and county; the entries record the address of the owner, along with
the extent and valuation of the property. Only a minority of the population
actually owned the land they occupied, but the work is invaluable for those
Various Dates: Freeholders
Freehold property is held either by fee simple, with absolute freedom to
dispose of it, by fee tail, in which the disposition is restricted to a
particular line of heirs, or simply by life tenure. From the early eighteenth
century freeholders lists were drawn up regularly, usually because of the
right to vote which went with freehold of property over a certain value. It
follows that such lists are of genealogical interest only for a small minority
of the population.
Voters Lists and Poll Books
Voters lists cover a slightly larger proportion of the population than
Freeholders lists, since freehold property was not the only determinant of
the franchise. In particular, freemen of the various corporation towns and
cities had a right to vote in some elections at least. Since membership of
a trade guild carried with it admission as a freeman, and this right was
hereditary, a wider range of social classes is covered. Poll books are the
records of votes actually cast in elections.
No complete collection of the electoral lists used in the elections of this
century exists. The largest single collection of surviving electoral
registers is to be found in the National Archives, but even here the coverage
of many areas is quite skimpy.
Local valuations, and re-valuations, of property were carried out with
increasing frequency from the end of the eighteenth century, usually for
electoral reasons. The best of these record all householders.
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