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A Census of Ireland, circa 1659. With Supplemental Material from the Poll Money Ordinances (1660-1661) edited by Seamus Pender. 1939, reprinted 1997 by Clearfield Publishing Company, 200 E. Eager Street, Baltimore MD 21202. Indices. 946 pp. Softcover. $60 plus $3.50 p&h.

A Census of Ireland, circa 1659 represents the only known actual numbering of the people of Ireland prior to 1821. The lists are arranged geographically by counties, thereunder by baronies, parishes and townlands. In the cities the arrangement is by parish and street. For each townland or street the census provides the total number of inhabitants and the proportion of English, Irish and Scottish residing there. The introduction needs to be read carefully concerning the meaning of the distribution figures for English, Scottish and Irish.

There are no census returns for the five counties of Cavan, Galway, Mayo, Tyrone and Wicklow, plus no returns for four baronies in Cork and nine baronies in Meath.

The surviving returns provide the names, numbers of people in each parish, plus the names of the "Titulado," landowners who could be of either sex, a nobleman, baronet, gentleman, esquire, military officer, or adventurer. Many of the Titulado were Irish Catholics demonstrating that there were many exceptions to the enforced transportation of the Irish Catholic nobility following the Cromwellian subjugation of Ireland. The returns also list at the end of each barony the main Irish surnames in the area in 1659 and the numbers of families of each.

The appendices include the complete texts of the Irish Poll-Money Ordinances of 1660 and 1661, with lists, county by county of the people responsible for collecting the taxes.

The book concludes with two valuable indexes by name and by place.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.4 no.6, 1997