1911 census online

The National Archives in Dublin has just put the 1911 census of Ireland online. As far as I know this is the last all island census and you can search all 32 counties for your ancestors. I have just checked out the McDevitts at 455 Falls Road.
The original household return is there with details of literacy, occupation and language(s) spoken.

  • Mick Fealty
  • Comrade Stalin

    This has been around since the early summer. It’s quite incredible to see the census returns, completed in their own handwriting. One half of my grandparents and great grandparents are there. The other half are out in Sligo, waiting for that county to be added on ..

  • Mick Fealty

    Yes CS, but was the filling not done by enumerators, (whose accounting forms are also available)?

  • A pity there was no Southern census in 1911-21 as it would allow us to disprove Unionist claims that the Southern Protestants left because of imagined ‘persecution’ in the South. If we had accurate stats they would prove those who left largely did so in 1911-21, in order to be outside the control of the proposed Home Rule and then independent Irish government. They were not expelled.

  • The 1911 date is important because of the Parliament Act which abolished the House of Lords veto on Home Rule.

  • Glensman
  • My mothers dad. Patrick Stephens Jnr from Clarinbridge Co Galway http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002388741/
    Good question Mick about who was filling in the forms. Checked the Nat Archive site but can’t see an answer. Anyone?

  • Eddie

    Somebody put me right on this, please.

    I was always told that records of this era were destroyed at the Four Courts in Dublin during the Civil War in the south; and that the only way here was to consult church records – Catholic or Church of Ireland, with Prebyterians and others having an ever tougher time.

  • Eddie

    I think it was the registers of births and deaths which were destroyed.


  • Comrade Stalin


    I had a look through some of the records. The handwriting seemed different on each, and further, the signature of the head of the household is at the bottom.

    I note that all 32 counties are now all online. Must tell the parents.

    It’s a fascinating insight. Near where my parents live in North Belfast, you can see where some of the large old houses had several servants who lived permanently with their household employers. How things have changed.

  • Rory Carr

    Wonderful! thank you for linking this,Conall.

    I have found both my paternal and maternal links and, what’s more, a mystery. Where my mother’s name should appear another christian name is registered, one which is completely new to me and one by which I can never remember her making reference.

    Everything fits – except the christian name. Is it possible, I ask myself, could my own dear mother have been a changeling?

    Questions will be asked.

  • chris

    This is a great resource.

    Don’t know if anyone else has noticed a shocking level of infant mortality in their history.

  • “was the filling not done by enumerators”

    Mick, the enumerator’s signature appears at the bottom of the page. You can also search by townland and check out the other signatures.

    Some of the 1911 transcriptions are pretty dire; they don’t appear to have cross-checked the townland spellings with, say, Griffiths or whether or not such a family name was likely to be found in that area. I’ve sent in some corrections but the amendments have yet to be made.

    The 1912 Ulster Covenant has lots of signatures and Griffith’s Valuation is also online.

  • Over on O’Conall St my auntie Bairbre has left a comment saying you can get details corrected. The spelling of a number of my great uncle’s names are incorrect and she has asked they be corrected.

    You can mail mail@nationalarchives.ie


  • HeadTheBall

    Oh, the shame of it – my granny was English!!

  • Brian Walker

    Riveting stuff.Thanks to Conall. I discovered that my Catholic maternal grandfather in east Inishowen whom I never knew was 55 when he begat my mother and wasn’t quite the impoverished small farmer of family legend. He had three farms supporting 22 people, three of them Methodists!Also, 10 outbuildings with separate cow and calf sheds,a milking parlour a piggery, even a coach house. And a 16 year old servant called Annie. This for a man born in 1851, while the famine legacy was still very much present.

  • HeadTheBall

    ..and 2 of my Dad’s siblings were born in Dublin – is there no end to the agony??

    Nevin – thank you – I found my maternal grandfather’s signature on the Covenant – I have never seen it before.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    “The census also records an individual’s ability to read or write and ability to speak the Irish language, and whether deaf, dumb, blind, idiot, imbecile or lunatic”.

    Its amazing how language has changed in relation to mental illness although the terminology that was used could be just as relevant in describing some of our citizens of today.

  • Greenflag

    Rory Carr,

    ‘I ask myself, could my own dear mother have been a changeling?’ Questions will be asked.’

    LOL – And already are

    .Digging up ancestors is a perilous pursuit . I’ve ‘discovered’ that my granny’s mammy was a protestant (COI) from east County Wicklow near Kildare a place called Dunlavin .
    So now I think I may have an inkling of where her daughter(my granny ) the oul battleship herself a terror to the British army circa 1918 in Dublin , a later terror to the ‘revolting ‘ wallahs of the subcontinent in the mid 1930’s, and a volunteer air raid warden in the London blitz , got her ‘gumption’ and notorious stubborn streak 😉 .

    The utter shame of it part culchie and part non conforming and rebellious prod 😉

    And to cap it all the Dunlavin ancestor shares a name with a former leader of the UUP .

    No it does not bear thinking about I’ll never live this down 😉

  • Comrade Stalin


    Yes I did notice that. In my great grandparents’ household there were two deaths, and seven still living. This seems to have been reasonably close to the norm.

    The website points out that you can also see the entries for De Valera, James Joyce etc. I guess Michael Collins is not there because he was in London at the time, but on the other hand I can’t locate his family.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Another interesting point is that sometimes the enumerator appears to have been a police officer, or at least that’s my guess given that in several cases they seem to give their name with the title “Con. “.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Tragedy too – my grandfather whose mother died during his birth is not with the family but moved to Carnlough to be looked after by family – some of the others had gone too,

    The Hyndmans of Fallowvee


    Also note the filling in of forms in the Glens in Irish


  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    didnt know about this – excellent link.

  • bollix

    amazing resource, thanks to conall for flagging it up

  • “And to cap it all the Dunlavin ancestor shares a name with a former leader of the UUP”

    Was she a housekeeper to Fr Burns, Greenflag 😉

  • Crow

    Guess who’s grandaddy?

  • Driftwood

    Came across this 6 months abo and my great grandfather and grandfather resided where I grew up in Downpatrick. Fabulous website. strange to see an Irish government website only refer to County Londonderry though I suppose there was no County Derry in 1911. It must have been established more recently.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I suspect that the Irish authorities are, quite correctly, stating what is in the records without attempting to revise them.

    Crow, the fact that he wrote “read and wright” in that column must be a dead giveaway.

  • Vladimir Lenihan
  • eranu

    “18.“The census also records an individual’s ability to read or write and ability to speak the Irish language, and whether deaf, dumb, blind, idiot, imbecile or lunatic”.”

    i think i could probably recognise a lunatic if i saw one, but how would you decide if someone is an idiot or just an imbecile? which is worse? !!
    imagine someone in your house ticking either of those 3 boxes beside your name?? 🙂

    are there any idiots, imbeciles or lunatics in the families of our politicians???

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    “are there any idiots, imbeciles or lunatics in the families of our politicians”???

    When you are coming from a lineage of imbeciles or lunatics you would be hoping for a bit of chlorine in the gene pool!!

  • Meh

    That’s really interesting! we’ve discovered my Great-great-Grandparents actually had 4 more children that we were lead to believe, also my late father never knew the name of his greatgrand mother on his fathers side, well, we know now!

  • latcheeco

    Go raibh maith agat. Cead mbliana ar an Bothar Na bhFal.

  • meh

    ..4 more children than we were lead to believe..

  • Latcheco

    Go raibh maith agat


  • The Impartial Observer

    Fascinating stuff! Just been going through it with my Mum helping to pick out her great grand parents and their children from the returns for Newry.

    Have a look at the PDF’s of the census forms, the last column on the right hand side wouldn’t be allowed today. It asks if people are Deaf and dumb, dumb only, blind, imbecile or idiot or lunatic!!

  • picador

    Interesting that the census refers to ‘the Irish language’ and ‘Irish’ rather than ‘Gaelic’.

    Thanks for linking to this Conall.

  • Valenciano

    The main question is when the public records office of NI are going to digitalise their content, 2011 was mentioned. There’s a lot of stuff in the church records but unfortunately it’s currently like looking for a drop of water in the ocean due to the indexing system and also the fact that the records were obviously done by people doing what they considered to be a boring admin task. So what you get is faded, scrawled, joined up handwriting on microfilm which half the time is impossible to decipher. Ancestryireland.com proved more useful to me, got it back to great great great grandparents but it’s pay per view and only useful for less common surnames.

    I do know that my great grandfather on one side was Lawless and great grandmother Hood. Would have made a cracking double barrelled surname that…

  • Thanks, Conall! No more sore necks from gazing at the microfilm in the local library now. I found my [url=http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Londonderry/Maghera/Main_Street/611442/]great grandfather[/url] on my father’s side, James Gallagher from Maghera who appears to be living with his father, my great great grandfather. I also found my [url=http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Donegal/Gleneel/Moneydarragh/493099/]grandfather and great grandfather[/url], both Patrick McGonigle from Gleneely in Inishowen, on my mother’s side.

  • oldruss

    Yes, let me add my thanks to Conall for posting the link.

    I’m here in the States. Maternal great-grandfather and great-grandmother came over from Co. Donegal circa 1870. Both of them had numerous siblings, as well as parents, who remained in Ireland.

    Paid handsomely for the Donegal Ancestry Ltd., Ramelton, Co. Donegal, to do a search on both families back in 1997. They were able to provide me with just four households from the 1901 Census, which included siblings of my great-grandfather and great-grandmother.

    I was able to located all four households in the 1911 Census, three still in Co. Donegal and one which had moved to Co. Antrim. Interestingly, all of the children listed in 1901 were still listed in their respective households in 1911, even though many had reached adult-hood in the intervening 10 years.

    I’d like to be able to track down anyone from the family, who may still be living in Ireland today. Is the 1901 Census on line, and are more recent Census available on line?

  • chris


    The 1901 is due to go online later this year or early next. Not sure about the more recent ones.

  • OB

    Thanks Conall

    I have just read about my Great Grandfather Joseph Lynch and my Great Great Grandmother Catherine Lynch in Lisdoonvarna in Co Clare.

    Looking forward to trying to find other ancestors from Hannahstown and Dublin – they will not be as easy as the Co Clare ones.

    Great link and makes for interesting reading.

  • augustiner hell

    Some skeletons just fell out of the cupboard, great link, good fun. On the question, post 3&7, of who actually filled out the forms, in my case the ‘head of family’ signatures and the handwriting in the ‘name and surname’ column are absolutly identical. I would say you’re looking at the writing of your ancestors.