Census records and substitutes

Have you already tried to use the birth, marriage and death indexes to trace your ancestors? Then census records are the next logical step in your research. However, the only complete censuses to survive for Ireland are the 1901 (31 March) and 1911 (2 April). Almost all of the nineteenth century census records in Ireland were destroyed. The 1901 and 1911 census of Ireland can be viewed online, for free, at the National Archives of Ireland’s website

There are a number of census substitutes available on findmypast Ireland that can be used to find information on 19th century relatives. Perhaps the most important is Griffith's Valuation (1847 – 1864), which lists approximately 80% of householders in Ireland and includes the names of over 1,400,000 individuals. Other useful census substitutes available on findmypast Ireland are: the Census of Elphin (1749), Tithe Defaulters (1831), William Smith O'Brien Petition (1848-9) and the Dublin City Census (1851).

More Land and Estate records (1850 – 1885)
We also give you exclusive online access to the Landed Estates Court records (1850-1885), these records give copious details about over 500,000 tenants residing on estates all over Ireland, with tenancies dating from the late 18th century these records include maps and drawings of locations.

Electoral Registers (1832 – 1838)
Electoral registers are an important source of information for family history research. The Reports from Committees, Fictitious Votes (Ireland), Select Committee on Fictitious Votes, 1837-1838 lists those eligible to vote in Ireland after the electorate had been greatly increased following the Great Reform Act of 1832. It contains 52,600 names, with details of occupations, addresses and entitlement criteria to vote.

For more detail on all of these records visit our Full List of Irish Records

The census gives you information about

If you research the 1901 and / or the 1911 census via the National Archives of Ireland’s website you will discover the following information:

  • Where a specific person lived at the time of the census
  • Who else lived in that same accommodation at the time, and their relationship to your ancestor
  • Details of siblings can be particularly helpful as they are often difficult to trace through birth indexes alone
  • You will learn what your ancestor, and the other occupants, did for a living
  • Their age
  • Their status (single, married, divorced, widowed)