Genealogy

1901 & 1911 census

A systematic government census of the Irish population was taken every 10 years from 1821 until 1911. No census was taken in 1921, due to political unrest as a result of the War of Independence and Civil War, but the work of taking census resumed in 1926.

All census returns from 1926 onwards are closed to the public for 100 years in accordance with section 35 of the Statistics Act, 1993. The 1926 census will be released to researchers after 100 years.

Census of 1901 and 1911

National Archives’ Census website comprises digitised images and a searchable index of household returns and ancillary records for the censuses of Ireland of 1901 and 1911. Searching is free of charge.

Almost all the original manuscript returns for each household survive for the thirty-two counties of Ireland for 1901 and 1911. The returns are arranged by county, district electoral division (DED) and townland or, in urban areas, by street. The returns for each townland or street in 1901 and 1911 consist of:

  • forms titled Form A, filled in by the head of each household, giving the names of all people in that household on census night and their age, occupation, religion and county or city of birth (or country of birth if born outside Ireland); and
  • forms (titled Forms N, B1 and B2) filled in by the census enumerator official taking the census, summarising the returns for that townland or street.

1901 and 1911 census returns are fully searchable online across all categories of information recorded on the original census forms. As well as surname searches, the returns may be searched by religion, occupation, relationship to head of family, literacy status, county or country of origin, Irish language proficiency, specified illnesses and, in the case of 1911, child mortality. This is possible by clicking on the ‘More search options’ tab.

There are no maps corresponding to the 1901 and 1911 census returns.

Surviving census fragments and substitutes prior to 1901 are available on the Census website.

Census search forms, which contain information provided by people to enable a search to be made in the original 1841 and 1851 census for proof of age in connection with claiming an old age pension, are searchable on our Genealogy website.

Further information is available at Sources for family & local history.