Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland
NAI_CEN_1821_54_01_0001 (2)
research-strands-iconResearch Strand

Localities and Communities

Women, Children, Men and the Marginalised, 1750–1900

Localities and Communities will identify census and census-substitute records that can cast a light on social conditions in Ireland during the 19th century. We will identify and bring together for researchers a wide variety of demographic, name-rich records, ranging from charred original scraps, to surviving extracts and transcripts scattered among genealogical collections in repositories in Ireland and in the wider world, along with published parliamentary papers with a demographic slant. Historians will have convenient access to statistical census data for all the nineteenth-century Irish censuses, to parish or townland level, alongside appropriate transcriptions of nominal information.

The destruction of the 19th century census records was one of the greatest tragedies in the loss of the Public Record Office in 1922. Millions of records, describing families, individuals and localities across many decades, went up in flames. Much of Irish life in this period was hidden behind a cloud of smoke. Since 1922 archivists, genealogists and historians have hunted for surviving fragments.

By including census substitutes such as local population records, parliamentary reports and documents held in county archives, we can fill out the picture. Bringing these diverse records together into a searchable database will reconnect online users with their locality as it was in the 19th century, introducing them to the world in which their ancestors lived.

This strand involves county archives across Ireland to engage localities and their communities. Priority archives in this strand include the records of local government (County Grand Juries) and selected exploration of Poor Law Union records, in collaboration with the Local Government Archivists and Record Managers. Some remarkable rarities such as copies from the
first state census in 1813, and thousands of names from 1821 — the first census to record every individual — will receive special attention. Other records which will contribute to this research strand include the records of local government (County Grand Juries) and Poor Law Union records.

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