Government census taking began in the early nineteenth century in Ireland. The first, and partial, census was carried out in 1813. This was followed in 1821 with the first complete countrywide census on 28 May. A new census was taken every 10 years after this date, up to 1911. The census for 1921 was never carried out because of the disarray caused by the War of Independence. Censuses for what is now the Republic of Ireland began in 1926.
The aim of the census was to understand the size and make-up of the Irish population to better inform government policy. As a consequence the range of questions asked, and information gathered, in each of the census returns 1821-1911 varied. In general they got progressively more detailed as new issues were felt important enough to analyse statistically.
The majority of Irish census returns from the nineteenth century were destroyed. The 1861-91 census returns were officially destroyed in their entirety, partly because of paper shortages at the outbreak of the World War in 1914. Earlier returns (1813-51) were mostly destroyed with the destruction of the Public Record Office at the outset of the Civil War in 1922.
But the statistical results from all these census returns were compiled into tables and printed for circulation among civil servants and politicians. From 1851 to 1911 these statistical tables and accompanying analysis were printed in a volume for each county for each year. It is these county reports that are reproduced here on CD-ROM or digital download.
Initially these tables recorded the numbers, ages and gender of the population by townland, civil parish and barony. These figures are important as they describe the changing circumstances of each district in Ireland and provide contextual information for family and social history. The reports usually list the change in population over the previous 10 years, so at a glance you can see the impact of the Famine in the 1851 reports. From 1871 the information gathered increased dramatically, and tables of statistics concerning "conjugal condition" (i.e. marital status), occupation, location of birth, disability, religious profession, education, emigration and foreigners appear.
The reports are far more than dry statistical tables. With this information the experience and composition of a townland can be tracked over the decades. Families and individuals were part of a wider townland community, and knowing that history can help researchers assess the social environment of a family. This provides essential background and context for any family history.
This collection of official census reports for County Derry/Londonderry includes the following years: 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1901 and 1911. Together these reports come to 492 pages.
Download the 1851 Census Report for County Derry containing 26 pages (3,511KB)
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Download the 1861 Census Report for County Derry containing 26 pages (3,779KB)
Download the 1871 Census Report for County Derry containing 87 pages (9,666KB)
Download the 1881 Census Report for County Derry containing 86 pages (10,455KB)
Download the 1901 Census Report for County Derry containing 138 pages (13,327KB)
Download the 1911 Census Report for County Derry containing 129 pages (12,661KB)
Although a very short publication, amounting to twenty pages, this is none the less an extremely valuable source for researching ancestors in Coleraine, Co. Derry. The bulk of this publication lists those who were elected, admitted, or sworn in as Freemen of the Corporation of Coleraine prior to 1st September 1830. In most cases their address at time of admission is included as well their more current address is still alive. In total there are some 450 individuals included in this section.
This is followed by the names of approximately another 1,250 individuals were either admitted in between 1830 and January 1832, were refused admission, or whose application had not yet been fully considered. The publication finishes with a listing of the Aldermen and Councilmen of the Corporation, including their addressed and duties, as well the property owned by the Corporation which were rented or leased and to whom the were let to.
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The Parish Register Society of Dublin was established in 1905 for the purpose of transcribing and publishing early Anglican parish registers, and between 1906 and 1915 the Society published twelve volumes of parish registers. Most of the published registers were from parishes in the vicinity of Dublin, and Richard Hayes's transcription of the early registers of Derry Cathedral were the only registers from Ulster to appear in print. After 1915 the Society merged with the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead, and transcribed registers appeared in that Society's journal until 1934.
In England parish registration commenced during the reign of Henry VIII, under a 1538 edict of Thomas Cromwell, the king's chief governor. The first attempt to establish a system of national registration in Ireland had to wait until the following century, when the registration of births, marriages and deaths was ordered in 1616, during the reign of James I. Registration was resisted by parish clergy, however, and the initiative was speedily abandoned. Two decades later, in 1634, the Church of Ireland adopted new canons, one of which instructed that parishes were to provide 'one parchment book at the charge of the parish, wherein shall be written the day & year of every christening and burial'. In spite of this, parish registration outside of Dublin city appears to have been haphazard during Charles I's monarchy, and, thus, the registers of Derry cathedral, which formally commence in May 1642 are the second oldest surviving registers, after the registers for Blaris parish, County Antrim (1637). Although this is the earliest surviving register for Derry Cathedral, it was not the first register, as it is noted that the records commences 'from the name of John Cole in the last register booke [sic] who was buried the xijth [12th] of May Anno 1642' (p. 3). That earlier register was lost at the time Hayes was working with the records.
Running to almost 450 pages and recording over 12,000 baptisms, marriages and burials for the entire parish of Templemore (including Derry city) between 1642 and 1703, these registers are will prove an extremely useful source for any researchers interested in the development of Derry city, the development of parish registration or regional demographic history during the latter half of the seventeenth century. Additionally, they are packed with useful vignettes, which can open up new views on early modern community life in Irish urban settings. In 1653, for example, Barebones Parliament outlined new rules governing registration, which instructed that parishes, after 1 December of that year, employ a civil registrar to record births, marriages and deaths, and it is noted that Derry implemented the new system immediately, appointing Theophilus Davis, the schoolmaster, as registrar on that date (pp 12, 13). Davis received custody of the old registers (p. 13), so the first register may have been lost at that time. The impact of the 1641 Rebellion on ecclesiastical organization in the city can also be seen in the note that the Bishop, Bramhall, was forced to flee Derry, and did not return until March 1660, when he was formally reinstalled (p. 70). Robert Lundy [Lunedy], the governor of Derry during the siege, also appears in the registers, with the baptism of his daughter, Aromintho (p. 295), in May 1686.
The volume also includes indexes of persons, parishes and places, although since this version is fully searchable, researchers will be quickly able to search for names and places that interest them. This publication is strongly recommended as a substantial resource for those researching the development of Derry city dusing the seventeenth century.
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Published in 1847, Robert Simpson's Annals of Derry is one of the most important books available for genealogists and historians, researching the social history of early modern Derry city. Presented in a typically chronological form, Simpson recounts the principal events and development within the city, between the early seventeenth century and the mid nineteenth century. The author goes into considerable detail to outline some of the more important aspects of the history of Derry, including outlining the initial attempts to develop the city, under James I, and the besieging of the city by Jacobite forces in 1689. Extensive information on the social and economic development of the city is also provided, including accounts of the churches, chapels and meeting houses, the development of social services, and the development of trade and industry. This edition is fully searchable allows users to quickly locate personal names, historical events, street names and specific areas of interest.
The Royal Commission on Labour commissioned the reports into the conditions of the Agricultural Labourer in the Poor Law Unions of Ireland, which were carried out primarily in the 1890s. The reports mirrored a survey that was carried out in England previous to the Irish reports. The results, particularly for many of the Poor Law Unions in the West of Ireland were shocking. They painted a picture that had changed little since the famine for the agricultural labourer. The report covered the issues of Supply of Labour, the Conditions of Engagement, Wages and Earning, Cottage Accommodation, Gardens, Benefit Societies, Trade Unions, General Relations and General Conditions.
The areas covered in this particular report are the Poor Law Unions of Cookstown (Co. Tyrone), Ballyshannon (Counties Donegal, Fermanagh and Leitrim), Ardee (Counties Louth and Meath), Downpatrick (Co. Down), Clones (Counties Monaghan and Fermanagh), Letterkenny (Co. Donegal), Limavady (Co. Derry), Ballymena (Co. Antrim), Castleblayney (Counties Armagh and Monaghan), Dromore West (Co. Donegal) and Ballymahon (Counties Longford and Westmeath). Because of the geographical spread covered the results vary with Limavady, Downpatrick, Ballymeena and Cookstown classed as good; Ballymahon, Ballyshannon and Dromore West as poor. In some cases the cottages were little more than mud cabins, which may have had up to 8 people living in them. However, this can be contrasted with areas that give very "favourable accounts". Each report is accompanied by detailed statistical returns as well as comments by several of the leading gentlemen of the area. Information was also collected from the labourers themselves, and often their condition is described in some detail, giving their name, address and other personal details. Common themes throughout the reports are the decreasing number of labourers owing to emigration and the lack of winter work. In cases where the conditions were poor much of the blame was placed on the laziness and lack of thrift of the labourers.
This report is fascinating insight into a class of Irish life that was slowly disappearing which is already evident from the evidence supplied. The large area covered makes it particularly interesting, as the differing standards are all too easy to observe. This report offers a vital insight into the social and economic conditions of the country as it approached the 20th century.
This is one of earliest full commercial directories of Ireland, and includes over 220 urban centres throughout the island. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, tradesmen, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland. There is a description of each Province and town as well. This was Pigot's much-expanded second edition (the previous version dated 1820) and is now extremely rare.
This title includes the Introductory sections, and the Ulster section only.
Lewis gives details about every parish, town and village in Ireland, including numbers of inhabitants, the economy, history, topography, religion and parish structures, administration and courts, schools, and much more. He also gives the names of the principal inhabitants (generally landlords, merchants and professionals).
This Dictionary is in four parts:
· Preface & Subscribers
· Volume 1: A-G
· Volume 2: H-Z
· Volume 3: Maps
The Maps are in full colour, making this source one of the most important for research on Ireland.
This book is an excellent commercial directory for the Province of Ulster. It is the third edition in a series published in various years between 1852 and 1900. The book contains a wealth of information about Belfast, and every county and town in Ulster. It includes a full street directory of Belfast and Ballymacarrett, an alphabetical list of inhabitants and a trades directory for Belfast, a detailed breakdown of public & private institutions and societies in Belfast and Ulster, a full list of all administrative offices and military positions for every county throughout the province, as well as an introduction to all nine counties, and a detailed trades directory for every town and village throughout Ulster.
There is also a large number of illustrated advertisements which are included.
This superb book includes a full commercial directory for the entire country. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, trades, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland. Slater took over Pigot's important publication of commercial directories of Ireland, and this was the first instalment. It has almost twice as much detail as its predecessor (published in 1824), and is now an extremely rare item.
This title includes the Introductory sections, and the Ulster and Belfast sections only.
For those familiar with the study of Irish history and in particular Irish genealogy, directories such as Slater's are a vital research tool. Each town and village contained in the Directory is introduced by its geographical location in relation to its nearest railway station together with population statistics derived from the 1861 Census of Ireland as well as a brief geographical and topographical description. The Directory provides the names and addresses of the principal private residents, together with those engaged in commercial and agricultural activity as well as the presence and location of religious, commercial and public institutions.
This publication reproduces just the Province of Ulster and Belfast sections of Slater's 1870 Royal National Directory of Ireland. This directory is one of only nine national directories for Ireland published prior to 1900 and an essential research tool for the study of Irish genealogy and history.
This superb book includes a full commercial directory for the entire country. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, trades, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland.
This is the third edition of Slaters, for the year 1881, and contains 1,580 pages of information including a large-scale map of Ireland.
This title includes the Introductory sections, and the Ulster & Belfast sections only.
This publication reproduces just the Province of Ulster & Belfast city sections of Slater's 1894 Royal National Directory of Ireland. This directory is one of only nine national directories for Ireland published prior to 1900. Apart from the fulsome coverage given-over to Ireland's major cities, Slater's also provides information on the principal private and commercial residents (including farmers) of the larger towns and villages. As a fully searchable CD-Rom, the publication of Slater's Royal National Directory of Ireland is an essential research aid that must grace the shelves of anybody interested in the people and institutions of Ireland.
First published in 1939 and republished here is Ulster: The Official Publication of the Ulster Tourist Development Association, Ltd. Containing some 286 printed pages, this publication was the complete tourist guide to the Province of Northern Ireland in the year that it was issued.
The forward to Ulster was written by The Right Hon. Viscount Craigavon, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and in this he stated that he was confident that the entire world had heard of Ulster's shipyards, linen industry, thread and rope work factories, but remained largely ignorant of the many 'restful beauties' that the Province had to offer. The Province as a whole offered the prospective tourist and infinite variety and in its history and myths and legends many of which were still kept alive in the countryside, Ulster could offer every potential visitor something of interest.
The Tourist Guide to Ulster is introduced by a short general history of the Province together with the modes of transport available to the prospective visitor both to get to Northern Ireland and once arrived to travel around the province. All possible means of travel are included here from rail to car to ferry to motor cycle and by foot. At each junction the price and availability of travel options is given and this section is replete with advertisements that may be of interest to many readers.
From this point onward the Ulster Tourist Guide presents a plethora of facts, topographic, historical and archaeological facts on each of the six counties of the Province, making this something more than your average tourist guide. Beginning with Belfast, written by Alfred S. Moore, a picture of Belfast's origins and history is painted for the reader intended to both excite and to leave one in no doubt that this was a capital of considerable note. Accompanied by a large fold-out street map with sketches of some of the most notable sites in Belfast such as the Botanic Gardens and the Harland and Wolff ship and engine works, this chapter as all the others includes dozens of black and white photographs.
Chapter two, Antrim, was written by Alexander Riddell and is introduced by a brief historical sketch of the county before the reader is availed of the history and attractions of the county's chief resorts - both seaside and historical - of interest. Beginning with Carrickfergus, the Guide then travels around and across the county visiting such places of interest as Carrickfergus, Kilroot and Swift, Whitehead and Islandmagee, Larne, Ballygally, Glenarm, Carnlough, Cushendal, Cushendun, Ballycastle, Bushmills, The Giant's Causeway, Portballintrae, Dunluce Castle, Portrush - a child's paradise - Ballymoney, Ballymena, Antrim and Lisburn. The chapter is packed full of photographs of each destination and is once again jammed full of advertisements, poetry, historical interests and descriptions. This level of detail is present in the Guide for the remaining counties of the Province.
Ulster: A Tourist Guide is concluded with sections on the Province's archaeology and ancient monuments, and index to the numerous advertisements carried throughout the Guide as well as a detailed tourist map of the Province that illustrates and accompanies the text. At the time of publication this was the guide to Ulster and is now a rare and sort-after collectors item.
Republished here is the 2nd edition of Ward Lock & Co's Illustrated Guide to Northern Ireland the complete title of which is Guide to Northern Ireland, Belfast, the Mourne Mountains, Carlingford Lough, The Antrim Coast, Armagh, Londonderry, and the Erne Lakes.
In 1854, Ebenezer Ward and George Lock starting a publishing concern and the partnership, not surprisingly, was called Ward and Lock. The business was originally based in Fleet Street, London but, by the 1870s, it had outgrown its premises and so in 1878 the business moved to Warwick House in Salisbury Square, London. In the early 1880s, the company became the proprietors of Shaw's widely-known and well-established series of tourist guides. In 1882, an office was opened in New York, America, and in 1884 a further office was opened in Melbourne, Australia. In the mid-1890s, the company opened an office in Toronto, Canada; however, this was closed in 1919. Ward Lock & Co., is now part of the Penguin Group
In a promotional statement from 1924 Ward Lock stated that 'The use of a reliable guide book doubles the pleasure and interest of a holiday. These well-known books are not dull, dry-as-dust compilations. but pleasant travelling companions, readable from cover to cover. Each volume contains the latest Maps and Plans and is lavishly illustrated. In all cases a much wider area is included than the title indicates, and it will be found that nearly every holiday and health resort of importance is described in one or more of the volumes'. This was no idle boast. By the 1950s Ward & Lock had published some 160 titles in their Illustrated Guides Series covering almost every holiday district and seaside resort of consequence in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Adopting their familiar red cloth covers in 1892, Ward & Lock employed a special staff of qualified editors and correspondents continually toured the land, compiling and revising material on all places and matters of interest to the holidaymaker and on such subjects as the local history, geology, botany and zoology of the areas concerned. The level of detail provided for the independent tourist in the so-called 'Red guides' was unsurpassed.
Containing some 266 printed pages Ward & Lock's Guide to Northern Ireland contains a number of fold-out district maps, a detailed street plan of Belfast City and a further thirty-six illustrations, mostly photographs of the places illustrated in the guide. Starting with tours and descriptions in and around the environs of Belfast City, the Guide takes the independent traveller from here to Hollywood, Bangor, Donaghadee before moving on to the Ards Peninsula, Downpatrick, the Mourne Mountains, Armagh, Antrim and other destinations before terminating at Derry, Enniskillen and Lough Erne.
Illustrated throughout with wonderful photographs, detailed maps, many hundreds of contemporary advertisements and wonderful descriptions of the places visited, the quality of Ward & Lock's Red Guides has meant that they have endured the test of time and have already become eminently collectable titles.
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