Index to 1821 Census

Index to 1821 Census

Courtesy of Cavan County Library we reproduce below their index to the townlands for which the 1821 census returns survive.

Cavan Census 1911

Cavan Census 1911

Introduction

The 1911 Census of county Cavan took place on 2 April 1911. This is the second earliest surviving complete set of Census records for the county and represents one of the most important datasets which is available to researchers be they local historians, genealogists or anybody with an interest in their family history. We are fortunate that the 1901 and 1911 Census returns had not yet been deposited in the Public Record Office of Ireland prior to the Battle of the Four Courts in June 1922 when the archives including the Census returns of 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were lost in the ensuing fire. The 1861-91 Census returns had been destroyed or pulped by government order before 1919, on grounds of confidentiality and need for paper during the war years.

The originals are now held by the National Archives of Ireland who established a research partnership with Library and Archives Canada to facilitate digitisation, indexing and contextualisation of the 1901 and 1911 census records. The website was launched in December 2007.

The 1911 records for Cavan contain 91,343 individual records. At the time of writing we have just included these records on Cavantownlands.com to complete our dataset of available census and census-substitute records 1821-1911, now consisting of 345,000 individual records.

Re-indexation of records by townland and parish

Anyone who has used the NAI website to search these records will know that their dataset is indexed by Townland and DED (District Electoral Division). Prior to this Census returns and earlier surveys were compiled by townland and parish and it is the townland which is most relevant for historical research. Townland records can be traced back to the 17th century and beyond. The DED is a relatively new denomination and it’s use only commenced in 1898 (previously known as poor law electoral divisions which had boundaries redrawn in many instances and were renamed district electoral divisions) thus limiting the ability to compare with earlier records. The NAI website search by townland does not take into account issues we have identified with older name versions, misspellings and incorrect transcriptions which we believe may conceal c.50% of searches carried out by townland name. We have rectified this issue here by re-indexing the entire dataset in accordance with the approved Logainm.ie categorisation (the official placename database of Ireland).

Search the records

Use the map below to select a parish to search and filter the results to suit your requirements. The results have been grouped by parish to speed the search process.

Parish Records

Cavan Census 1901

Cavan Census 1901

Introduction

The 1901 Census of county Cavan took place on 31st March 1901. The 1911 census was taken on 2 April 1911. This is the earliest surviving complete set of census records for the county and represents one of the most important datasets which is available to researchers be they local historians, genealogists or anybody with an interest in their family history. We are fortunate that the 1901 and 1911 Census returns had not yet been deposited in the Public Record Office of Ireland prior to the Battle of the Four Courts in June 1922 when the archives including the census returns of 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were lost in the ensuing fire. The 1861-91 Census returns had been destroyed or pulped by government order before 1919, on grounds of confidentiality and need for paper during the war years.

The originals are now held by the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) who established a research partnership with Library and Archives Canada to facilitate digitisation, indexing and contextualisation of the 1901 and 1911 census records. The website was launched in December 2007.

The 1901 records for Cavan contain 97,437 individual records and 91,343 for 1911. At the time of writing we have just included these records on Cavantownlands.com to complete our dataset of available census and census-substitute records 1821-1911, now consisting of 345,000 individual records.

Re-indexation of records by townland and parish

Anyone who has used the NAI website to search these records will know that their dataset is indexed by Townland and DED (District Electoral Division). Prior to this Census returns and earlier surveys were compiled by townland and parish and it is the townland which is most relevant for historical research. Townland records can be traced back to the 17th century and beyond. The DED is a relatively new denomination and it’s use only commenced in 1898 (previously known as poor law electoral divisions which had boundaries redrawn in many instances and were renamed district electoral divisions) thus limiting the ability to compare with earlier records. The NAI website search by townland does not take into account issues we have identified with older name versions, misspellings and incorrect transcriptions which we believe may conceal c.50% of searches carried out by townland name. We have rectified this issue here by re-indexing the entire dataset in accordance with the approved Logainm.ie categorisation (the official placename database of Ireland).

Search the records

Use the map below to select a parish to search and filter the results to suit your requirements. The results have been grouped by parish to speed the search process.

Parish Records

Townland Index to the Tithe Applotment Books, Cavan.

Townland Index to the Tithe Applotment Books, Cavan.

Courtesy of Cavan County Library we reproduce here the Townland Index which was prepared in 1988 by Susanne Gunn, Jacinta King and Mary O’Reilly.

Census of 1821

Census of 1821

IMPORTANT NOTICE (7th January 2022)

We have updated the Census 1821 records with some new improvements. We recommend that you refresh this page and clear your cache (press Ctrl-F5) for best results. The improvements are as follows –

  • A new View button to display the original image from the National Archive.
  • A new column showing the name of the townland as transcribed in the National Archive – this usually has a different spelling to official townland names, but will enable you to refer back to the National Archive and search using the transcribed townland name.
  • A count of the total number of records in the search – the count responds instantaneously to the filters applied.

This is the earliest census of Cavan to be completed and c.80,000 individual records listing entire families are available to search. Cavan researchers are fortunate that a significant proportion of the 1821 census has survived. The records cover 17 of the 36 civil parishes of county Cavan and provide a complete listing of all individuals residing in those parishes. The returns include name, age, sex, occupation and home townland. The NAI has made available these records on their website but many of the indexation and transcription issues previously encountered with the Tithe Applotment Book records (1832) also apply here. Even more unusual is the fact that a search on the NAI site will produce duplicate records for each original entry. We have established that two sets of photographs were taken of each original enumerator return page. The duplicate photographs were transcribed in full and the results, which do not always match, were combined and uploaded as a single record. Of the 160,000 records presented we had to use our best judgement to decide what we felt were the most accurate transcriptions and whittle the 160,000 names down to the correct figure of c.80,000 individuals. This work also involved the re-indexation of the townland names to their correct Logainm classification and the compiling of this new dataset into a usable document. Note we have not attempted to update the surname transcriptions which, unfortunately, are not very reliable in many instances. We recommend that any records encountered be verified by cross checking with the original photographed records which can be viewed on the NAI site. You can now search the census records by filtering parish, townland, surname, first name, occupation etc. The search engine supports predictive text which makes searching easier too.

Cavan County Library have compiled a townland index to their microfilmed copies of the 1821 census records which have survived. You can view the index here.

Census records have survived for the parishes highlighted in blue. Click on a parish to view all of the data for that parish. Use the filter at the top of each column to reduce the data. You can filter on the Townland, Surname, Forename, Occupation and Relation to Head by entering any sequence of characters within the text. Bear in mind that names which have been transcribed are often misspelt. Results are filtered as you type.


Note: As of October 27, 2021, we have split the data by Parish for performance reasons.

Click on a parish to search the 1821 records here:

Parish Records


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Name Books of 1836

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1836 Name Book records for the townlands of 9 parishes first published in The Heart of Breifne.

The preparation of the six inch to one mile scale maps of the entire island of Ireland, which was conducted by The Ordnance Survey of Ireland between 1824 and 1846, required the naming of townlands, geographical features, prominent buildings and landmarks. The renowned Irish scholar, John O’Donovan, was given the task of ascertaining accurately the old Irish names of the townlands,  their translation and making recommendations for the final English version to be used in the printed maps. This he did with great skill and attention to detail. He visited Cavan in 1836 and his travels are recorded in his Ordnance Survey Letters which were reports and requests written to the OS headquarters in the Phoenix Park. The orthography section of the Name Books include the received name, the final agreed name and translations as well as other versions which were encountered. The final section of the field name books under the headings ‘Situation’ and ‘Descriptive Remarks’ typically provide details on the exact location and description of boundaries along with notes on soils, farming practices, leases and rents, prominent buildings, employment and landlord names. Here we reproduce, courtesy of Anna Sexton editor of The Heart of Breifne,  the summarised Descriptive Remarks which were transcribed by Liam O’Ceallaigh and published over the years 1979-1987. The nine parishes covered are: Bailieborough, Castlerahan, Crosserlough, Denn, Killinkere, Knockbride, Lavey, Munterconnaught and Shercock.

Drumlumman Parish Census 1821

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Thesis on the 1821 Census for the parish of Drumlumman (Drumlomman).

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The primary valuation of Ireland, or Griffith’s Valuation, which was carried out between 1848 and 1864, to determine liability to pay the Poor rate (a tax for the support of the poor within each Poor Law Union) provides detailed information on where people lived and the property they possessed.

Browse the entire list of Griffith’s Valuation of 1857 records for Cavan. Filter by parish, townland and name. For additional data (image of original ledger and maps), visit Griffith’s Valuation (askaboutireland.ie).

Please bear with us if this page is slow to load – there are nearly thirty thousand records

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