Census of 1821

Census of 1821


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.


Use the filter at the top of each column to reduce the data. The Parish filter presents the list of 17 parishes, selectable by dropdown. 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.

Townlands preceded with a * are transcriptions that could not be matched to a current townland. Please bear with us as page loading may be a bit slow due to the number of records. This data is best viewed on a desktop with a big screen.


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Name Books of 1836

Name Books of 1836

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

Drumlumman Parish Census 1821

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

Griffith’s Valuation of 1857

Griffith’s Valuation of 1857

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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Commonwealth Survey Records of 1652

Commonwealth Survey Records of 1652

This dataset includes the names of the landowners mostly. There are a few exceptions where tenants’ names are included. These appear in the barony of Tullyhaw and include the parishes of Drumreilly, Killinagh, Kinawley, Templeport and Tomregan. Browse the entire list of Commonwealth Survey of 1652 records for Cavan. Filter by parish, townland and proprietor. Click on a parish to see colour-coded map of estates within the parish.


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Tithe Applotment Books of 1832

Tithe Applotment Books of 1832

Tithes were a tax imposed on tenant farmers by the established church, the Church of Ireland. This was the main source of income for the clergy and was calculated based on the agricultural potential of the land holdings which were typically categorised in three classes related to yield, and covered both tillage and pasture land. The books are indexed by civil parish which can differ in name and location from Catholic parishes. Originally the tax was levied in kind, but this cumbersome method was replaced by the Tithe composition acts of Parliament in 1823 and 1832 which converted the tithe into a single, fixed charge on the land. The information recorded includes the names of the tenants and the breakdown of the land holding by size, quality and the tax to be levied. In some cases, the landlord is mentioned. It must be borne in mind that this tax was not applied evenly and many exemptions and omissions mean that it is an incomplete record of tenants and their lands.

Browse the Tithe Applotment Books for the entire Cavan county. Data are sourced from http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie and from https://www.familysearch.org. Many records are misclassified in http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie but have been corrected here. For example, some Cavan parishes were recorded in the wrong county and some townlands were recorded in the wrong parish. We have used our best efforts to find the missing records and have included them in the table below.

We highly recommend that any search carried out using the table below must be understood in the context of the original source data. Click on the button below to see our guide to finding and understanding the images of the original Tithe Applotment Books and the issues raised in their transcription.

Use the column filters to reduce the data by Parish, Townland and Name.


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