Cavan Census 1901


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 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 categorisation (the official placename database of Ireland).

Search the records

Results have been grouped by parish to speed the search process and to reduce the amount of data that is downloaded. Use the map to select a parish. All records for the selected parish will be displayed in the table below. Use the filters in the column headings to further filter the data. Each sequence of characters entered will be matched with the same sequence occurring anywhere in the values for that column.

Parish Records

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