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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