You may want to refine you search a little especially if the initial “Surname” search has produced at lot of results.
You can do this by also entering a first name or a county.
Searching for a Forename
If entering a first name, remember that you should also search for variations - for example - William OR Bill OR Will OR Wm, Elizabeth OR Liz OR Lizzie OR Beth.
When you search in this way 3 fields within the records will be searched. These are Applicants Name, Fathers Name & Mothers Name. If the exact name you have entered shows up in either of these field it will be brought up in your results.
You can widen this search a little by checking the “Extended Search” box. When you check this box the search will also include the “Observations” field. This field contains any comments that were recorded by the person who made the search of the ’41 or ’51 census. It can include sibling’s names and other people living at the address, as well as ages and marriage dates.
You do stand a better chance of finding what you are looking for if you search in the way as it opens up over 100,000 additional searchable names but on the odd occasion this can result in a “false positive”. An example of this “False Positive” can be seen in a search of the name John Boyle. The results show a William Purdie but nowhere in the records is there a John Boyle. There is however his father, John Purdie and his mother, whose maiden name was Boyle.
Searching in a County
If you decide to narrow down the search to specific counties - enter the name of the county into the 'county' search field. You can also search through the records of many counties at once by entering 'Derry OR Donegal', for example. It is important to remember that the county to be searched is not necessarily the same as the county that the applicant was living in at the time of the pension application.
View our Irish Census research examples here.
If you are having difficulty in your search, please contact us and we will do our best to help!
When you have completed your search (see our sections on How to search Ireland Genealogy & How to refine your search) and decided which records are of relevance to you simply click “Order”.
A census was taken in Ireland every 10 years from 1821 to 1911. The census records for 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 were destroyed by the government for a variety of reasons and at various times including during the First World War.
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