When tracing your family tree you would normally look at Birth, Death & Marriage Registers and Census Records, however this is not so straight forward when researching your Irish roots. This is because it was not compulsory to register a birth, death or marriage until 1864 and the majority of the census records for Ireland up to 1901 have been destroyed.
Fortunately, the Old Age Pension Act was introduced in Ireland in 1908. This meant that anyone over a certain age was entitled to a pension from the state. A claimant of the pension had to prove his/her age but they did not have a birth certificate if they were born before 1864. The government therefore found it necessary to have a search made of the 1841 and 1851 census returns which would show their age at that time.
Our records are the result of applications for a pension, the subsequent census searches and recorded results.
Why were the Irish Census records burned?
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”.
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.
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.
Click Here for more information!