Category Archives: Census

National Archives of Ireland, Findmypast and FamilySearch partnership to bring decades of lost Irish history online

I really struggle with researching my Irish family history so I was excited about this press release I received today:

The National Archives of Ireland and leading Irish family history website findmypast today announced the release of an extensive series of records that will prove an invaluable resource for anyone tracing Irish ancestry.  The records, which include over 600,000 names from pre-1901 Irish census records, are now available to access for free on findmypast and the National Archives website (genealogy.nationalarchives.ie). The launch of the Irish Census records forms part of findmypast’s 100in100 promise to launch 100 record sets in 100 days.

This is the first free-to-access launch resulting from an innovative partnership between findmypast, the National Archives of Ireland, and FamilySearch.org. Millions more essential family history records will be released in the coming months under the terms of the partnership, which represents a fruitful collaboration between a national cultural institution and private sector genealogy suppliers. The partnership allows people in Ireland and abroad to have free access to records relating to their Irish roots, which were not previously available online.

Irish family histories are notoriously difficult to trace, owing to the destruction of the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922. On the 30th June 1922 two huge explosions rocked the Record Office, causing a fire that destroyed millions of records – and with them hundreds of years of Irish history. These included a substantial number of Irish census records from the 19th century.
The surviving records open an online archive of Irish history to everyone interested in tracing an Irish heritage. The records cover three decades, 1821-1851, and include the surviving Irish census records from 1821-1851, and census search forms from 1841 & 1851.

Ireland census 1821-1851
Every ten years a census of the Irish population was taken between 1821 and 1911 and, luckily for Irish family historians, the manuscript returns for each household survived the 1922 fire for all 32 counties for 1901 and 1911. The new records add to the existing census and include information pre-dating 1901, with data sets covering some parts of the country now available from 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851. The 1821 census is a particular highlight for family historians, as it records all members of the families documented.

Ireland census search forms 1841 & 1851
These records are comprised of search forms used to corroborate the validity of pension claims made in 1908 and are extracted from the 1841 & 1851 census, which were subsequently destroyed in the fire. They represent a very useful link to pre-famine Ireland, and also list the applicant’s details and all of the information available from the census records – including other family members present on census night.

To learn more about the records and to access them free of charge visit The National Archives of Ireland or findmypast.  The records will be available shortly on FamilySearch.org.

Consultation on the future of English and Welsh censuses

We have a chance to share our opinion in the future of censuses in England and Wales which is such an invaluable tool for family history.

Ian Cope, Director of Population and Demography Directorate at the UK’s Office of National Statistics says: “We are launching a public consultation on ‘The Census and future provision of population statistics in England and Wales’.

“You may be aware that our ‘Beyond 2011’ programme has been reviewing all of the options. Our research has resulted in a clear view that there are two possible approaches to census-taking in the future:

  • a census once a decade – similar to the 2011 Census but primarily online; or
  • a census using existing administrative data and compulsory annual surveys.

“Both approaches would provide annual statistics about the size of the population, nationally and for local authorities, as we do currently. A census using existing data and annual surveys would provide statistics about population characteristics every year. An online census would provide more detailed statistics but only once a decade.

“Different users will have different views on the approaches, depending on how they use the data, and we welcome views from anyone.

“The consultation will run until 13th December 2013. We have arranged a number of events to support the consultation, listed in the link below. You can find the consultation document and a link to the online questionnaire here.”

A trip to Bridgend

In 2009 we visited Wales and spent a day in Bridgend. I was hoping to discover more about my great-uncle Alfred Mansel Young who died in the First World War.

From my limited information I knew he was at 9 Graig, Newcastle Hill and his occupation was an Assistant at the Bottling Stores, Brewery at the time of the 1911 census. The Graig still exists so off we went. Unfortunately only one side of the street survives, and of course it was the wrong side!

The Graig, Newcastle Hill

The Graig, Newcastle Hill, Bridgend

However, the street was quite pretty and I presume the houses on the other side were of a similar size and age.

We then visited the local history centre to look at local newspapers. Despite reading issues from throughout the war we couldn’t find any record of my great-uncle’s death during the First World War, this was quite surprising as he has joined a local regiment and also very disappointing.

War memorial, Bridgend

War memorial, Bridgend

Our final trip of the day was to view the War Memorial in the centre of Bridgend to see his name inscribed on it. I noticed that there was also a J Underhill and R.A. Underhill listed on the  War Memorial. I wonder if these were relations of his as the family he was living with shared this surname?

A trip to Portsmouth

A trip to Portsmouth in 2005. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog about these photographs. I suppose with the advent of google maps you can look up addresses in the comfort of your own home but I think it’s better to get out and about if you can.

Bath Street, Southsea

121 Bath Road, Southsea was the home of George and Eleanor Benger when they registered the birth of their daughter Viola (my paternal grandmother) in 1905.

 

St Augustine Road, SouthseaThey later moved to 98 St Augustine’s Road, Southsea according to the 1911 census.

St Mary's Church, PortseaSt Mary’s Church, Portsea – where George Caswell married Louisa Leigh on 15th December 1834.

Woodland Street, Milton, PortsmouthAddress of Mansel and Kate Young and their two children Alfred and Henry (my paternal grandfather) at the time of the 1901 census – 2 Woodland Cottage, Woodland St, Portsmouth.

A trip to Southampton

Back in 2005 we also visited Southampton to re-visit some addresses where my ancestors had lived.

Angelsea Road, SouthamptonAddress of William St Clair Cole and his three children (Robert, Gertrude and Rita) living at 8 Anglesea Road, Southampton.

 

Norham Avenue, Southampton

Address of George Duncan and his three children (Ruth, Courtney and Julia) at the time of the 1901 census – 9 Norham Avenue, Shirley, Southampton.

Trying to find old addresses

I haven’t had much time for any family history research lately. It’s going to be a hobby which I dip in and out of when I have time.

I thought I would use this blog to make a note of queries I have, perhaps someone will read and be able to help 🙂

What do you do when you would like to trace an old address? I have relatives living on the Isle of Wight according to the 1841 census and I would love to try and trace the house they were living in.

In 1841 George Caswell was recorded as living at Hawthorn Cottage, Northwood, Isle of Wight, Hampshire. I’m from the Isle of Wight so I often think about tracking down this property. Last time we visited we even went to Cowes/Northwood and it was so frustrating to be in the area and not know where this property was. I admit I was on my iPhone googling like mad but unable to find anything.

Caswell1841censusThe 1841 census was brief but it shows that Hawthorn Cottage was in the Parish of Northwood and surrounded by Mill Hill, Ivy Cottage, Three Gates and Broadfields.

The occupants of the house were

  • George Caswell, age 40 profession Navy
  • Louisa Ann Caswell, age 25
  • Benjamin Leigh, age 70, profession Navy
  • Elizabeth Leigh, age 60
  • Henry Leigh, age 20
  • Selina E C Mansel, age 13
  • Anne Delicate (sp?), age 20, house servant?

I’ve just looked on google maps and Mill Hill still exists so perhaps it’s just a case of driving down the road looking to see if any houses have their original names on them? We’ve done this before and were lucky – which I must write about another time.

Alternatively I could go to the Record Office but I feel they must be too busy to answer this kind of enquiry.