Westmeath

Eighteenth & Nineteenth Century Census Substitutes
provided by Patrick Hogan


The Convert Rolls
Protestant Householders
Elphin Diocesan Census
The Religious Survey of 1766
Charlton Trust Fund Marriage Certificates
Spinning Wheel Premium Lists
Persons who suffered losses in 1798 Rebellion
Tithe applotment Books
National School Records
Griffiths Valuation
Landowners in Ireland
Lists of Freeholders
Voters Lists and Poll Books
Electoral Records
       
1703-1838 :   The Convert Rolls
Eileen O Byrne, Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1981. (NL Ir ) A list of those 
converting from Catholicism to the Church of Ireland. The bulk of the entries 
date from 1760 to 1790.

1740 : Protestant householders
This is for parts of Cos Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Donegal and Tyrone. 
Arranged by barony and parish, it gives names only. Parts are at the Public 
Record Office of Northern Ireland, The Genealogical Office, the National 
Library and the Representative Church Body Library.

1749 :  Elphin Diocesan Census
Arranged by townland and  parish, and listing householders, their religion, 
the numbers, sex and religion of their children, and the numbers, sex and 
religion of their servants. 

1766 :  Religious Survey
In March & April of this year, Church of Ireland rectors (on the instructions 
of the government) compiled lists of householders in their parishes. The lists 
they compiled were not confined to member of the Church of Ireland, Catholics 
were also included.  This was known as the Religious Survey of 1766. No rules
were laid down on the amount of detail to be collected, nor the manner in 
which the information was to be presented.
Some rectors produced only numerical totals of population, some drew up 
partial lists, and others detailed all householders and their addresses 
individually. All of the original returns were lost in 1922, but extensive 
transcripts survive for some areas, and are deposited with various institutions.
The only  full listing of all surviving transcripts and abstracts is in the 
National Archives Reading Room, on the open shelves. However, this does not 
differentiate between those returns which supply names and those which merely  
give numerical totals.   

1795  1862 :  Charlton Trust Fund Marriage  certificates.
The  Charlton Trust Fund offered a small marriage gratuity to members of the 
Protestant labouring classes. To qualify, a marriage certificate, recording  
occupations and fathers  names and signed by the local Church of Ireland 
clergyman, had to be submitted, and these are now in the National Archives. 
They are particularly useful for the years before the start of registration 
of non Catholic  marriages in 1845. The areas covered by the Fund were mainly 
in Cos Meath and Longford, but a few certificates exist for parts of Cos Cavan, 
King s (Offaly), Louth, and Westmeath, as well as Dublin city. They are 
indexed in the NA. 
  
1796 :   Spinning  Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists
As part of  a government scheme to encourage the linen trade,  free spinning  
wheels or looms were granted to  individuals planting a certain area of land 
with  flax.  The lists of those entitled to the awards,  covering almost 
60,000 individuals, were published in  1796, and record only the name of the 
individual and  the civil parish in which he lived. The majority,  were  in 
Ulster, but some names appear from every county except Dublin and Wicklow.  
A microfiche index to the lists is available in the National Archives, and 
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. 

1798 :   Persons who Suffered Losses in the 1798 Rebellion
A   list of claims for compensation from the government  for property 
destroyed by the rebels during the  insurrection of 1798. Particularly 
useful for the property owning classes of Cos Wexford,Carlow, Dublin, Kildare 
and Wicklow.
  1831-1921 :  National School Records
In 1831, a countrywide  system of primary education was established, under   
the control of the Board of Commissioners for  National Education. The most 
useful records produced by the system are the school registers themselves, 
which record the age of the pupil, religion, father's address and occupation, 
and general observations.  Unfortunately, in the Republic of Ireland no 
attempt has been made to centralise these records; they remain in the 
custody of local schools or churches.  The Public Record Office of Northern 
Ireland has a collection of over 1500 registers for schools in the  six 
counties of Northern Ireland. The administrative  records of the Board of 
Commissioners itself are now  held by the National Archives in Dublin. 
These  include teachers salary books, which can be very useful if an ancestor 
was a teacher.  
1876  :   Landowners in Ireland
Return of owners of land of one  acre and upwards .  , London: Her Majesty's   
Stationery Office, 1876. [Reissued by The  Genealogical Publishing Company, 
Baltimore, 1988]. 
This records 32,614 owners of land in Ireland in 1876, identifying them by 
province and county; the  entries record the address of the owner, along with   
the extent and valuation of the property. Only a  minority of the population 
actually owned the land   they occupied, but the work is invaluable for those  
who did.  
Various Dates:  Freeholders 
Freehold property is held either by fee simple, with absolute freedom to 
dispose of it, by fee tail, in which the disposition is restricted to a 
particular line of heirs, or simply by life tenure.  From the early eighteenth 
century freeholders lists were drawn up regularly, usually because of the 
right to vote which went with freehold of property over a certain value. It 
follows that such lists are of genealogical interest only for a small minority 
of the population.
   
Voters Lists and Poll Books 
Voters lists cover a slightly  larger proportion of the population than 
Freeholders   lists, since freehold property was not the only determinant of 
the franchise. In particular, freemen of the various corporation towns and 
cities had a right to vote in some elections at least. Since  membership of 
a trade guild carried with it admission as a freeman, and this right was 
hereditary, a wider  range of social classes is covered. Poll books are the  
records of votes actually cast in elections.  

Electoral Records  
No complete collection of the electoral lists used in the elections of this 
century  exists.  The largest single collection of  surviving electoral 
registers is to be found in the  National Archives, but even here the coverage 
of many  areas is quite skimpy.    
                                                                                                    
Valuations :  
Local valuations, and re-valuations, of  property were  carried out with 
increasing frequency from the end of the eighteenth century, usually for  
electoral reasons. The best of these record all  householders.


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