Eighteenth & Nineteenth Century Census Substitutes
provided by Patrick Hogan

Census Substitutes
Below is a list of various records that could help in your research where standard public documents have not produced the results you need. Search any of the titles listed in an Internet Search engine to find out more.

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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