15 March 2012
The Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations' (CIGO's) campaign for the release of the 1926 Census of Ireland has been
The Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations' (CIGO's) campaign for the release of the 1926 Census of Ireland has been successful.
Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD confirmed in a written statement that the Cabinet has approved the plan to digitise the 1926 Census returns. Legislation, he said, would be enacted by June or July this year. ‘Following its enactment, I will have to come up with the resources to implement it. I cannot start the process until the enabling legislation has been passed.’
Steven Smyrl, CIGO’s executive liaison officer, said: ‘It more than justifies the long campaign which CIGO had led. It has taken many years to convince those responsible that the 1926 Census returns are an invaluable source for the history and genealogy of the Irish people.’
The returns, compiled 86 years ago, amount to a ‘family snapshot’ taken just after a succession of tumultuous events in the history of Ireland. First the Great War, then the 1916 Rising, quickly followed by the War of Independence, partition and the creation of the State and then the fateful civil war.
In addition to the usual name and surname, relationship to head of household, marital status, language, religion and profession, this 1926 Census collected the following:
- Age in years and months
- Town or townland of birth
- ‘Orphanhood’, ie notation if one or both parents deceased
- Name and address of employer
- If unemployed, normal profession/trade plus period of unemployment
- Present marriage duration (both men and women to answer)
- Total number of children born in present marriage (both men and women to answer)
- Living children and step-children under 16 for all marriages (both men and women to answer)
- Size of the household’s landholding in acres.
Access to the returns for 1926 would supplement greatly the access now so readily available online to the returns for the 1911 Census. This information would be a real boon to family historians tracing Irish roots.