Government census taking began in the early nineteenth century in Ireland. The first, and partial, census was carried out in 1813. This was followed in 1821 with the first complete countrywide census on 28 May. A new census was taken every 10 years after this date, up to 1911. The census for 1921 was never carried out because of the disarray caused by the War of Independence. Censuses for what is now the Republic of Ireland began in 1926.
The aim of the census was to understand the size and make-up of the Irish population to better inform government policy. As a consequence the range of questions asked, and information gathered, in each of the census returns 1821-1911 varied. In general they got progressively more detailed as new issues were felt important enough to analyse statistically.
The majority of Irish census returns from the nineteenth century were destroyed. The 1861-91 census returns were officially destroyed in their entirety, partly because of paper shortages at the outbreak of the World War in 1914. Earlier returns (1813-51) were mostly destroyed with the destruction of the Public Record Office at the outset of the Civil War in 1922.
But the statistical results from all these census returns were compiled into tables and printed for circulation among civil servants and politicians. From 1851 to 1911 these statistical tables and accompanying analysis were printed in a volume for each county for each year. It is these county reports that are reproduced here on CD-ROM or digital download.
Initially these tables recorded the numbers, ages and gender of the population by townland, civil parish and barony. These figures are important as they describe the changing circumstances of each district in Ireland and provide contextual information for family and social history. The reports usually list the change in population over the previous 10 years, so at a glance you can see the impact of the Famine in the 1851 reports. From 1871 the information gathered increased dramatically, and tables of statistics concerning "conjugal condition" (i.e. marital status), occupation, location of birth, disability, religious profession, education, emigration and foreigners appear.
The reports are far more than dry statistical tables. With this information the experience and composition of a townland can be tracked over the decades. Families and individuals were part of a wider townland community, and knowing that history can help researchers assess the social environment of a family. This provides essential background and context for any family history.
This collection of official census reports for County Cork includes the following years: 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911. Cork city is also included in all the reports. Together these reports come to 1,882 pages.
Download the 1851 Census Report for Cork City & East Riding containing 68 pages (8,693KB)
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Download the 1851 Census Report for Cork West Riding containing 47 pages (6,168KB)
Download the 1861 Census Report for Cork City & East Riding containing 66 pages (8,799KB)
Download the 1861 Census Report for Cork West Riding containing 47 pages (6,521KB)
Download the 1871 Census Report for County & City of Cork containing 287 pages (31,605KB)
Download the 1881 Census Report for County & City of Cork containing 280 pages (33,143KB)
Download the 1891 Census Report for County & City of Cork containing 288 pages (34,703KB)
Download the 1901 Census Report for County & City of Cork containing 409 pages (40,964KB)
Download the 1911 Census Report for County & City of Cork containing 390 pages (36,348KB)
This important book of 104 pages lists over 9,000 marriages prior to 1800. The author produced this work to further the project begun by Herbert Webb Gillman of indexing all the marriage licence bonds for the entire county of Cork. Gillman published an index for the Diocese of Cork & Ross for the years 1623-1750 in 1896, but died shortly thereafter. Green took up the task of indexing the other major Cork diocese, that of Cloyne, which was published in 1899, and is reproduced here in digital format.
Green's work is based on the index that existed at the Public Records Office in Dublin prior to its destruction in 1922. As a consequence it has added value in being the only surviving index to these records.
The importance of marriage licence bonds as a genealogical source was well described by Gillman in the introduction to his Index: "In the absence of Parish Registers and of Marriage Licence Grants, the next best evidence (which in such absence becomes then primary presumptive evidence) is a Marriage Licence Bond. Such a bond had to be entered into before a Bishop would grant his licence for a proposed marriage, because the Bishop was open to an action for damages if he issued a licence for the solemnisation of a marriage against which there existed some 'canonical let or impediment', or some other legal objection, such as a pre-contract of one of the parties to marry some other person; and so, to protect himself, the Bishop required two solvent persons, of whom the intending bridegroom was generally one, to enter into a bond for the sum stated therein - generally proportioned to the status of the parties - that there existed no such impediment or objection."
Thomas George Hennis Green (1864-1926) was an active member of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, the Royal Society for Antiquaries of Ireland and was a member of the Royal Irish Academy. His great interest was Cork history and genealogy, and he was also the author (jointly with Henry Biddal Swanzy of the book "The family of Green of Youghal, Co. Cork; being an attempt to trace the descendants of Simon Green, merchant" (1902)
This is an essential resource for those studying family history in County Cork.
Charles Smith M.D. (1715-1762) was one of Ireland's earliest topographers and county historians as well as being a physician. Having worked on his histories of Down (1744), Waterford (1746) "The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Cork" was first published in 1750. This was followed by a history of County Kerry published in 1756. The edition in this publication is the second edition published in 1774. Spread over two volumes and nine hundred pages The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Cork is a comprehensive study of the "natural, civil, ecclesiastical, historical, and topographical" status of Cork county and city.
Dedicated to Henry Boyle, one of the Lord Chief Justices' and later Earl of Shannon, Smith intended the work to promote improvement in the county itself. Each volume is divided into two books. Book one covers the ancient names of the territories and the inhabitants, as well as dealing with the ecclesiastical state of the county and the geographical layout. Book two covers the general topography of the county and then deals with baronies themselves in greater detail. Greater attention is paid to Mallow and of course the city of Cork itself. The book, and the first volume, closes with the present state of the city touching on such areas as churches, hospitals, franchises and privileges, militia and finishes with a list of magistrates of the city from 1199 to 1773.
Book three deals with the civil history of the county. Beginning with some incidents that were recorded before the arrival of the English, continuing with the arrival of the English up to the death of Henry VIII, the reign of Queen Elizabeth and the rebellions of the Earl of Desmond, the reign of James I and Charles I, the 1641 Rebellion, the restoration of Charles II and finishing with his death and an account to the time of writing. Book four, the final part, covers areas of the natural history of County Cork. This includes such diverse topics as the rise and progress of the rivers in the county, the medicinal waters of the county, fish and fisheries, rare and unusual plants, a catalogue of birds, fossil's found, phenomena observed in the air, ancient monuments, and some brief notes on "remarkable persons" who lived in the county, such as Mary Barry, a poor woman who was in 1750 approximately 106 years old!
For anyone with an interest in the County Cork, the two volumes of The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Cork are a must have. This is a fantastic source spanning from some of the earliest days of the county right up to the mid eighteenth century.
The Irish Statistical Survey was carried out under the direction of the Royal Dublin Society. Each county was surveyed with the aim of determining the actual state, capabilities and defects of agriculture, manufactures and rural economy. In practice the surveys contained a vast quantity of local information on almost every aspect of the county surveyed. Because these studies were carried out under central direction the quality of the information provided is good, and given their early date, they remain an invaluable source for the study of each county. They record many details about conditions in pre-Famine Ireland, including social and economic conditions, the growth of population and poverty, education, religion, history, the Irish language and local customs.
The Cork survey was published in 1810. It covers the entire county, barony by barony, treating all of the main topics in 896 pages. This includes a detailed full colour map of the county. The study ends with an extended conclusion on the main problems towards the advancement of Cork. In the authors opinion education was the key, both to bring better agricultural methods as well as to civilise the wealthier farmers and tradesmen!
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This is one of earliest full commercial directories of Ireland, and includes over 220 urban centres throughout the island. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, tradesmen, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland. There is a description of each Province and town as well. This was Pigot's much-expanded second edition (the previous version dated 1820) and is now extremely rare.
This title includes the Introductory sections, and the Munster section only.
Lewis gives details about every parish, town and village in Ireland, including numbers of inhabitants, the economy, history, topography, religion and parish structures, administration and courts, schools, and much more. He also gives the names of the principal inhabitants (generally landlords, merchants and professionals).
This Dictionary is in four parts:
· Preface & Subscribers
· Volume 1: A-G
· Volume 2: H-Z
· Volume 3: Maps
The Maps are in full colour, making this source one of the most important for research on Ireland.
This book really contains two publications. The first is the general directory for Cork city. This important publications includes an alphabetical directory, street directory and trades and professions directory for the city, as well as full lists of administrative offices, and public and private institutions. This is followed by Wynne's Directory of the province of Munster, which covers every county. Each county section starts with a list of administrative and judicial officers, after which there is a full trade directory for each town.
This extremely rare book also includes some illustrations of Cork as well as a vast number of illustrated advertisements.
This superb book includes a full commercial directory for the entire country. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, trades, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland. Slater took over Pigot's important publication of commercial directories of Ireland, and this was the first instalment. It has almost twice as much detail as its predecessor (published in 1824), and is now an extremely rare item.
This title includes the Introductory sections, and the Munster, Cork & Limerick sections only.
For those familiar with the study of Irish history and in particular Irish genealogy, directories such as Slater's are a vital research tool. Each town and village contained in the Directory is introduced by its geographical location in relation to its nearest railway station together with population statistics derived from the 1861 Census of Ireland as well as a brief geographical and topographical description. The Directory provides the names and addresses of the principal private residents, together with those engaged in commercial and agricultural activity as well as the presence and location of religious, commercial and public institutions.
This publication reproduces just the Province of Munster and cities of Cork and Limerick sections of Slater's 1870 Royal National Directory of Ireland. This directory is one of only nine national directories for Ireland published prior to 1900 and an essential research tool for the study of Irish genealogy and history.
This superb book includes a full commercial directory for the entire country. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, trades, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland.
This is the third edition of Slaters, for the year 1881, and contains 1,580 pages of information including a large-scale map of Ireland.
Francis Guy postal directory of the province of Munster is an exceptionally important book. It is one of the few detailed directories for Munster from this period, and records over 140,000 names in 1,183 pages. There is a section for each county, beginning with a history and description of the county, followed by administrative office holders, judiciary, religions and clerics, fairs, markets, banks, education, legal, medical, institutions, newspapers, poor law unions, county and city establishments. This is followed by a full postal directory for every village and town in the county. This directory is structured by profession, and is similar to a trades directory, except that it also includes a full directory of farmers in the locality. The list for each place also includes all administrative officials and institutions (schools, churches, etc.) for that area. Each name also gives an address and profession. This is followed by a full alphabetical directory for the county that lists name, profession and address for each person. The county sections that include a city area (i.e. Cork, Limerick and Waterford) have parallel postal directories and alphabetical directories for those cities as well as the county. Each county section finishes with some statistics, and also includes a number of unique illustrations.
The following list gives the number of pages and names recorded for each county:
Clare: 102 pages, 12,000 names
Cork city and county: 508 pages, 60,000 names
Kerry: 122 pages, 12,000 names
Limerick city and county: 174 pages, 22,000 names
Tipperary: 164 pages, 20,000 names
Waterford city and county: 113 pages, 14,000 names
Published by HMSO from evidence given to both house of Parliament in February 1893 by Assistant Commissioner Mr. Arthur Wilson Cox, the full title of this publication gives some idea as to its nature and scope:
'Royal Commission on Labour: The Agricultural Labourer. Vol. IV. Ireland, Part IV, Reports by Mr. Arthur Wilson Cox, (Assistant Commissioner) upon certain selected districts in counties Cork, Mayo, Roscommon & Westmeath'.
In fact, the information presented in the 146 page Report was taken from the Commission's Surveys of four Poor Law Unions, namely Wesport, Castlereagh, Skibbereen and Delvin and is one of a number of similar reports into the state of agricultural labourers that taken with the reports that covered the remainder of the county constitutes one of the most detailed investigations into the conditions of agricultural labourer in Ireland ever undertaken. The evidence presented in the Reports derived from a plethora of sources, which give both this and the Commission's conclusions great validity. Amongst the sources from which evidence was garnered were secretaries of local labour leagues, land agents and landlords, independent witnesses, Poor Law Union Guardians, parish priests as well as personal interviews by the Commissioner and his agents. These interviews included visiting labourers' cottages in each of the subdistricts of the unions surveyed and much of the firsthand evidence gathered revealed the depressing conditions experienced by the rural and urban labourer alike.
The scope of the Commission's inquiry was as far-reaching as were its final conclusions. The specific areas of inquiry for volume IV part IV were voluminous and taken with the conclusions covered 108 areas of specific enquiry. The main headings of the inquiry for part IV were as follows: Part I, which set out the conditions of the inquiry for part IV and included descriptions of the Poor Law Unions examined, money expended by the Unions, the general conditions of labourers, population, earnings, congestion and rates of emigration. Part II dealt specifically with the supply of labour and made inquiry into areas such as the impact of mechanisation, numbers employed in the past decade, employment of women and the efficiency of labour. Part III considered conditions of engagement and included inquiries into the effects of diet, tea and alchahol drinking and seasonal hours worked in all sectors of the rural economy. Part IV details wages and earnings of the agricultural labourer and under 25 subheadings analysis in considerable details wage as opposed to incomes in kind experienced in the four Unions visited by the Commissioner's of Inquiry. Part V examined the conditions of accommodation and part VI the types and usage of lands leased by the rural labourer. Part VII examined the role played in the rural economy by benefit societys and trade unions whereas part VIII reported on the relations between employer and employee. The report concluded in parts IX and X by comparing the overall conditions of agricultural labourers in the Poor Law Unions of Westport, Castlereagh, Skibbereen and Delvin with those in Norfolk and Suffolk, England.
These areas of inquiry differed only slightly from areas of inquiry conducted into the conditions of agricultural labourer in other parts of the country, but part IV did consider the most areas of agrarian society were examined by the Commission.
In short, the Commission probed into every conceivable aspect of labourer's lives and probably extended its scope beyond its original remit by inquiring into the conditions and circumstances of town labourers, miners and women labourers both town and country. Taken as a whole the 1893 Royal Commission on Labour provides provides some of the best social, economic and historical data available for the labouring classes of Ireland towards the end of the 19th century and will be a useful time for academics and those simply interested in the socio-economic conditions experienced by much of the population of Ireland in the 1890s.
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Buy the Compendium with all four volumes and save €12
Published by HMSO from evidence given to both house of Parliament in February 1893 by Assistant Commissioner W. O. O'Brien, the full title of this publication gives some idea as to its nature and scope:
'Royal Commission on Labour: The Agricultural Labourer. Vol. IV. Ireland, Part II, Reports by Mr. W. P. O'Brien C.B., (Assistant Commissioner) upon certain selected districts in counties Carlow, Cork, Clare, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, King's, Limerick, Queen's, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow'.
In fact, the information presented in the 138 Report was taken from the Commissions Surveys of eleven Poor Law Unions, namely Kenmare, Kanturk, Nass, Ennistymon, Cashel, Wexford, Lismore, Thomastown, Kilmallock, Mountmellick and Carlow and is one of a number of similar reports into the state of agricultural labourers that taken together are the most comprehensive survey of the condition of agricultural labourers undertaken; the Commission undertook inquiries into 41 aspects of the lives of Irish labourers. This evidence was derived from a plethora of sources, which give both this and the Commissions conclusions great validity. Amongst the sources from which evidence was garnered were secretaries of local labour leagues, land agents, independent witnesses, Poor Law Union Guardians, parish priests as well as personal interviews by the Commissioner and his agents. These interviews included visiting labourers' cottages in each of the subdistricts of the unions surveyed and much of the firsthand evidence gathered revealed the depressing conditions experienced by the rural and urban labourer alike.
The scope of the Commission's inquiry was as far-reaching as were its final conclusions. The specific areas of inquiry were as follows: supply of labourer; immigration; conditions of engagement; terms of engagement; hours of labour and meal times; Sunday work; wages and earnings; piece work; mode of payment; prerequisites and allowances; wages earned and other employments; estimated annual earnings; diet of labourers and their families; cottage accommodation; suggested amendments to Labourer's Acts as well as a plethora of evidence as to way and means of improving labourers wages, housing and conditions; garden allotments, cultivation plots and allotments for town labourers; live stock, bee industry, cow runs and pastures; benefit societies, trade unions, relations between employer and employee; general condition of town and agricultural labourers; age and size of families and the effect of early marriages and large families.
This publication reproduces just the Province of Munster & cities of Cork and Limerick sections of Slater's 1894 Royal National Directory of Ireland. This directory is one of only nine national directories for Ireland published prior to 1900. Apart from the fulsome coverage given-over to Ireland's major cities, Slater's also provides information on the principal private and commercial residents (including farmers) of the larger towns and villages. As a fully searchable CD-Rom, the publication of Slater's Royal National Directory of Ireland is an essential research aid that must grace the shelves of anybody interested in the people and institutions of Ireland.
First published in 1880 and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the 7th edition of Ward Lock & Co's Illustrated Guide to Killarney and South-West Ireland dating from 1926-7, the complete title of which is A Pictorial and Descriptive Guide to Killarney, The Kerry Coast, Glengariff, Cork and the South-West of Ireland.
In 1854, Ebenezer Ward and George Lock starting a publishing concern and the partnership, not surprisingly, was called Ward and Lock. The business was originally based in Fleet Street, London but, by the 1870s, it had outgrown its premises and so in 1878 the business moved to Warwick House in Salisbury Square, London. In the early 1880s, the company became the proprietors of Shaw's widely-known and well-established series of tourist guides. In 1882, an office was opened in New York, America, and in 1884 a further office was opened in Melbourne, Australia. In the mid-1890s, the company opened an office in Toronto, Canada; however, this was closed in 1919. Ward Lock & Co., is now part of the Penguin Group
In a promotional statement from 1924 Ward Lock stated that 'The use of a reliable guide book doubles the pleasure and interest of a holiday. These well-known books are not dull, dry-as-dust compilations. but pleasant travelling companions, readable from cover to cover. Each volume contains the latest Maps and Plans and is lavishly illustrated. In all cases a much wider area is included than the title indicates, and it will be found that nearly every holiday and health resort of importance is described in one or more of the volumes'. This was no idle boast. By the 1950s Ward & Lock had published some 160 titles in their Illustrated Guides Series covering almost every holiday district and seaside resort of consequence in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Adopting their familiar red cloth covers in 1892, Ward & Lock employed a special staff of qualified editors and correspondents continually toured the land, compiling and revising material on all places and matters of interest to the holidaymaker and on such subjects as the local history, geology, botany and zoology of the areas concerned. The level of detail provided for the independent tourist in the so-called 'Red guides' was unsurpassed.
Containing some 299 printed pages Ward & Lock's Illustrated Guide to Killarney & South-West Ireland contains a number of fold-out district maps, plans of the Killarney and Cork and a further sixty illustrations, mostly photographs of the places illustrated in the guide. Beginning in Cork City, the Illustrated Guide provides descriptions of a series of excursions that the independent tourist could embark on around the city and its immediate environs, before heading to Killarney via Glengariff. From here the Guide provides information and strolling around Killarney Town and then to the Lakes where further tours and possible routes are provided.
Illustrated throughout with wonderful photographs, detailed maps, many hundreds of contemporary advertisements and wonderful descriptions of the places visited, the quality of Ward & Lock's Red Guides has meant that they have endured the test of time and have already become eminently collectable titles.
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