Last week the The National Archives of Ireland and Find my past anounced the release of over 600,000 Irish census records. These records cover the period 1821-1851 and have been made available through a cooperative partnership between the National Archives of Ireland, Findmypast and FamilySearch.org .
Access to 19th century Irish census records has alwas been difficult as most of the pre-1922 records were destroyed by a fire at the Public Record Office during the Irish Civil War. Through this digitisation project all surviving documents have been collated and put online. Many of the surviving records are from Northern Ireland with smaller collections available for the counties Cavan, Meath, Galway, Offaly and Dublin.
The resources include:
Census survivals, 1821-1851; surviving and copy census returns from the pre-famine period. The 1821 census returns are the most extensive, and record every member of a household. The 1831 and 1841 census returns only name the head of household, and give statistical information about the people in the household. In 1851, all individuals are recorded fully. In 1841 and 1851 the households also had to record the names of those who were absent on the night of the census, or who had died since the previous census.
You can search both the Census of Ireland 1901/1911 and Census fragments and substitutes, 1821-51 here.
Census Search Forms, 1841-1851; records of searches in the census records pre-1922 to provide proof of age as eligibility for the Old Age Pension, introduced in 1909. These records give names and ages of members of the family in 1841 or 1851, and often include the maiden name of the applicant’s mother. You can search the Census Search Forms here.
The records will be also available shortly on FamilySearch.org