Thoughts on the Irish 1901 census.
The 1901 Irish census was made available online on June 3. I kept my expectations low as most of my family records including those in the 1911 census were burned at the time of the Civil War.
My first searches returned nothing. I wasn’t surprised, just saddened. I did a place search. This search brought results. There they were, my great grandmother Margaret, her three daughters and two sons, their ages and circumstances recorded at a moment in time. There was detail right down to the number of hen houses they owned. I felt overwhelmed.
Since then I keep thinking of my great grandmother. She was widowed when my grandfather was ten and her youngest child a few months old. At least three of her children died in childhood.
On the census return Margaret is described as a ‘farmeress’. I can visualise her as she refused to be recorded as a farmer. Her spirit and femininity sparkle through.
Prior to this Margaret was just a name on a page. Now I feel I have connected with her.
National Archives Ireland http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/