This article was originally published in The Irish At Home and Abroad journal of Irish genealogy and heritage (volume 2 #1, 1994/1995).
No longer published.

Colonial Scots-Irish Immigrants:

The Irish Records

- Censuses and Census Substitutes

By Kyle J. Betit

There are a number of censuses and census substitutes from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries which can be used to locate ancestors or to determine where a surname was found in a certain time period. Following is a list of some of the more extensive sources. There is a detailed description in the "Census Records" chapter of Grenham's work. Further details on sources available for each county are given in the lists in Grenham's work; James Ryan's Irish Records; and the FHL publication, Register of Ireland Census and Census Substitutes (FHL #1441023 item 1).

1660s: Hearth Money Rolls
The hearth money rolls were made for the purpose of levying a tax on every fire hearth. The rolls were all destroyed in the 1922 fire at Four Courts in Dublin. However, various abstracts from the 1660s have survived, particularly for Ulster. There is a helpful discussion of hearth money rolls in Tony McCarthy's The Irish Roots Guide (pp. 67-68).

1740/1766: Religious Censuses
Fragments from religious censuses survive for Ulster counties. The 1740 census includes Protestant householders in some parishes in counties Antrim, Armagh, Donegal, Londonderry, and Tyrone. The 1766 census lists householders of all faiths, showing to what religion they belonged; returns survive for some parishes in counties Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone. A helpful discussion of the 1766 Religious Census is in McCarthy's work (pp. 65-66).

1796: Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists
These were lists of persons receiving spinning wheels and reels from the government. The original survey is on microfilm at the FHL (#1419442). All-Ireland Heritage published an index to the surviving returns (published as the "1796 Spinning Wheel Survey of Ireland" on microfiche).

1823-1837: Tithe Applotment Books
The Tithe Books were compiled to determine monetary payment of tithes to the Church of Ireland. An Index to Householders in Griffith's Primary Valuation and Tithe Applotment Books (commonly called the "Householders Index") is a widely available surname index to the Tithe Applotment Books for each county. The PRONI compiled a card index to the books for the six Northern Ireland counties; the card index is available on microfilm through the FHL. The card index usually only gives the townland and county of residence. The corresponding civil parish can be determined using the accompanying "place index," also on microfilm through the FHL. The PRONI card index to the Tithe Applotment Books can be found in the FHL Catalog under Ireland -- Land and Property -- Indexes.

1831: Census of Londonderry
The 1831 census listed heads of household by name, and indicated how many others were in the household and what their religion(s) were. The 1831 census survives for many County Londonderry parishes. 1831 Census of County Londonderry Index was compiled by the Inner City Trust in Derry. The census is available on microfilm through the FHL; the name index is available on microfiche (FHL #6342808).

1848-1864: Griffith's Primary Valuation
Griffith's lists taxable heads of household throughout Ireland. It is an important source for determining surname distribution. The "Householders Index" is a surname index by county to Griffith's. All-Ireland Heritage also published full-name indexes for some counties.
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