Ireland Census Records (including pre-partition Northern Ireland)
This section of the Family History website is dedicated to Ireland genealogy and Irish Family History resources including information on Ireland’s censuses. Most of Ireland’s early census records were lost due to a number of separate actions and incidents. The 1861 Ireland Census and the 1871 Ireland Census were destroyed shortly after they were taken for confidentiality reasons, and the 1881 Ireland Census and the 1891 Ireland Census were pulped during the First World War. Then during the Irish Civil War of 1922, a major explosion and fire at the Four Courts Building in Dublin, which housed the Public Record Office of Ireland, destroyed most of the remaining archives of Ireland including some records that dated to medieval times. This fire destroyed the majority of the returns for the 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 Ireland Censuses.
Irish Census Records can be viewed free of charge
The 1901 and 1911 Ireland census records are the only pre-partition census records to survive in a good state and mostly intact. They can be searched free of charge on the National Archives of Ireland website. You can also view what survives of the 1821-1851 Ireland census records.
The search facility on the National Archives of Ireland website is very useful and you can search the actual census images by place by choosing the Census Year, County, District, Townlands/Streets and finally by House Number or Surname. You can then view the original census form as a PDF image. Very useful if you want to look up details of nearby properties and neighbours of your Irish ancestors. Here are the relevant National Archives of Ireland census search pages: