Copies of some pages of Rural Townlands from the 1831 Census Returns

Below is a copy of a page from the microfilm version of this source. Remember this page is a transcript of some of the information in the original enumerators' forms designed to show the religious make-up of the population of the county in 1831. It shows the name of the head of each household in part of the townland of Mormeal and part of the townland of Granny [spelt Graney] in the Parish of Kilcronaghan, Barony of Loughinsholin. The headings at the top of the page are self-explanatory. The full set of sub-headings under Religion include Established Church, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Other Protestant Dissenters. Note that separate information is given on the number of males and females within a family in a house and the number of male and female servants. This distinction is not carried through to the columns on Religion. However, it is usually fairly easy to work out the religion of servants within a household. Note that the number of families listed against each household is usually one, particularly in rural areas - it can be greater than this in urban areas, particularly in the City of Londonderry.

In the example below House No. 1 in Graney has 2 families living in the one house. However only one family name - Andrew Stewart - is given. Sometimes, particularly in the barony of Tirkeeran, the names of the additional families are given. Note how difficult it is to decide on the spellings of some of the names. For example the forename Andrew is quite difficult to decipher. Have a look in the 1831 database and see what I have entered for each of the names on this page. Have a look at a copy of a further page, below, relating to the parish of Banagher in the barony of Keenaght.


PRONI: MIC/5A/8

Below is a another copy of part of a page [two of the religion columns are missing] from the jpg. below. It shows the name of the head of each household in part of the townland of Rallagh [spelt Ballagh in the returns] in the parish of Banagher, Barony of Keenaght. Note that the handwriting here is much clearer. Note also that there is one uninhabited house with no name given. The practice of how uninhabited houses were recorded in these returns is not consistent across the county. Here, in the northwest, the name of the person owning the house is rarely given. However, in the eastern part of the county in the baronies of Coleraine and Loughinsholin the name of the person is usually given and it is very often the person whose household is enumerated immediately above the uninhabited house in the list. So it may be that this uninhabited house in Rallagh belonged to Arthur McClelland but we cannot be sure. Note that first names are often abbreviated in the returns. In my earlier databases I tended to the full spelling of a forename. In the present database I have tried to use the exact spelling of forenames e.g. Andw. rather than Andrew. Note, however, that some enumerators used full spellings - as was the case in House No. 1 in the townland of Graney.

One other interesting point here is the enumeration of the families of three strolling beggars - thus the reason for no house number. Note, also, the spelling of the surnames - Hasson [Hafson] and Cassidy [Kefsedy]. These are eighteenth-century spellings which use f for s, sometimes. You also find Rofs, McCandlefs, etc. on many pages. Even "Miss" can, sometimes, be spelt "Mifs"


PRONI: MIC/5A/8

Copyright 2017 W. Macafee.