Daily Archives: October 9, 2007

Stand up and be Counted

I was sorting through some old papers at the weekend and came across a couple of copies from the census forms from 1901 and 1911 in Ireland. They were so simple compared with the 24 page forms of the present day. Alas they are far from what is considered politically correct in this day and age.

The 1901 Form had one page with 11 columns to be completed.

RETURN of the MEMBERS of this FAMILY and their VISITORS, BOARDERS, SERVANTS, ETC., who slept or abode in this House on the night of Sunday, the 31st of March 1901.


Columns 1 Name & Surname

The Name of the Head of the Family should be written first; then the names of his Wife, Children, and other Relatives; then those of Visitors, Boarders, Servants, Etc.,

Column 2 – Relation to Head of Family.

State whether ‘Head of Family,’ or ‘Wife,’ ‘Son,’ ‘Daughter,’ or other Relative; ‘Visitor,’ ‘Boarder,’ ‘Servant,’ Etc.

Column 3 – Religious Profession.

State here the particular Religion, or Religious Denomination, to which each person belongs. [Members of Protestant Denominations are requested not to describe themselves by the vague term “Protestant,” but to enter the name of the Particular Church, Denomination, or Body to which they belong.]

Column 4 – Education.

State here whether he or she can “Read and Write,” can “Read” only, or “Cannot Read.”

Column 5 – Age

This is divided into two columns. A) Age last Birthday & b) Months for Infants under one year.

Column 6 – Sex

Column 7 – Rank, Profession or Occupation.

State the particular Rank, Profession, Trade, or other Employment of each person. Children or young persons attending School, or receiving regular instruction at home, should be returned as Scholars.

– Now ladies take a deep breath as we look at this one.

In the 1911 Census the following note is added to this column:

[No entry should be made in the case of wives, daughters, or other female relatives solely engaged in domestic duties at home.]

Column 8 – Marriage

Whether ‘Married,’ ‘Widower,’ ‘Widow,’ or ‘Not Married.’ The latter becomes ‘Single,’ in the 1911 version.

Column 9 – Where Born

If in Ireland state in what County or City; if elsewhere, state the name of the Country.

Column 10 – Irish Language.

Write the word ‘Irish’ in the column opposite the name of each person who speaks Irish only, and the words ‘Irish & English’ opposite the names of those who speak both languages. In other cases no entry should be made in this column.

Column 11This abhors me!

If Deaf and Dumb;

Dumb only;


Imbecile or Idiot;

Or Lunatic

Write the respective infirmities opposite the name of the afflicted person.

I notice in this column in the 1911 Census, entered next my grandfather’s name is: Right leg amputated