Mapping the 1901 census

I got bored last Wednesday and decided to map the 1901 census. By Saturday, it was done.

Having already mapped the District Electoral Divisions for the 1911 census, it was clear that there would be less work for 1901, but I was surprised (to put it mildly) at how little was involved. Most of the effort went into tracking down DEDs which the National Archives had recorded under different spellings for 1901 and 1911.  Grumble, grumble.

McMahon/McMahon in 1901

It’s all too easy to trip over so many maps, so I also introduced a new, maps-only navigation box (e.g. Sugrue). Because it’s now simple to skip from 1850s to 1901 and 1911, one of the unexpected things that’s emerging is how persistent some variant spellings can be in the same area over multiple generations. Have a look at McGrory versus McCrory, for example. Prima facie evidence that, though the Gaelic original of both surnames may have been Mac Ruaidhrí, there were (at least) two distinct family lines by the mid-nineteenth century.

A slight McMahon drift towards Dublin by 1911

(But wait, I hear you say. Don’t you beat everyone around the head about how unreliable Irish surnames are as indicators of lineage? Aren’t you contradicting yourself?

To which the response is that, as well as the slipperiness of surnames, one of my other axioms is that every generalisation you make about Irish genealogy can be contradicted. Even this one.)

Anyway. The 1901 map has all the flaws of the 1911. There’s still the long grind of adding large numbers of long-incidence surnames to my surnames variants tables. My summer holidays.

The site now has maps of Pender’s survey of 1659, Griffith’s (1847-64), the GRO birth indexes 1864-1913 and the 1901 and 1911 censuses.

That’s a long two-century gulf before Griffith’s.  Any suggestions for a good country-wide 18th-century data-set?

5 thoughts on “Mapping the 1901 census”

    1. The Flax Growers list of 1796 is hardly comprehensive but at least is something (barely) inside the 18th century. The Hearth Money Rolls do not cover everywhere but are a generation after Penders. The Tithe lists are a generation earlier than Griffiths. As you know better than anybody, there is not much out there.

  1. John, the link in this article for ‘maps-only navigation box’ takes me to a page listing locations for the name Sugrue and variants. ??


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.