This updates and improves the Fee or Free 1911 Ireland Census post because there’s a great free option for finding the 1911 Ireland Census as well as the 1901 Ireland Census and Griffith’s Valuation.
Everyone loves census records but here’s a quick ‘why do I care’ explanation of Griffith’s Valuation (GV). Griffith’s Valuation is a census substitute for the 1800s Ireland census records. Griffith’s Valuation is a property tax survey done by Sir Richard Griffith detailing all taxable property and agriculture in Ireland in the mid-1800s. Ireland suffered huge record losses in 1922 when The Public Record Office was destroyed. The 1821, 1831, 1841, and 1851 censuses were destroyed* in the fire. The 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1891 censuses had already been destroyed by government order. So Griffith’s Valuation is the best census substitute for the mid-1800s in Ireland. “It covers over a million dwellings, and nearly 20 million acres, recording around 80% of the population. Because the Valuation was published (and has long been out of copyright) it is by far the most widely available record used for Irish research.”**
You can reread Fee or Free 1911 Ireland Census for the options but basically, RootsIreland, FindMyPast, Ancestry, and MyHeritage are four of the best subscription options for online versions of the 1911 Ireland Census as well as the 1901 Ireland Census and Griffiths Valuation.
The National Archives of Ireland is the primary free option for the 1901 & 1911 Ireland Censuses and Ask About Ireland is the primary free option for Griffith’s Valuation.
Here’s one more free option: Irish Townlands. Irish Townlands uses open source code (OpenStreetMap) to map all of Ireland and her 32 counties, 326 baronies, 2,506 civil parishes, 3,438 electoral divisions, and 60,941 townlands and subtownlands. It’s incredible!
If you already know the townland where your ancestor lived you can select it and scroll down the townland information page, see where it sits in relation to the rest of Ireland, and then find links to the 1901 Ireland Census, 1911 Ireland Census, and Griffiths Valuation. If records exist for that area, the links take you to the townland records at The National Archives of Ireland for the censuses and Ask About Ireland for Griffith’s Valuation.
If you don’t already know the townland where your ancestor lived, you’ll need to go directly to AskAboutIreland.ie and do a broad family name search (family name search instructions). Or if you’re researching an area and want to see all the residents, you can do a broad place name search (place name search instructions) and it will list all the occupants of that area with links to Griffith’s Valuation if there is one.
Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free.
*A few census returns for 1821, 1831, 1841, and 1851 still exist and are online at The National Archives of Ireland and FindMyPast, and parts are available at RootsIreland.
**Grenham, John. “What is Griffith’s Valuation” and “Why is Griffith’s important for Irish Genealogy?” Ask About Ireland. Accessed April 15, 2017. http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/irish-genealogy/what-is-griffiths-valuati/ and http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/irish-genealogy/what-is-griffiths-valuati/why-is-griffiths-importan/.
p.s. Fee sites may at times have Griffith’s Valuation searchable for free.