A systematic government census of the Irish population was taken every 10 years from 1821 until 1911. Sadly, only 1901 and 1911 survive in complete form. Census taking was resumed after the Civil War, in 1926, and that census will be available to researchers one hundred years after the fact (January 2027).
The 1901 and 1911 censuses are very interesting to the modern reader, showing tremendous change in the last century as this area transformed from a rural village to a busy commuter town.
In this post I’ll focus on the 1911 results which I have collected for Kilcoole and the surrounding townlands. To search the census, click here.
Some interesting facts:
- 336 people lived in Kilcoole village, 809 in the total area (across 22 townlands)
- Charlesland had exactly 22 residents
- The most common surnames were: Doyle, Byrne, Keddy, Kelly, and Keegan
- 86% of those aged 14 or older could read and write
- 38% of the population worked at farming (but more would have been involved at various times during the year)
- Only ten people claimed to speak Irish, all of whom were teachers at the Convent or students
- More than half of those 20 years and older were unmarried
- Women with families had given birth to an average of 5 children
- Ten women had given birth to ten or more children: Jane Green gave birth 17 times, but only 8 were still living