Census record transcriptions for three parishes are all that remain for 1861-1891
One of the saddest tales in census history is that of Ireland's deliberate destruction of its records
While we may enjoy slinging mud at governments for their mistakes, this decision wouldn't have raised an eyebrow back then when
Irish genealogy was of little interest to any other than the gentry.
Even so, these events in Ireland's census history still cause many a genealogist to weep, because none of the original papers survive for 1861-1871. Not a scrap.
Surprisingly, earlier population censuses (for 1821 to 1851) have a marginally higher survival rate (and I do mean marginal!).
From a genealogical point of view, the only glimmer of hope for records for 1861-1891 lies in JUST THREE TRANSCRIPTIONS made before the original papers were pulped.
The 1861 & 1871 Irish census transcriptions can be found at the National Library in Dublin. They're not online.
Some statisical information was gathered from the 19th-century census records before they were destroyed, and I've included some ad-hoc snippets below:
Sickness and Infirmity in 1881
The 1881 census record shows there were 71,328 persons — one in 73 of the population — classified as sick or infirm on the night of 3 April. Enumerators worked to the following classification:
Of the sick and infirm, 40,090 were 'temporarily diseased'. This compared with 44,052 in 1871, reflecting, according to the official report of the time, a considerable inprovement in the general sanitary condition of the people.
Some 31,238 were classified as 'permanently sick', up from 27,560 ten years previous.
The numbers suffering from Smallpox were down (from 122 in 1871) to just 39, of which two-thirds were in the province of Leinster. There were also 213 cases of Measles, 317 of Scarlet Fever, 7 of Diptheria, 197 of Whooping Cough (more than half in Ulster), 1501 of unspecified Fever, 377 of Dystentery, 2 of Cholera, and 3500 of Rheumatism.
A further 2624 were suffering from Consumption, also known as phthisis or Tuberculosis (TB), representing a 5% increase on 1871's census record findings. Old age or Debility was blamed on the illness of 6632 people, while 2338 were recorded as suffering the effect of some kind of accidental injury.