Early 19th Century Carlow Census (Kavanagh extracts)

Gary L Cavanaugh, M.D.


The first attempt at a government census in Ireland took place beginning in 1813. The Grand Juries of each county were responsible and the enumerators were primarily the Civil Parish constables and officers and were obviously predominantly Protestant. This may have contributed partially to the problems that plagued this effort in a population heavily Catholic since there was a reported hostility to the efforts. The results were marginal as results from 6 counties were either never reported or possibly never completed.

We know, to our chagrin, that almost all the census information was lost in the Public Record office fire in 1922 including the enumerations from 1813 through 1851. The first complete census information that exists is found in the 1901 enumeration.

There may be scattered residuals of the 1813 census that survive, however, we are not even certain of the form of the census. It appears most likely that only the head of the household, location, occupation and listing of males/females may have been recorded.

It was previously reported in the article on the 1807 Carlow Militia list (Kavanagh extracts (published on the web site) that Co. Carlow is somewhat more fortunate than many Irish Counties in that there are some 18th and early 19th century sources not available elsewhere. There, in fact, may be a fragmentary copy of this elusive 1813 census. The author was fortunate enough to be able to extract the Kavanagh listings. This list appears to from St Mullins Civil Parish but is probably only a partial return as there are certainly Kavanaghs in other townlands not listed and additional Kavanagh families who probably are not included in the townlands that are listed. It is conceivable that this list may not be the 1813 census at all but some other local enumeration. However, the breakdown of males and females in each household certainly suggests a census. It is certainly if not the 1813 census very close in date. As with the Militia list there is no additional information available for other locations either inside or outside of Carlow.

It is the author’s opinion that the male/female listings do not include the head of the household (due to other information from Parish Registers and in some cases gravestones). It should be noticed that there are boatman listed from Tinnahinch, which is on the Barrow River and the location of a lock. This was a common occupation along the Barrow River in this time frame. The townland names are given as they were written in the census. There was widespread lack of cooperation and inaccuracy reported for this census which may account for the discrepancies noted above. The form of proper names has been edited to make them more readable (I’ve retained the diminutive form of Patrick (Patt) since it is usually given in this form in documents of this time frame).


Possible fragmentary 1813 St Mullins Civil Parish Census (Kavanaghs  only)

Bahanna Bryan K. farmer 4m/4f
Michael K. farmer 2m/3f
Peter K. farmer 3m/2f
Ballycrinnigan Patt K farmer 3m/4f
Bryan K farmer 5m/5f
Ballyknockvicar Christopher K miller 5m/3f
Ballynalour Daniel K laborer 3m/2f
Bough (Bauk) Dudley K farmer 1m/3f
Thomas K farmer 2m/3f
Carriglead Bryan K. laborer 3m/4f
Dragna Michael K laborer 1m/2f
Phillip K farmer 5m/4f
Tinnahinch Thomas K Publican 2m/2f
John K. shoemaker 1m/1f
Joseph K. boatman 3m/1f
Patt K. boatman 2m/1f
Eliz. K. pw ? 0m/2f
Turragh Mrs. K. farmer 5m/4f



Results of Fire and Famine: Census Records in Ireland 1813-1911, http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=660 (Ancestry.com)

Census of Ireland 1813, http://www.histpop.org/demo-b/servlet/View?path=Browse/Essays&active=yes&mno=2038 (Online Historical Population Reports)


The assistance of Michael Purcell is deeply appreciated