Searching problems

Too many results?

If you got too many results, here are some things you can do:

  • Add any extra information you may have, such as age, sex, townland, street;
  • Try alternative spellings of the name(s); see surnames
  • Use the wildcard facility;
  • If you know where the person lived, type the street/townland name into the relevant box, and it will bring up all the occupants of that street/townland. You can sort them alphabetically by surname, first name, townland, age, sex and DED;
  • If you know where the person lived, go into the Browse function and find the street/townland, then look through the list of occupants. If the name is spelt very strangely, this is one way to find it.


Perhaps your ancestor was in an institution at the time of the census. People in institutions like prisons, army and police barracks, asylums and workhouses were often listed in the census only by their initials. Thus, Mary Smith will be listed only as M.S. If you think the person you seek was in an institution in 1901/1911, first try the return for the institution, if you know it, as the ancillary information on the return (age, county of birth, previous occupation etc.) will help you to decide whether this is the right person. If you don't know the institution, or merely suspect that someone might have been in one, use their initials plus the age and sex boxes to narrow it down, eg M S, 25, female.

No results?

If you got no results, this could be due to a number of factors:

  • The name could be spelled differently; see surnames for help;
  • The person may not have lived where you think; try entering the name without any geographic information;
  • The person you are seeking may not have been in Ireland on census night;
  • The person you are seeking may have been in an institution, and only listed under their initials; see institutions for help.

Errors in index of names

There will be some errors in the index of names, and we are happy to receive corrections from users of the site. We cannot correct entries which accurately reflect what was filled out in the census form. Corrections received from our users will be entered as resources permit, and we ask for your patience in this matter. We are grateful to users for their assistance with errors. Please use the dynamic error transcription form, on which you can enter corrections, and which is available as a link from every household search/browse results page throughout the census site.

Mis-spelt Placenames

A programme of comprehensive corrections of mis-spelt placenames will be carried out over the coming months, so users do not need to alert us to these errors.