One of many delights of the Nationwide Archives of Eire census website is the great flexibility of its search interface. Inside the modestly-labelled “extra search choices” part, you’ll be able to search on any of the items of data collected by the census or any mixture of them. So if all you understand about your Mary Ryan born 1871-1881 is that by 1911 she had had 5 youngsters and 4 have been nonetheless alive, you’ll be able to instantly scale back your potential candidates from more than 600 proper down to 10. In fact it additionally supplies excellent scope for limitless idle snooping.
A value was paid for this flexibility, although. Returns for non-standard households, specifically establishments, needed to be handled as barely second-class, unavailable to go looking in the identical element. Consequently all of them (Barracks, Faculty and Boarding-Faculties, Hospitals, Prisons, Lunatic Asylums, Workhouses and the uncommon and unique “Return of the sick at their very own properties”) turned tougher to seek out, even when utilizing the Browse part. Just a few years in the past, with the intention to discover the returns for a hospital in North Dublin, I needed to monitor down the title of the Director in Thom’s Listing for 1911, discover him and his household within the census after which browse the returns across the space the place they lived.
So there’s all the time been a bit itch there to enhance entry to the institutional returns and I’ve simply scratched it. I attended an occasion a number of weeks again placed on by the Wise Code Firm, a Belfast outfit whose flagship product “Cantabular” specialises in dealing with the web publication of information that requires detailed care about confidentiality. Latest censuses are the apparent instance.
They picked the Irish 1911 census to reveal publicly simply how minutely their software program can slice and cube a census and current it in all types of unveiling maps and tables. Statistician’s heaven. You’ll discover a detailed blog post on the process here and a recording of the complete occasion at https://cantabular.com/blog/event-1911-irish-census-and-technology/
A by-product of their hands-on demo was a method for extracting particulars on all of the non-standard returns, Varieties C, D, E, F, G, H I and Ok. So I mapped all of them and the map is now free here on this site, and by way of the maps navigation within the Browse part.
Just a few issues have turn out to be clear. A big majority of the establishments coated are barracks. The map makes it clear simply how closely policed Eire was in 1911. The identical return was used for police and armed forces barracks, making it arduous to see from the returns simply the place the British Military was concentrated. The map now provides a transparent concept of the numbers in every barrack, exhibiting the place huge military centres have been situated. Though the directions specified that solely initials must be given, fairly a number of navy barracks give full names, Tipperary town and Victoria Barracks in Cork city to offer simply two examples. The truth that it’s potential to root by way of the returns extra simply will throw up extra insights, I’m certain.
And there have been a mere four Returns of the sick at their own homes.