Researching your ancestors from Great Britain and Ireland

A guide to researching your ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, using resources at State Library Victoria.


The Irish census has been taken every 10 years since 1821 but unfortunately many records have been lost or destroyed. Many of the returns for 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were destroyed in 1922 in the Public Record Office fire that occured at the beginning of the Civil War.The original census returns for 1861 and 1871 were destroyed by the government and the 1881 and 1891 records were pulped during the First World War.

The 1901 census is the earliest and most complete census of Ireland that survives today.

Access from home

Access from the Library

19th century Census substitutes

See the Land records section of this guide.


Further information