Digitisation of the 1926 Census

  • A unique snapshot of life in Ireland – the 1926 Census data to be published and made available to the public
  • €5M in funding provided for the digitisation and publication of the 1926 census
  • Over 700,000 individual return sheets containing data from the 26 ROI counties to be digitised as part of the National Archives of Ireland project
Digitisation of the 1926 Census

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, today announced that the individual returns from the 1926 Census will be published on line, searchable and free of charge in April 2026. The project will be undertaken by the National Archives of Ireland.

The 1926 Census was the first census undertaken following the foundation of the state. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) published information generated by the census including population, age, occupation, religion, housing and the Irish language.

On the night of 18 April 1926, the population of Ireland was 2,971,992 with 49% female and 51% male.  At the previous census in 1911, the population was 3,139,688 demonstrating a reduction of 5.3% in the population in 15 years to 1926. Dublin was the only county to record an increase in population of almost 6% in the intercensal period, while all other counties recorded a loss. In 1926, a total of 92.6% of the population was Catholic and 18.3% could speak Irish. Of those employed, 51% were in agricultural occupations, 4% were fisherman, 14% were in manufacturing and 7% were domestic servants. Details are published on the CSO website at:


Personal information entered on individual census forms can be published 100 years after a census is taken. Since the personal information contained in the 1901 and 1911 census returns was published a decade ago, public interest in genealogy has mushroomed, and this continues with a growing interest in the detail contained in the 1926 census. These returns contain personal details of each individual alive at the time in Ireland. The 1926 census collected 21 data sets such as name, age, sex, marital status, religion, housing conditions and ability to speak Irish. It is planned to digitise and publish all data sets. This information will undoubtedly provide a fascinating snapshot of life in Ireland in 1926 and will be of great use to both the Irish public and diaspora worldwide.

Work will now commence to preserve, transcribe and digitise the individual census returns at a cost of €5 million. The funding has been allocated by Minister Martin for the time-consuming, specialist works necessary to allow these records to be made available free of charge to the public in April 2026. This policy of open access aligns to the Governments overall Open Data Strategy and holds significant potential for comparison between the pre-1922 data and the 1926 data at a time of radical change in Ireland.

At present, the 1926 census is stored in 1,344 boxes, containing over 700,000 return sheets, each measuring approximately 630mm x 290mm (A3 is 297x430mm). The returns are laced together in 2,464 canvas portfolios each representing an enumeration area within each of the 26 counties.

Digitising the 1926 Census will be undertaken by the National Archives of Ireland in close cooperation with the CSO – the current and future bodies responsible for the census.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin said: 

“I am pleased to provide funding of €5 million for the digitisation and publication of the 1926 census.  It is my firm belief that census records and other genealogical records should be easily accessible and provided free of charge to the public. The €5M funding will provide for the complex, time consuming and multistage process to digitise all of the information collected by the first census of the Irish State. I am confident that work will be completed in time for release 100 years after the census was taken. Given the success of the digitised 1901 and 1911 census returns, I’m sure that the 1926 Census will be equally as popular and have a significant global reach once released. The census is a fundamental part of our national heritage and collective knowledge.”

Extra info :

  • The first full Government census of Ireland was taken in 1821 with further censuses at ten-yearly intervals from 1831 through to 1911. A census was taken in June 1921, in England, Scotland and Wales but not on the island of Ireland because of the War of Independence. The first census of the population of the Irish Free State was taken on 18 June 1926.
  • The censuses from 1851 to 1911 were taken under the supervision of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The 1926 and all subsequent censuses were taken under the Statistics Act, 1926. The responsibility for taking censuses was transferred from the Registrar General to the newly established Statistics Branch of the Department of Industry and Commerce. The Statistics Branch has since become the Central Statistics Office.
  • The 1926 census returns, and indeed, all censuses less than 100 years old, remain under the legal control of the Central Statistics Office (CSO).  To date censuses have been taken in 1926, 1936, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1979 (the census due in 1976 was cancelled as an economy measure), 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2002 and 2006. The returns for 1926 – 1946 and part of those for 1951 are held in the National Archives, but they remain under the control of the Central Statistics Office. The more recent returns are still held by the Central Statistics Office.
  • Sections 33 and 35 of the Statistics Act 1993 allow for the release of information gathered by a Census that relates either directly or indirectly to an identifiable person 100 years after the date that the census was taken.
  • After 100 years, the census returns must be formally transferred to the National Archives and released for public inspection, in accordance with Section 8 of the National Archives Act, 1986.
  • The Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the body responsible for the gathering of census data, has published very significant information taken from the 1926 Census in 10 volumes that include population, age, occupation, religion, housing, conjugal conditions, dependency, industries and the Irish language.  The 10 volumes are available on CSO website at Census 1926 Reports – CSO – Central Statistics Office.
  • The digitisation of the 1901 and 1911 censuses from 2007 to 2010 was less complex as the census returns had been placed on microfilm in the 1960s by the Genealogical Society of Utah (the Mormons).  Digitisation required the scanning of the microfilm to a digital form and a database index to the information recorded in the forms was created.  This database index now allows the website user to search the census data by forename, surname, county, address, age and sex. The census data is also linked to the digital images of the individual returns in which the data was recorded. The total cost of digitising the microfilm 1901 and 1911 census returns and indexing the census data was €3.6 million.
  • The 1901 and 1911 censuses digitised all of the information collected in the census so that each field is now available (and searchable) on the website. It is proposed to take a similar approach with the 1926 census and make all of the information collected at the time available on line. This consists of 21 data sets divided between Form A with 13 data sets and Form B with 8 data sets.

Providing public access to the 1926 census is really only possible if the census returns are digitised and made available as a searchable resource on line, as was done with the 1901 and 1911 censuses.  This involves the conservation and preservation of the 96 year old returns.

The 1926 census consists of 630,048 household returns with one census return sheet per household along with around 70,0000  enumerators’ sheets.  Each return measures approximately 630mm x 290mm (A3 is 297x430mm).  The returns are laced together in 2,464 canvas portfolios each representing an enumeration area within each of the 26 counties. The entire census is stored in 1,344 boxes.

The 1926 census collected 21 data sets and it is planned to that all will be digitised and made available to the public on line in 2026.  The household return – Form A – has 13 data sets and the remaining 8 are on enumerators’ sheets Form B.

Household Returns (Form A) 13 data sets of information for each household

  1. Name and surname;
  2. Relationship to head of household;
  3. Age (in years and months);
  4. Sex;
  5. Marriage or orphan hood;
  6. Birthplace (including name of parish)
  7. Irish language;
  8. Religion;
  9. Occupation and employment: personal occupation;
  10. Occupation and employment: employment/name of employer;
  11. Information regarding present marriage required from married women: number of completed years and months of present marriage, and number of children born alive to present marriage;
  12. Information regarding present and previous marriages required from Married Men, Widowers and Widows: the number of living sons, daughters, step-sons and step-daughters under 16 years of age, whether residing as members of this household or elsewhere.
  13. The total area in statute acres of all agricultural holdings (if any) situated in the Irish Free State of which persons usually resident in this household are the rated occupiers.

Enumerator Returns (Form B) for each townland/street:

  1. Whether buildings are private dwelling houses or other buildings;
  2. Whether inhabited or uninhabited
  3. Number of distinct families living in each house or building;
  4. Name of the head of each family;
  5. Number of males;
  6. Number of females;
  7. Total population;
  8. Number of rooms occupied by each family.

Digitiú Dhaonáireamh 1926  

  • Léargas ar shaol na hÉireann – sonraí dhaonáireamh 1926 le foilsiú agus le cur ar fáil don phobal
  • Cuirfear €5m ar fáil do dhigitiú agus foilsiú dhaonáireamh 1926
  • Níos mó ná 700,000 bileog ar a bhfuil sonraí ón 26 chontae i bPoblacht na hÉireann le digitiú mar chuid de thionscadal Chartlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann

Inniu d’fhógair an tAire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán, Catherine Martin TD, go bhfoilseofar na tuairisceáin aonair ó Dhaonáireamh 1926 ar líne inchuardaithe agus saor in aisce i mí Aibreáin 2026. Is í Cartlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann a thabharfaidh faoin tionscadal.

Ba é Daonáireamh 1926 an chéad daonáireamh a rinneadh tar éis bhunú an Stáit. D’fhoilsigh an Phríomh-Oifig Staidrimh faisnéis a cruthaíodh sa daonáireamh lena n-áirítear daonra, aois, slí bheatha, reiligiún, tithíocht agus an Ghaeilge.

Ar an 18 Aibreán 1926, 2,971,992 a bhí i ndaonra na hÉireann, 49% baineann agus 51% fireann.  Sa daonáireamh roimhe sin in 1911, 3,139,688 a bhí sa daonra, rud a léiríonn laghdú 5.3% ar an daonra i 15 bliana go 1926. Ba é Baile Átha Cliath an t-aon chontae inar taifeadadh ardú daonra  beagnach 6% sa tréimhse idirdhaonáirimh, agus taifeadadh caillteanas i ngach contae eile. In 1926, Caitlicigh a bhí in 96.2% den daonra agus bhí 18.3% in ann Gaeilge a labhairt. Díobh siúd a bhí fostaithe, bhí 51% ina ngairmeacha talmhaíochta, bhí 4% ina n-iascairí, 14% i ndéantúsaíocht agus bhí 7% díobh ar aimsir i dtithe. Foilsíodh sonraí ar shuíomh gréasáin Oifig Staidrimh na hÉireann:


Is féidir faisnéis phearsanta a chuirtear ar fhoirmeacha daonáirimh aonair a fhoilsiú 100 bliain tar éis daonáireamh a reáchtáil. Ó foilsíodh an t-eolas pearsanta atá i dtuairisceáin dhaonáirimh 1901 agus 1911 deich mbliana ó shin, tháinig méadú ar spéis an phobail i gcúrsaí ginealais, agus tá spéis sna sonraí atá i ndaonáireamh 1926 á méadú i gcónaí. Sna tuairisceáin seo tá sonraí pearsanta faoi gach duine a bhí beo in Éirinn ag an am. I ndaonáireamh 1926 bailíodh 21 tacar sonraí ar nós ainm, aois, gnéas, stádas pósta, creideamh, coinníollacha tithíochta agus cumas sa Ghaeilge. Tá sé beartaithe na tacair sonraí go léir a dhigitiú agus a fhoilsiú. Is cinnte go dtabharfaidh an t-eolas seo léargas iontach ar shaol na hÉireann sa bhliain 1926 agus beidh sé an-úsáideach ag pobal na hÉireann agus ag an diaspóra ar fud an domhain.

Cuirfear tús anois le hobair chun na tuairisceáin daonáirimh aonair a chaomhnú, a thrascríobh agus a dhigitiú ar chostas €5 milliún. Leithdháil an tAire Martin an maoiniú le haghaidh na n-oibreacha speisialaithe riachtanacha chun na taifid seo a chur ar fáil saor in aisce don phobal i mí Aibreáin 2026. Tá an beartas rochtain oscailte seo ar aon dul le Straitéis fhoriomlán an Rialtais maidir le Sonraí Oscailte agus d’fhéadfaí comparáid a dhéanamh idir na sonraí roimh 1922 agus sonraí 1926, tréimhse inar tharla athrú ó bhonn in Éirinn.

Faoi láthair, tá daonáireamh 1926 á stóráil in 1,344 bosca, ina bhfuil os cionn 700,000 bileog tuairisceáin, gach ceann acu thart ar 630mm x 290mm (297x430mm is ea A3). Cuirtear na tuairisceáin le chéile in 2,464 mála canbháis agus léiríonn gach ceann díobh ceantar áirimh laistigh de gach ceann de na 26 chontae.

Déanfaidh Cartlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann digitiú ar Dhaonáireamh 1926 i ndlúthchomhar leis an bPríomh-Oifig Staidrimh – na comhlachtaí reatha agus na comhlachtaí a bheidh freagrach as an daonáireamh amach anseo.

Dúirt an tAire Turasóireachta, Cultúr, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán, Catherine Martin: 

“Tá an-áthas orm maoiniu €5m a chur ar fáil do dhigitiú agus foilsiú dhaonáireamh 1926. Creidim gur chóir go mbeadh rochtain fhorleathan ar thaifid daonáirimh agus ar thaifid ghinealais eile agus go gcuirfí ar fáil saor in aisce don phobal iad. Soláthróidh maoiniú €5m don phróiseas casta,  fadálach agus ilchéimeach chun an t-eolas ar fad a bailíodh sa chéad daonáireamh sa Saorstát a dhigitiú. Táim muiníneach go gcríochnófar an obair in am le scaoileadh 100 bliain tar éis reáchtáil an daonáirimh. I bhfianaise rath thuairisceáin digitithe dhaonáirimh 1901 agus 1911, táim cinnte go mbeidh an oiread céanna éilimh ar dhaonáireamh 1926 agus go mbainfidh daoine ar fud an domhain úsáid as nuair a scaoilfear é. Is cuid bhunúsach dár n-oidhreacht náisiúnta agus dár n-eolas é an daonáireamh.”

  • Reáchtáladh an chéad daonáireamh iomlán de chuid Rialtas na hÉireann in 1821 le daonáirimh bhreise gach deich mbliana ó 1831 go 1911. Reáchtáladh daonáireamh i Meitheamh 1921, i Sasana, in Albain agus sa Bhreatain Bheag ach ní ar oileán na hÉireann mar gheall ar Chogadh na Saoirse. Reáchtáladh an chéad daonáireamh i Saorstát na hÉireann ar an 18 Meitheamh 1926.
  • Reáchtáladh na daonáirimh ó 1851 go 1911 faoi mhaoirseacht an Ard-Chláraitheoir Breitheanna, Básanna agus Póstaí. Reáchtáladh daonáireamh 1926, agus gach daonáireamh ina dhiaidh sin faoin Acht Staidrimh, 1926. Aistríodh an fhreagracht maidir le daonáirimh a reáchtáil ón Ard-Chláraitheoir go dtí an Brainse Staidrimh nuabhunaithe sa Roinn Tionscail agus Tráchtála. Tá an fhreagracht sin ar an bPríomh-Oifig Staidrimh sa lá atá inniu ann.
  • Tá tuairisceáin dhaonáiremh 1926, agus go deimhin, gach daonáireamh níos óige ná 100 bliain d’aois, fós faoi rialú dlíthiúil an Phríomh-Oifig Staidrimh.  Go dtí seo reáchtáladh daonáirimh in 1926, 1936, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1979 (cealaíodh an daonáireamh a bhí le reáchtáil in 1976 mar bheart eacnamaíoch), 1981, 1986, 1996, 2002 agus 2006. Coinnítear tuairisceáin 1926 – 1946 agus cuid díobh sin do 1951 sa Chartlann Náisiúnta, ach tá siad fós faoi smacht an Phríomh-Oifig Staidrimh. Tá na tuairisceáin is déanaí fós i seilbh an Phríomh-Oifig Staidrimh.
  • In Ailt 33 agus 35 den Acht Staidrimh 1993 ceadaítear scaoileadh faisnéise a bhailítear trí Dhaonáireamh a bhaineann go díreach nó go hindíreach le duine inaitheanta 100 bliain tar éis an dáta a reáchtáladh an daonáireamh.
  • Tar éis 100 bliain, ní mór na tuairisceáin daonáirimh a aistriú go foirmiúil chuig an gCartlann Náisiúnta agus iad a scaoileadh le haghaidh iniúchadh poiblí, de réir Alt 8 den Acht um Chartlann Náisiúnta, 1986.
  • D’fhoilsigh an Phríomh-Oifig Staidrimh, mar an comhlacht atá freagrach as sonraí daonáirimh a bhailiú, faisnéis shuntasach ó dhaonáireamh 1926 in 10 n-imleabhar lena n-áirítear daonra, aois, slí bheatha, creideamh, tithíocht, coinníollacha pósta, spleáchas, tionscail agus an Ghaeilge. Tá na 10 n-imleabhar ar fáil ar shuíomh gréasáin na hOifige faoi Thuarascálacha Dhaonáireamh 1926 – An Phríomh-Oifig Staidrimh.
  • Ní raibh sé chomh casta daonáirimh 1901 agus 1911 a dhigitiú ó 2007 go 2010 toisc gur chuir Cumann Ginealais Utah (na Mormannaigh) tuairisceáin an daonáirimh ar mhicreascannán sna 1960idí. Sa digitiú rinneadh an micreascannán a scanadh go foirm dhigiteach agus cruthaíodh innéacs bunachar sonraí don fhaisnéis a taifeadadh sna foirmeacha. Ligeann innéacs an bhunachair sonraí seo d’úsáideoir an suíomh gréasáin sonraí an daonáirimh a chuardach de réir céadainm, sloinne, contae, seoladh, aois agus inscne. Cuireadh naisc le sonraí an daonáirimh freisin le híomhánna digiteacha na dtuairisceáin aonair inar taifeadadh na sonraí. Ba é an costas iomlán a bhain le tuairisceáin dhaonáirimh 1901 agus 1911 a dhigitiú agus sonraí an daonáirimh a innéacsú ná €3.6 mhilliún.
  • I ndaonáirimh 1901 agus 1911 rinneadh digitiú ar an eolas go léir a bailíodh sa daonáireamh ionas go mbeadh gach réimse ar fáil anois (agus inchuardaithe) ar an suíomh gréasáin. Tá sé beartaithe cur chuige cosúil leis seo a ghlacadh le daonáireamh 1926 agus an t-eolas go léir a bailíodh ag an am a chur ar fáil ar líne. 21 tacar sonraí atá ann roinnte idir Foirm A ar a bhfuil 13 thacar sonraí agus Foirm B ar a bhfuil 8 dtacar sonraí.

Ní féidir rochtain phoiblí ar dhaonáireamh 1926 a sholáthar ach amháin má dhéantar tuairisceáin an daonáirimh a dhigitiú agus a chur ar fáil mar acmhainn inchuardaithe ar líne, mar a rinneadh le daonáirimh 1901 agus 1911.  Caomhnú agus na dtuairisceán, atá 96 bliain d’aois, a bheadh i gceist leis seo.

Is éard atá i ndaonáireamh 1926 ná 630,048 tuairisceán tí le bileog tuairisceáin daonáirimh amháin in aghaidh an teaghlaigh mar aon le thart ar 70,0000 bileog áiritheoirí. Tá gach tuairisceán thart ar 630mm x 290mm (297x430mm is ea A3).  Tá na tuairisceáin le chéile in 2,464 mála canbháis agus léiríonn gach ceann díobh ceantar áirimh laistigh de gach ceann de na 26 contae. Tá an daonáireamh ar fad á stóráil in 1,344 boscaí.

I ndaonáireamh 1926 bailíodh 21 tacar sonraí agus tá sé beartaithe chuige sin go ndéanfar iad go léir a dhigitiú agus a chur ar fáil don phobal ar líne in 2026. Tá 13 thacar sonraí sa tuairisceán teaghlaigh – Foirm A – agus tá na 8 gcinn eile ar Fhoirm B, bileoga na n-áiritheoirí.

Tuairisceáin Teaghlaigh (Foirm A) 13 thacar sonraí faisnéise do gach teaghlach

  1. Ainm agus sloinne;
  2. Gaol le ceann an teaghlaigh;
  3. Aois (i mblianta agus míonna);
  4. Inscne;
  5. Pósadh nó dílleacht;
  6. Áit bhreithe (ainm an pharóiste san áireamh)
  7. Gaeilge;
  8. Credieamh;
  9. Slí bheatha agus fostaíocht: gairm bheatha phearsanta;
  10. Slí bheatha agus fostaíocht: fostaíocht/ainm an fhostóra;
  11. Eolas maidir le pósadh láithreach ag teastáil ó mhná pósta: líon na mblianta  agus míonna curtha i gcrích sa phósadh láithreach, agus líon na leanaí a rugadh beo sa phósadh faoi láthair;
  12. Faisnéis maidir le póstaí láithreacha agus póstaí roimhe seo ag teastáil ó Fhir Phósta, ó Bhaintreacha Fir agus ó Bhaintreacha: líon na mac, iníonacha, leasmhac agus leas-iníonacha atá beo faoi bhun 16 bliana d’aois, cibé acu a bhfuil cónaí orthu mar bhaill den teaghlach seo nó in áit eile.
  13. An t-achar iomlán in acra reachta do gach gabháltas talmhaíochta (más ann do) atá i Saorstát na hÉireann arb é daoine a chónaíonn sa teaghlach seo de ghnáth na háititheoirí.

Tuairisceáin Áiritheora (Foirm B) do gach baile fearainn/sráid:

  1. Cibé an tithe cónaithe príobháideacha nó foirgnimh eile iad foirgnimh;
  2. Cibé an bhfuil duine ina gcónaí ann nó nach bhfuil
  3. Líon na dteaghlach ar leith atá ina gcónaí i ngach teach nó foirgneamh;
  4. Ainm ceann gach teaghlaigh;
  5. Líon na bhfear;
  6. Líon na mban;
  7. Daonra iomlán;
  8.  Líon na seomraí atá ag gach teaghlach.

Comments are closed.