This page features census substitutes for genealogy researchers interested in their Co. Laois family history.
1641 Books of Survey and Distribution. The English Government needed information on land ownership for all of Ireland to carry out its land re-distribution policy after the wars of the mid 17th century. The Books of Survey and Distribution record ownership before the Cromwellian and Williamite confiscations c.1641 and after c.1666-68. The books covering Laois or Queen\’s Co are held in manuscript form at the National Library of Ireland. Ref. NLI Ms 972
1659 – Pender\’s Census. This was compiled by Sir William Petty and gives the names of the people with title to land (aka tituladoes), the total number of English and Irish living in each townland and the principle Irish surnames in each barony. Sir William\’s work was edited by Seamus Pender and published i 1939 and hence is known as \’Pender\’s Census\’
1664 Hearth Money Rolls : The Hearth Tax was a tax on the number of hearths in each house and these rolls give the names of the owner of the house and the number of hearths or fireplaces in the house. The Laois or Queen\’s Co. Hearth money rolls for 1664 only consist of exrtacts made by Thrift and are held in manuscript form at the National Archives of Ireland. NAI Mx 3737
1668-69 Hearth Money Rolls. Again, Thrift Abstracts and only for the Baronies of Maryborough and Clandonagh. NAI Thrift Abstracts 3737
1758-75 Freeholders : Freehold property was held either by 1. \’fee simple\’ (absolute freedom to dispose of it) 2. by \’fee tail\’ (disposition restricted to a particular line of heirs) or 3. by life tenure. Any information for Laois or Queen\’s County was published in the Journal of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, Vol. VIII, pp. 309-27
1766 Census Lea Parish : In March and April of 1766, the Church of Ireland Rectors had to compile complete returns of all householders in their parishes showing their religion, and giving any information they could on any Catholic clergy in their parish. Some rectors did a complete census as required, others gave very little information. The return for Lea parish is held by the Representative Church Body Library in Churchtown, Dublin, Ireland
1796 Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists : As part of a Government scheme to encourage the linen trade, free-spinning wheels were granted to people planting a certain amount of land with flax. The lists of those entitled to rewards were published in 1796. There are not that many Laois or Queen\’s Co. names on these lists.
1821 Mountrath National Archives of Ireland m 6225 (1) – (5)
1823-38 Tithe Applotment Books : The Composition Act of 1823 specified that tithes (taxes) due to the Established Church (Church of Ireland) which had been payable in kind, should now be paid in money and it was necessary to carry out a valuation of the entire country. See Land Records for more information.
I831-1921 National School Records. In 1831 a system of primary education was introduced under the control of the Board of Commissioners for National Education. The Administrative records of the Board of Commissioners are held by the National Archives these only include teachers salary books but no information on the children.Information on children may be held by local schools
1832-40 Owners & Occupiers Lea Parish : This is actually a Tithe Applotment Book, held by the NAtional Library of Ireland, Ms 4723-4724
1844 Register of Arms, baronies of Clandonagh, Maryborough and Cullenagh held by the National Archives of Ireland.
1847 Voters List : National Library of Ireland