Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Tyrone

From Thom’s Directory of Ireland, 1931

Tyrone an inland county in the province of Ulster, is bounded on the north by Londonderry, on the east by Lough Neagh and Armagh, on the south by Monaghan and Fermanagh, and on the west by Donegal and Fermanagh. Length from the point where the Blackwater enters Lough Neagh to the western boundary north of Lough Derg, 55 miles; breadth from the southern corner south of Slieve Beagh to the north-eastern boundary near Oughtmore Mountain 37 ½ miles.

Name and Former Divisions

The name of the county was derived from that of Owen, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, being the shortened form of the Irish, Tir-Eoghain, the territory of Owen. The whole of the present county was with Londonderry and part of Donegal, the principality of the O’Neills.

Physical Features:

Near Coalisland, there is a small coalfield which was the richest in the country. Lignite or wood coal was found along the shore of Lough Neagh.

The Mountains lie along the north and north western-eastern boundary, and in the south and western extremity of the county. In the north the principle are Slievekirk (1,219), on the Londonderry boundary. The Sperrin mountains lie north east of Newtown Stewart, the chief summits are Crockrour (1,200), Craignagapple(1,082) and Balix Hill (1,333): near Strabane is Knockavo (972); to the east of these is Mullaghclogha (2,088) and Tornnoge (923); Dart (2,040), Sawel (2,240), Meenard (2,061) and Oughtmore (1,878), and they are on the Londonderry boundary. South and south east of these, beside the valley of the Gleanelly river, and Munterlony Mountains, the chief points of which are Craignamaddy (1,264), Munterlony Mountain (1,456) and Carnanelly (1,851); Mullaghturk (1,353), and separated from it by a valley is Beleevnamore (1,257); Bessy Bell (1,367), and Mary Gray (828), are near Newtown Stewart and Omagh. Slieve Beagh is on the boundary where the counties Tyrone, Monaghan and Fermanagh meet. The Starbog Hills run between Ballygawley and Omagh, the highest being Slievemore (1,033). Ballynes mountain (958) stands tothe north of Fivemiletown. Brocker Mountain (1,046) lies to the west of these. Cross Hill (1,024) and Sturrin (814) are in the west of the county. Dooish (1,119) and Tappaghan (1,112) are in the most southerly part of the county.

The rivers are the Finn and its continuation the Foyle, which forms the boundary with Donegal for 16 miles, and joining the Mourne at Lifford forms the river Foyle; the Burn Dennett and Glenmoran streams join the Foyle below Strabane. The Mourne is formed by a number of small tributaries, the chief of which are the Derg (with its tributaries the Mourne, Beg and the Glendergan river), the Strule (with tributaries, the Fairywater, the Drumragh, and tributary the Owenragh, and the Camowen, with tributary the Cloghfin). The Owenkillew which joins the Strule at Newtown Stewart has tributaries, the Glenelly river, the Glenlark, the Coneyglen, the Broughderg, and the Owenreagh. The Blackwater rises near Fivemiletown, and flows across the southern part of the county and falls into Lough Neagh; its chief tributaries are the Torrent, the Oona water, the Ballygawley water and the Fury river. The Ballinderry river rises north-west of Pomeroy, flows east by Cookstown, and falls into Lough Neagh.

Lough Neagh forms part of the eastern boundary; Lough Fea is on the north-eastern border; Lough Fingrean and Loughmacrory are north-west of Pomeroy; Lough Catherine, Lough Fanny and Lough Mary are near Newtown Stewart; Moor Lough is east of Strabane.





Total Pop.

126,990 134,875 261,865

149,410 155,058 304,468

153,463 159,493 312,956

126,130 129,531 255,661

116,961 121,539 238,500

105,146 110,620 215,766

96,466 101,253 197,719

84,596 86,805 171,401

74,290 76,277 150,567

71,738 70,297 142,665

67,136 65,655 132,792

Families and Houses in 1926

The number of families in the county was 30,430, the average number in each family being 4.32. The number of inhabited houses was 30,215, showing an average of 4.35 persons to each house. The special inhabitants of public institutions are omitted from these calculations.

There were in the county 21,473 Occupiers or Heads of Families, who were in occupation of less than five rooms, being 71.6% of the total for the county. Of these 848 or 2.8% of the families in the county occupied one room; 7,024 or 23.4%, two rooms; 7,576 or 25.3%, three rooms; and 6,025 or 20.1%, occupied four rooms.

There were in the county 394 tenements in which the room had only one occupant; 327 cases where the room had 2-4 occupants, 108 cases in which there were 5-7 occupants and 19 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number, including one case where ten persons occupied the same room.

Birthplace of Inhabitants

Of the population in 1926, 85.3% were born in the county, 6.9% in other counties in N. Ireland; 5% in the Republic of Ireland; 1.18% in Great Britain, and 0.5% were born abroad.


In 1911 there were in the county 118,793 persons aged 9 years and upwards; of these 98,194 or 82.7% could read and write; 6,814 or 5.7% could read only and 13,785 or 11.6% were illiterate. As this census is the starting point where the age was raised from 5 years to 9 years; no comparison can be made with previous figures from other censuses. The report states that the percentage of those of 5 years and upwards who were unable to read and write was 17.4% in 1891, 14.2% in 1901 and in 1911 had fallen to 13.7%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Irish only
206 130 22 7 2 0

Irish & English
10,654 6,421 9,796 6,680 6,452 7,584

Irish Total
10,860 6,551 9,818 6,687 6,454 7,584
% of
4.5 3.0 5.0 3.9 4.3 5.3

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926 (% of population)

1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926

19.5 19.5 19.6 19.7 18.58 18.6

Church of Ireland
22.8 22.4 22.8 22.51 22.7 22.4

Roman Catholic
55.6 55.5 54.6 54.73 55.39 55.5

1.5 1.8 2.0 2.13 2.01 2.0

0.6 0.8 1.00 0.93 1.32 1.5

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
39,629 23,722 29,674 28,960 12,598 10,539