Other ‘census substitutes’ exist which can be surprisingly helpful.
The subject’s name, year of birth, parents’ names and home address were entered in addition to the applicant’s name and address.
The subject of the search and the applicant were usually one and the same person.
Generally, the searches were made in the returns for the 18 census.
These Census Search Forms exist for the period 1909-1922, though largely they survive only for the years 1915-1922 (most of the forms for the earlier years having been pulped during the Great War because of paper shortage! The result of the search is noted, which might include the fact that while a positive search has located the correct family, it might not necessarily have located the applicant.
Complete census returns for Ireland have been compiled every ten years from 1821 until 1911.
The Irish war of independence interupted this pattern and after partition (in 1922) the next census undertaken in both jurisdictions was in 1926.
The Northern Ireland returns for 1926 have not survived.
Those for the Republic have, but are not currently open to public inspection, although plans are in place to allow access by 2016.
Nineteenth Century Returns Those for the years 1821 to 1851 were almost entirely destroyed in the fire which consumed the Publc Record Office of Ireland in 1922.
Lists of the few volumes which survived are listed in by John Grenham (Dublin, 2012).
Those originals that survive can be searched online here.