2021 marks the bicentenary of the first complete census of Ireland. Sometime in the early twentieth century, a transcription of the original 1821 Aran Island census held in Dublin was created and made its way to Inis Mór. This transcription was held by local historian Colman Folan. In the early 1940s, Folan loaned his copy to the local schoolteacher, Pádraig Ó hEithir, and his son Breandán created a copy of his own. In this version the original 1821 data is supplemented with additional contextual information, local knowledge or seanchas about the 1821 households, identifying family lineages and significant historical events.
To begin the process of making this census information accessible in a digital format, the data from this twentieth-century transcription will be cross-referenced with the original 1821 data to ensure its accuracy. Project curator Deirdre Ní Chonghaile will then collate all relevant data and complete the necessary data-cleaning work. This project is the first step in creating an open access digital heritage resource that reflects the wealth and strength of folklore and heritage practices of the Aran Islands while preserving and cultivating them for future generations.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.