Who Do You Think You Are?


For the first time in 1821, Ireland was included in the census. Early attempts to conduct a census there had failed because the process relied on superintendents of the Poor Law or schoolmasters to enumerate the population. Ireland had suffered from wretchedly bad administration; there were no overseers of the poor, and few schoolmasters.

‘Ireland had been part of the UK only since 1801, and was a largely hostile country’

After several attempts at enumeration, in order to conduct the 1821 census, the authorities resorted to the law and Ireland’s boards of magistrates were delegated to appoint enumerators; they appointed policemen. However, this was not a happy situation: magistrates were political appointees, and police officers were mistrusted.

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