Tuesday, 11 June 2013

1926 Northern Irish census - officially dead

On May 10th I blogged that the 1926 Northern Irish census, the first to be carried out since Partition, had been destroyed in the Second World War, as discovered from the minutes of the last PRONI user group meeting, and a question from the North of Ireland Family History Society on the matter (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/northern-irish-1926-census-records.html).

The BBC has a story on it today - it's all sadly officially confirmed. See www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-22848416.

Miracles do happen - as I mentioned last Saturday, I've been having astonishing success with my ancestry in Templepatrick, Co. Antrim, thanks to the 1831 church census which has just gone online for the parish (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/church-census-for-templepatrick-1831.html). In this particular case though, there's not a lot that can be added - the 1926 census for Northern Ireland is a dead parrot. It has ceased to be, it has gone to meet its maker...

Don't forget that you can access the 1939 National Identity Register for Northern Ireland via a Freedom of Information Act request to PRONI - a tad more fiddly, but in my case it did confirm my grandfather's date of birth in Belgium, so may be of use. For details on making FOI requests at PRONI see www.proni.gov.uk/index/about_proni/freedom_of_information/making_an_foi_request_about_public_records.htm. And coming soon is the Northern Irish online records platform, which should help.

For more on how the 1939 records can be accessed, read how I made the first successful application in Northern Ireland, following the great efforts by Guy Etchells in England for the equivalent there to be made available, from the following blog posts:

UPDATE 13/6/2013: Just received a tweet from @BBCMarkSimpson thanking me for the heads up - he found the story via this blog. Happy to help!


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

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