Census of Carrick-on-Suir, 1799

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Ormond Castle Carrick-on-Suir
Ormond Castle Carrick-on-Suir

The 1799 Census of  the Co. Tipperary town of Carrick-on-Suir was compiled by Lieutenant-Colonel William Morton Pitt of the Dorset Militia, who was also a member of parliament at Westminster. He first represented the seat of Poole, 1780-1790, and then Dorset, 1790-1826. Pitt was assisted in compiling the census by Francis White and Patrick Lynch. The purpose of its compilation isn’t clear, but it seems likely to be connected with Pitt’s unsuccessful attempt in September 1799 to gain preferment as a commissioner of the Irish union, from his relative, the Prime Minister, William Pitt.

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The original manuscript is now held by the British Library, London, under accession Add. Ms. 11,722. The manuscript’s existence is noted in an article about Patrick Lynch included the 1912 edition (vol. xv, p.51) of the journal of the Waterford and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society. The article quotes details about Pitt’s “Statistical Survey” recorded in the 1814 edition of the Ecclesiastical Registry of Ireland, noting it comprised data on 1,738 homes and 10,907 individuals. At the time (1912), it was suggested that the manuscript was to be edited for publication by the antiquarian James Buckley, but this never happened.

Later, in a brief note under ‘Miscellanea’ in the Society’s annual journal, The Irish Genealogist (vol 5, no 2, 1975), the manuscript was described and a brief extract given by way of example. While it was recommended that the full census be published, it was considered too large for inclusion in the journal.

Extract from the Carrick Census showing the details for Thomas Flaherty, aged 47, a carpenter, and his wife, Joan, aged 45, a huckster.

Finally, over forty years later, the digital age has allowed the Society to make this valuable resource available online. The database is the work of the Society’s webmaster, Nick Reddan who is based in Australia. Noted from the original manuscript, it records the names of almost 11,000 individuals, giving for each their sex, age, occupation, religion, address and (where relevant) marital status. Beyond accessing the original manuscript at the British Library, there is also a microfilm copy held at he National Library of Ireland, under reference Pos. 28.

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