Family and Local History
[Bill Macafee's Website]

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Census Records
1831 Census Returns for Co. Londonderry

The 1831 Census Returns provide a unique record of family names in the county for the period before the Famine. As far as I know, Londonderry is the only county in Ireland that has such a source. I originally prepared a database of 41,250 of the names listed in these returns. I knew at that time that some were missing. This was because the microfilm copy that I was using at the time had a number of pages, or parts of pages, that were unreadable. I have now been able to access a microfilm copy where all of the names are readable. The latest database [7th November 2014] now stands at 41, 295 names. But, I have still some work to do.

I cannot guarantee that the names listed in this database are all correct. Some names are extremely difficult to read/interpret; particularly when you are working with over 40,000 of them. It is a bit easier if you are only looking for one or two names. So, I am sure that some names have been entered incorrectly by me. You must treat the 1831 database as simply a means to point you towards the townland or townlands where the name you are looking for might be located. You should then go the microfilms in either PRONI or Ballymena Library or Coleraine Library and check the names and look up the details on the households. In some cases you might have to go to the National Archives in Dublin to look at the originals - read more.

Note that I am currently adding the statistical information which is listed in this particular census. However, I cannot see me completing this task for every townland within the database. The availability of this info is somewhat haphazard [reflecting the areas within the county where I have carried out a more detailed study of a group of townlands]. This info will be of most valuable to those of you living outside Ireland and you may just be lucky that I have included the townland or townlands in which you are interested.

The sttistical data is presented in a sort of code within the Notes column in the database e.g. 2 m + 3 fm = 5 RC [is a household with 2 males and 2 females; all Roman Catholics] 3 m + 2 fm + 1 m serv. + 1 fm serv. = 5 Presb. + 3 RC. [ is a household with 3 males and 2 females making up the family, the 1 m serv. is a male live-in servant and and the 1 fm serv. is a female live-in servant; the 5 Presbyterians are most probably the family members of this house and the servants were Roman Catholics]. The rest of the shorthand used in the database should be self explanatory. There is one which some of you would not fully understand - 3 m + 2 females = 5 other PDs. The other PDs means other Protestant Dissenters - normally Baptists or Methodists. Note also that I have included house numbers for these townlands. If you filter out a townland and sort it by House No. it will give you the order of households with the townland. This can be compared with the order of house in the later c.1860 Griffith's Valuation.

Below are links to the Excel and PDF versions of the database. Note that the PDF file is very large [18 MB] and may take some time to download.

Names of Householders listed in the 1831 Census Returns for County Londonderry Excel

Incidentally, if you are having difficulty with finding a name in a particular area, have at look at the later c.1860 Griffith's database. Whilst the same families may not be living in exactly the same townlands in 1831 and c.1860, I have found it a useful technique at times. Also, it is often possible to relate the names in these returns with some names in the Tithe Applotment Books and the Townland Valuation of the 1830s.

Finally, over the last year or so I have been triple checking names in a number of parishes where I was a bit concerned on the accuracy of the names. This work is ongoing. So the present database [7th November 2014] is a revised version of the original database that was created for my CD and this original website. I am more than happy for you to contact me at [] if you find what you think is a mistake or mistakes. Over the years a number of people have alerted me to certain errors and I am very grateful for their help.

Note I have databased the total information for the townlands used in the Case Studies of Localities & Families in Co. Londonderry. You can also access these townlands, and some others, in the table below. Currently, I am working to include most of this information in the main census index database, but as I said above, this is takes time.

Databases of 1831 Census for a selection of townlands in Co. Londonderry - you might find this map helpful - Baronies and Civil Parishes of Co. Londonderry. Click on the name of each townland for a map showing its location within the wider locality.

Aghadowey Cullyramer Excel PDF . . . . . .


Cullyramer Excel PDF Ballyagan Excel PDF Moyletra Toy Excel PDF
Errigal Coolnasillagh Excel PDF . . . . . .
Maghera Gorteade Excel PDF Tirgarvil Excel PDF Upperland Excel PDF


Cabragh Excel PDF Derganagh Excel PDF Lurganagoose Excel PDF
Ballynascreen Glebe     Drumderg Excel PDF Dunmurry Excel PDF
Bovevagh Drumadreen Excel PDF . . . . . .
Dungiven Ballymacallion Excel PDF . . . . . .
Cumber Upper Lisbunny Excel PDF . . . . . .


Coolafinny Excel PDF Muff Excel PDF . .
Clondermot Ballyoan Excel PDF Lisneal Excel PDF . . .

Below are PDF files which contain the names of the landholders in each townlands who paid tithes. It is interesting to compare the tithe names with those in the 1831 Census Returns in the table above. It should illustrate the shortcomings of the Tithe Books as census substitutes and make us appreciate the value of the 1831 Census for the county, despite its shortcomings.

Barony Parish
Townlands - Dates of Tithe Applotment Books - Names of landholders who paid tithes [PDF]
Coleraine Aghadowey Cullyramer 1834. PDF . . . .


Cullyramer 1833. PDF Ballyagan 1832. PDF Moyletra Toy 1832. PDF
Coleraine Errigal Coolnasillagh 1835. PDF . . . .
Loughinsholin Maghera Gorteade 1828. PDF Tirgarvil 1828. PDF Upperland 1828. PDF


Cabragh 1828. PDF Derganagh 1828. PDF Lurganagoose 1828. PDF
Loughinsholin Ballynascreen Drumderg 1825. PDF Dunmurry 1825. PDF    
Keenaght Bovevagh Drumadreen 1827. PDF Derrynaflaw PDF . .
Keenaght Dungiven Ballymacallion 1834. PDF . . . .
Tirkeeran Cumber Upper Lisbunny 1828. PDF . . . .


Coolafinny 1835. PDF Muff 1835. PDF . .
Tirkeeran Clondermot Ballyoan PDF Lisneal PDF . .

In some instances, using the Field Books of the1830s Townland Valuation, you might be able to get information on some houses in each townland that were valued, initially, at £3.00 or more.

Parish Townland Townland Valuation
OS Map
Parish Townland Townland Valuation

OS Map



Map Termoneeny



Desertoghill Moyletra Toy Map Bovevagh



Maghera Gorteade Map Dungiven


Maghera Upperland Map Cumber Upper


Maghera Tirgarvil Map Faughanvale


Maghera Ballynahone Beg Map Faughanvale


Remember only the Census Returns will provide a full list of heads of households - the Tithe Books will only include landholders [and not all of these necessarily lived in each townland] and the Townland Valuation Books will only list properties that were valued at £3.00 or more. When researching the 1830s in any townland within Co. Londonderry its is necessary to make full use of these three key sources. If you also have BDM data available you should be able to identify some of the persons listed in these three sources.

My Databases
Databases compiled from 19th Century Census Substitutes
Databases compiled from 18th Century Census Subtitutes
Databases compiled from 17th Century Census Subtitutes
Copyright 2013 W.Macafee.