Elphin Census database
(Synge Census - 1749)

Last updated on June 3, 2003


I have often received criticism from some indicating that many of my introductory pages are too verbose.  It is often difficult for me to know where to draw the line on supplying just enough information, and too much.  With the Elphin Census there are many things that need to be said to the researcher before you jump into the search engine and start entering search criteria.  So at the expense of once again becoming somewhat verbose, I offer the following for your consideration:

The data collected for the Elphin Census was under the direction of Edward Synge, the bishop of Elphin for the Church of Ireland.  It was recorded that Bishop Synge was anxious to know the proportion of Protestants to "Papists" (a name he used to refer to Catholics).  For what it is worth, the census revealed the ratio to be 3 Protestants to 39 "Papists".  There are no surviving details as to how the census was conducted, or who the enumerators were.

I can't begin to emphasize the importance of spelling when using any of the Leitrim-Roscommon databases.  The issue is not always just a clear cut issue of the wrong spelling, but one that is associated with a large list of contributing factors.  This list is far too numerous to go into in detail here (for this would be carrying the issue of verbose to the extreme).  I can only emphasize the importance of spelling, especially while using the Elphin Census database.  Here more than anywhere else on the Leitrim-Roscommon site, the reseacher should keep a VERY open mind regarding the spelling of the surnames that they are researching, and use the Soundex feature as often as possible when doing a search.  And one final word on this subject of spelling.  These census records were transcribed from original records that contain penmanship that would challenge the best scholars in "Historic Document Interpretation".  Every effort has been taken to try and maintain the highest level of quality in the transcription process, but in the final analysis, you as the viewer must remember that these records were transcribed by humans and therefore may contain some human interpretive values.  It is for this reason that the original document page number has been included so that you may visit the original documents and confirm the recorded data for yourself.

When the researcher decides to perform a search and uses a TOWNLAND in the search criteria, you are really taking a major leap of faith unless you are very familiar with the TOWNLANDS that are contained in the ELPHIN CENSUS, and the SPELLING that was used for these townlands.  I can only suggest that you use the TOWNLAND search field only after you have performed a search without using the TOWNLAND, have reviewed the returned list of records and taken careful notice of the spelling used for the various TOWNLANDS.  It might then be considered acceptable to reduce the size of the returned list by doing a search on a specific TOWNLAND after seeing how that TOWNLAND is spelled.

The researcher must remain constantly aware of the fact, that throughout the 19th Century the process of division and amalgamation of parishes was ongoing.  Examples:  Clooncraft, a separate parish in the 1749 Elphin Census, was divided up between Elphin and Aughrim parishes in 1872.  In the 1850s, the old parish of Tibohine lost much of its territory and Fairymount became the parish church.  And the list goes on.  Many townlands were affected by these changes.  Also, many townlands were replaced or renamed (I would like to thank Pat Lavin for the above words of wisdom).  I will close this paragraph by stating that I am not an authoritative source for the various changes that took place during this period.  Please consider that statement BEFORE you decide to write to me and ask for my assistance.

My final words will address the data contained in the ELPHIN CENSUS database.  All of the records were transcribed directly from the original records with no attempt to "correct" for any spelling issues.  The only exception to this statement is associated with the field listed as ALTERNATE SPELLING.  In this field I have attempted to review all of the resources that I have available in my library and additionally have called upon several other notable researchers in the field, and have provided you with my best guess at the spelling used in the Alphabetical Index of Towns and Townland as used for the census of 1851.  I expect that this will be an ongoing process and will result in changes and updates as new information is obtained that will support these ALTERNATE SPELLINGS.

This Leitrim-Roscommon Elphin Census DataBase is NOT COMPLETE and will be subject to constant update as new data is uploaded. The following Parishes are in the database and can be searched.

CompletePartialNo Data
Ahascra Athleague Ballynakill Drimatemple Dunamon Kilbegnet
Killyan Kilosolan

CompletePartialNo Data
Aghrim Ardcarn Ballintober Ballynakill Baslick Boyle
Bumblin Cam Clooncraf Cloonegormegan Cloontouscort Creeve
Drimatemple Dunamon Dysart Elphin Estersnow Fuerty
Kilbride Kilgefin Killbrine Killcola Killcooley Killcorkey
Killenvoy Killglass Killkeevin Killmacumsy Killmore Killnamanagh
Killukin Kilmean Kilmore Kilteevan Kiltoom Kiltristan
Lissonuffy Ogula Oran Portron Rahara Roscommon
Shankill St. John's St. Peter's Taghboy Taughrara Termonbarry
Tibohin Tomna

Complete Partial No Data
Aghamplish Aughana Ballinakill Ballysummanghan Drumcliff Drumcollum
Killidoon Killmactrany Kilmacalan Kilross Shancoe Sligo

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