1901 Irish Census Has Arrived

Posted By Ann Rabinowitz

1901 Irish Census

The long-awaited online transcription of the 1901 Irish Census has arrived with approximately 4.5 million individual records. The National Archives of Ireland has published the census on the same site as the 1911 Irish Census and when searching, you must click on 1901 in order to get the specific records for that Census.

The Census was taken on Sunday, March 31, 1901, and reflects only those who were in the household at that time.
As the transcriptions were taken from microfilm, the vagaries of filming, poor handwriting and mistakes which result from these things account for many of the errors that may be found in the Census.

As with the 1911 Irish Census (which I have written about previously on the Blog), the new one also has the capability to choose MORE SEARCH OPTIONS and then JEW.

This option provides access to 3,618 Jews in the 1901 Census as opposed to the larger number of 4,936 in the later 1911 Census.
It should be taken into account that there may be a larger number of Jews in the 1901 census who did not specify that they were Jews or a small number who had perhaps converted. In addition, the word used to designate a Jew may have been varied and therefore the person was not properly accounted for as in the case of the use of the word “JUDAISM” which was listed for the TEEGER family in Dublin. Therefore, when pulling up all JEW entries, they do not appear. Or, it may have been incorrectly transcribed as in the case of the word “DEWISH” for the Cohen family in Dublin.

As with the 1911 Census, researcher David Lenten has pulled out all of the Jewish names into one database. In addition, he has made a separate database for all of those whose name was COHEN. One can look at the name COHEN and see that, at least, four Cohen individuals are listed as “DEWISH”.

There are other designations for JEW which may have caused the individuals not to be counted as Jews such as the following: Adetaide Rd., Hebrew, Hebrew Congregation, Israelite, Jewes, Jewess, Jewish, Jewish Faith, Jewish Religion, Jews, and Synagdgae.

In addition, there are COHENs listed who are not listed as Jewish, but come from Russia. This may mean that they did not want to put that they were Jewish or they had converted. However, when looking at one such family belonging to Morris Cohen, I found that the word Hebrew was written on the line for the father, then Lennox Street for the son which was then crossed out and then SCR for the next son and then several lines down Hebrew again. Evidently, the entire family was Jewish, but had been incorrectly designated.

Another interesting error which was brought to my attention by researcher David Lenten was that of the PURDY family. I noted that they were listed as being Hebrew, but after I carefully examined the census sheet, it was revealed that they belonged to the Church of the First Born and a scriptural reference, Hebrews 12:23, was added which refers to this group and not that they were Hebrews or Jews.

There are a number of transcriptions that are incorrect due to misspellings of the family name as is the example of the YODAIKEN family who are spelled both Yodaiken and Yodieken on the same census page. Many more misspellings have occurred and these can also be seen when comparing the 1901 Census and the one for 1911. Also, families changed their names or spellings of their names from the time of the 1901 Census and the 1911 one.

A case of this is found in the 1901 Bremsen family who are listed as Bremson in 1911.
The National Archives gives the opportunity to correct these errors on the Census site which is quite helpful.

A distribution of the Jews, by county, can be seen as follows:
  • Antrim, 673
  • Armagh, 44
  • Carlow, 1
  • Cavan, 1
  • Clare, 0
  • Cork, 426
  • Donegal, 0
  • Down, 47
  • Dublin, 2,015
  • Fermanagh, 1
  • Galway, 1
  • Kerry, 6
  • Kildare, 10
  • Kilkenny, 2
  • King’s Co., 10
  • Leitrim, 0
  • Limerick, 149
  • Londonderry, 60
  • Longford, 3
  • Louth, 54
  • Mayo, 0
  • Meath, 11
  • Monaghan, 5
  • Queen’s Co. 10
  • Roscommon, 0
  • Sligo, 14
  • Tipperary, 19
  • Tyrone, 2
  • Waterford, 41
  • Westmeath, 2
  • Wexford, 8
  • Wicklow, 13

An interesting finding is that there was several American or United States Jews who lived in Ireland in 1901:

  • BARRON, Martha, age 10, living Queens Street, Nenagh West Urban.
  • Tipperary GINZBURG, Morris, age 20, a tailor, living Lr. Clanbrassil Street (west side), Dublin
  • GOLDSTINE, Mark, age 25, a doctor, living 6 Rotunda Buildings, Dublin
  • LEMAN, Leo, age 67, general dealer, a visitor, Westmoreland Street, South City, Dublin
  • LEVIN, Samuel W., age 7, Colooney Street, Dock Limerick Urban No. 4, LImerick
  • POISNER, Hoshia, age 3, Lr. Clanbrassil St. (W. side), Merchants Quay, Dublin
  • ROSENTHAL, Julia, age, 4, John’s Street, Waterford Urban No. 3, Waterford
  • ROSENTHAL, Rebbecca, age 5, Colooney Street, Dock Limerick Urban No. 4, Limerick
  • STEIN, Harry, age 9, Lennox Street, Fitzwilliam, Dublin
  • STEIN, Rachel, 7, Lennox Street, Fitzwilliam, Dublin
As one can see, most of these Americans were children. An example of how these American births occurred is the Harris and Kate POISNER family. They were from Russia as was Kate’s parents Mendel and Pesha Barron who lived with them. They came to Ireland sometime before 1893 when their first child Himy Poisner was born in Dublin. They then left for America sometime after their second child Joe Poisner was born in 1894 in Dublin. They returned to Dublin sometime after their third child Joshia Poisner was born in 1898 in America and before their fourth child Simon Poisner was born in Dublin in 1899.

Another interesting aspect of this family is that by 1911 their name had become POSNER. They were still living at the same address and had one more child, Samuel, who was born in 1903. They also had a boarder by the name of Solomon Barron, age 15, who was possibly a relative of Mrs. Posner.

In addition, Mrs. Posner’s parents now were known as Max and Polly Barron. Instead of being listed as retired, Max was a Hebrew teacher living at 47.1 Clanbrassil Street. Polly was listed as having had 8 children of whom only 6 had survived.

A further interesting find is that of Mark Goldstine, who is transcribed as Goldstein, and listed as a doctor from America who is boarding as a lodger. He is not found in the 1911 Irish Census. It is possible that he was attending medical school in Ireland and then returned to America when his schooling was done. It is not possible to note whether he was practicing as a doctor at that time or not.

Another example of an American is Leo Leman, 60 years old, who is a visitor. Unfortunately, he does not seem to appear, at first glance, in the 1900 U.S. Census, so cannot be traced further.

One can get a particularly vivid image of the Jewish residents of specific towns in this Census. A look at the town of Limerick in 1901 prior to the infamous “Limerick Pogrom” of 1904 shows a thriving community of 149 Jewish souls. The community was depleted by the incident in 1904 and it was not until the 1911 Irish Census that one can see that the Jewish residents had started to grow again to 123 individuals.

Many of the residents in 1901 are shown as draper/pedlars and two as dental mechanics (Marcus H. Jaffe, Mayer William Stein), one a dentist (Sydney A. Jaffe), and two as Jewish religious leaders (Elias B. Levin, Moses Velitskin).

In the 1901 Irish Census, one can see that many individuals had already started the process to change their names to more common ones. A look at County Antrim where the town of Belfast is located, with its 673 Jewish residents, shows this increasing trend. One finds such names as Appleman, Appleton, Armstrong, Baker, Barratt, Clarke, Elliott, Glover, Hool, Lewis, Livingston, Stack, and Travers.

The census is well-worth looking into for other insights into the Jewish population of that time. It shows that in 1901 that the Jews were still very much involved in peddling and are noted as pedlars. By the 1911 Census, one sees marked increases in storekeeping and other occupations and skilled trades. The large numbers of children in the Jewish households also accounts for increases in occupational diversification as they were being educated, learning the local language and leaving school to pursue more modern job opportunities, especially in the larger towns.

An example of this is the family of Charles Beresford Price and his wife Sarah who were born in Lithuania. Charles was a pedlar and his children, Marks Michael and Maurice Price, both born in Dublin, later went into the medical profession.

The number of individuals who were in the medical profession or were studying in medical/dental/pharmaceutical school in 1901 and 1911 is of interest too:

1901, Dublin

  • ALLANN, Israel, medical student
  • BECKER, Harry L., medical student
  • COHEN, Henry, dental student
  • ELLENBOGEN (transcribed as ELLEN COGEN), Abraham, medical student
  • GOLDFOOT, Barnett, medical student
  • GOLDFOOT, George, medical student
  • GOLDFOOT, Louis, dental student
  • JAFFE, Jacob Isaac, medical student
  • MILLER, Samuel, dental student
  • WEINRONK, Abraham, dental student
  • WIGODER, George Selck, medical doctor

1911, Dublin

  • BRADLAW, Henry, medical student
  • BURACK, William, medical student
  • COHEN, Henry L., dental student
  • COHEN, Julius, pharmaceutical student
  • GOLDING, Marks, medical student
  • ROBINSON, Sam, dental student
  • SCHER, Benjamin, medical student
  • SCHER, Meyer, medical student
  • SIEFF, Bernie, medical student
  • SILVERMAN, Eli, medical herbalist
  • SILVERMAN, Harris, medical herbalist
  • TEEGER, Bernard, medical student
  • WEINSTOCK, Samuel, dental student
  • WIGODER, George Selia, medical doctor
  • WIGODER, Louis, medical student

Many of the medical and other students left Ireland and practiced in England and other places. For instance, Abraham Ellenbogen later went to Liverpool where he can be found in the 1911 British Census. Adjunct medically-related professions were included in the 1911 listing such as two medical herbalists, Eli and Harris Silverman. They represented what was the holistic approach to medical treatment.

In terms of other lesser known occupations, there were two Jews listed as soldiers in the 1901 Census. One, John Brolweg, age 21, born in England, unmarried, was listed as a deserter and sentenced to 56 days in the Arbour Hill Military Prison in Dublin. The other soldier was P. Fred Levis, age 19, born in Belfast, who is listed as living with his family. Neither of these two individuals later appeared in the 1911 Irish Census and their regiments were not listed.

Another aspect of researching the 1901 Census is that an interesting comparison can be made between the Jewish population as seen in the 1894 Harfield’s Commercial Directory of the Jews of the United Kingdom and that in the 1901 Census.

As an example, in the town of Cork In 1894, there were twenty-four heads of families who had businesses listed in the directory.

  • BREMSEN, D. [David]
  • CLEIN, L.
  • CLEIN, L.S. [Lawrence S.]
  • CLEIN, Lewis
  • CLEIN, Sol
  • EDELSTEIN, A.M. [Abraham M.]
  • ELYAN, Meyer
  • GLASSER, Lewis
  • HARTOG, Prof. [Marcus Manuel] J
  • ACKSON, E.L.
  • KRIGER, Sol
  • LEVIN, Aaron
  • MYERS, Rev. J.E.
  • SAYERS, G. [George]
  • SAYERS, N.
  • SPIRO, S. [Simon]

By 1901, there were 426 Jews in Cork and one could trace a number of those families that had resided there in 1894. For instance, Meyer Elyan was listed as a jeweler in 1894 and by 1901 he was listed as a Hebrew teacher and again in 1911. Further, there was Simon Spiro who is listed as a jeweler in 1894, then again in 1901, but still single, and finally in 1911 as a jeweler and married with children.

Several individuals were no longer listed in Cork or in Ireland at all such as well-known naturalist Marcus Manuel Hartog, who was of Dutch extraction, who taught at Queens College . . . perhaps he was not on-site in 1901 when the census was taken or in 1911 when he is also missing. Another such individual was J. Jalkinowitz who is missing from the 1901 Census and 1911 Census.

here are many more things to be learned about the Jews of Ireland from the 1901 Irish Census, especially in comparing it to the results found in the 1911 Census. So, take a look and enjoy!

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