Irish Pension Search
If you have Irish ancestry, you will know of the
problems with destroyed census and other records. When old age pensions
were introduced, many claimants had been born before civil registration of
births had started in 1864. Their eligibility was therefore established by
checking the census records for 1841 and 1851. The resulting pension
records have now been indexed and are gradually being made available
The Old Age Pension Act was introduced in Ireland in
1908. This meant that people over a certain age were guaranteed a pension
from the state. However, because the compulsory registration of births had
only begun in 1864, claimants of the pension were unable to provide a
birth certificate to prove their age. The government therefore found it
necessary to establish a person’s age by allowing a search to be made of
the 1841 and 1851 census returns.
The claimant of the pension would give the name of the
Townland and Parish where he/she was born or resided in at the time of the
1841/51 census, a search would be made of that townland’s census returns
and the result recorded. In some cases the family would not be found and
so only the result “No trace” was entered. However, on many occasions the
search was successful. In these cases the additional information could
state only the age of applicant at the time of the census, but, in many
records the names and ages of every person living there is supplied.
The Irish Pension Records are stored on microfilm, are
very difficult to read and are not indexed. Our researchers have worked on
these records, transcribing them to compile our database.
At pensear.org you can
search all the records
we have transcribed. The search is made using the surname you are
researching (for more information on how to search
read our step-by-step guide).
You are in complete control. You can decide yourself which records look
relevant to your search and purchase only these. At only 80p per record
the next step in your research needn’t break the bank.
There is currently over 11,000 records, mainly relating
to the northern counties, with more being added on a regular basis.