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West Belfast Families in 1911 on the Internet

Eddine Khaoury
Eddine Khaoury

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, 2003-5. 
Director of Project: Professor Liam Kennedy
Project Administrator/Technical Support: Eddine Khaoury
Email address:

Description of Project

The details of every household in Belfast early this century are available in the census records in National Archives in Dublin. The original census forms, filled in by Belfast households in 1901 and 1911, contain the names, addresses, occupations, religion, age, education, years of marriage, numbers of children born, and the place of birth of every member of the household.

These census forms are a unique source for individuals exploring family histories as well as for local history groups and others, and are among the richest resources available for those seeking a deeper understanding of everyday life in the past. Among the wider issues illuminated by these records are people's occupations, age at marriage, family size, migration into Belfast from the countryside, levels of education, and the extent to which different religious groups lived side by side. This resource can, in turn, be joined to other more readily accessible records like street directories and local newspapers to yield a fuller picture of life in West Belfast.

The project offers a window on life in West Belfast in the years before the Great War and Partition. The major sources are the census returns for Belfast in 1901 and 1911, supplemented by photographs and street maps, as well as contemporary accounts of the lives of the people. The images and information will be placed on a special website, and will also be published in CD-rom form.