Journal Volume 1 1992

My Townland:- Its History and Archaeology (continued/4)

The Census Returns for all Ireland for 1901 and 1911 are available to the Public in the National Archives, and make very interesting reading.

These Returns give head of household and all other members and their relationship to the head. They also specify age, occupation, place of birth, religion, ability to read and write, language spoken, and whether deaf, dumb, blind or lunatic. Housing was classified into 1st, 2nd, or 3rd class, (depending partly on the number of windows to the front), and the number of years of present marriage and number of children born alive or otherwise. They give a clear picture of social class and education at that time.

The Census Returns for Kindlestown townlands, Upper and Lower, were filled on the night of the 20th April 1901 and the returning officer was Constable Henry Webb. He had to do a lot of the writing himself and to witness ‘x, his mark’ for many heads of households. In Kindlestown Upper, there were 13 inhabited houses and 2 uninhabited. There were 55 persons living there, 43 were ‘Irish Church’ and 11 were ‘Roman Catholic’. Of the 11 R.C.'s all were live in servants. All heads of households were I.C. There were 5,1st class houses, 7, 2nd class houses (average 3 rooms) and 1 3rd class house of 1 room only. Only one person, excluding small children, was said to be unable to read and write. Nobody spoke Irish. Nobody, apparently, had any physical or mental disability. Two thirds of the birth places of household heads were outside Wicklow. The largest house in the townland had 13 rooms and the greatest number of occupants was 7. The occupations given included ‘income from land and property investments’, retired colonel, farmer, servant, coachman, and gardener.

Mrs. Jane Reid was 83 years old. She lived in a 12 roomed house with 7 servants: a housemaid, a parlour maid, a lady's maid, a cook, a groom, a gardener, and a companion. This house was probably Glencarrig (called Kindlestown House in the 1838 O.S. map).

Frederick Kelly, aged 64, lived in a 4 roomed house. His occupation was given as land steward. This was probably the same Frederick Kelly who we read in The Story of Delgany won 'The Best Kept Garden Category’ in the Delgany Horticultural Show on August 15th 1877.

The Rev. Edward Young, 31 years, Curate, lived in Kindlestown Cottage, which was known as ‘Curate's Cottage’.

Dr. Cuthbert Eccles, physician and surgeon, 39 years, had a 10 roomed house and 2 servants. By 1911 he had acquired one further room and two children. Was this the ‘Dr. Cuthbert’ mentioned in The Story of Delgany as ‘the Dispensary Medical Officer, who in 1900 was honoured by receiving the Royal Humane Society's Testimonial for his heroism in plunging into the sea on June 24th and gallantly rescuing Mr. W.H. Lumley from drowning’?

In contrast, Kindlestown Lower had 34 houses, of which 30 were inhabited. The population was 145 people. 99 being R.C. and 45 I.C. There were 2 1st class, 6 2nd class, and the remainder were 3rd class houses. Only 8 householders could read and write although most of their wives and all of their school going children could. However, most of the men who were not literate were over 40 years of age. Only two heads of household belonging to the Irish Church were illiterate. Most had been born in Wicklow. Nobody spoke Irish, or was deaf, dumb, blind or mad.


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