IRELAND: Co Cavan 1911 Census

Francis Gillespie, head of family, no information except location Kilnaleck Town, (townland/street), Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, Ireland. no wife mentioned

Maude E Gillespie, age 14, relative, single, scholar, Church of England, Can read and write, born Queens County. Cordoagh Lower, Tullyvin East (rural), Co Cavan

Cecilia Gillespie, age 9, born Co Leitrim, a scholar, daughter, single, Roman Catholic, can read and write, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, Ireland

Francis Henry Gillespie, age 8 male, scholar, son, single, Roman Catholic, born Co Antrim. Kilmaleck Town, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan

Anna Sophia Gillespie, age 6, relative, single, born Queens Co, Church of Ireland, scholar, Cordoagh Lower, Tullvin East (rural)

Vincent Joseph Gillespie, age 4, son, single, cannot read, born Co Cavan, Roman Catholic, scholar, Kilmaleck Town, Kilmaleck, Co Cavan, Ireland

Una Gillespie, age 1, daughter, single, born Co Cavan, Roman Catholic, Kilmaleck Town, Kilmaleck, Co Cavan, Ireland, cannot read

Margaret Gillespie, age 0, daughter, single, Roman Catholic, born Co Cavan, cannot read, Kilmleck Town, Kilmaleck, Co Cavan, Ireland


Eliza Jane Gillespie, head of family, widow, age 56, born Co Fermanagh, Methodist, can read and write, Drumcarn (townland), Drumcarn, Co Cavan, Ireland

Alfred Henry Gillespie, 28, born Co Cavan, son,  Methodist, can read and write, single, Drumcarn, Drumcarn, Co Cavan, Ireland


Hugh Gillespie, age 34, single, head of family, School teacher, Church of Ireland, born Co Monaghan, Cornabeagh, Tullyvin East (rural), can read and write.

Harriet G E Gillespie, daughter, age 25, born Co Cavan, Methodist, single, Drumcarn, Drumcarn, Co Cavan, Ireland

Thomas James Gillespie, age 6, son, born Co Donegal, scholar, single, Roman Catholic, can read and write, Kilnaleck Town, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, Ireland

Margaret Gillespie, 28, single, sister, born Co Monaghan, school teacher, Church of Ireland, Cornabeagh, Tullvin East (rural), Co Cavan, Ireland

Edith Gillespie, 27, single, daughter, born Co Cavan, Methodist, can read and write, Drumcarn, Drumcarn, Co Cavan, Ireland

Arthur Elliott Gillespie, 23, scholar, brother, single, Church of Ireland, can read and write, Born Co Monaghan, Cornabreagh, Tullyvin East (rural), Co Cavan, Ireland.

Mary Agnes Gillespie, age 5, born Co Donegal, daughter, single, Roman Catholic, scholar, Kilnaleck Town, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, Ireland

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Notes:  These records as presented are confusing as grouped by families this way, but how they printed out from the National Archives website.

There may have been a shifting of little ones to help Francis handle so many children in his household after his wife died.  If so, it would appear all three families were related in some way as they were willing to disrupt their own lives to do so.

Francis Gillespie appears to have lost his wife, maybe in childbirth since there is a new baby listed.  He is certainly under stress to care for a new born. He sends two of his youngest children away (Thomas 6 and Mary 5) while accepting the arrival of a 14-year old girl (Maude) and her younger sister (Anna 6) into the family to help. The exchange is with the three single brothers and sister Hugh & Margaret from Co Monaghan to relieve the burden.  Why Anna came instead of keeping Thomas, is a mystery unless Maude needed that family tie for comfort. Eight people living together in this household in 1911.

Here are the original families from this census: It would appear that Francis’ wife was the Roman Catholic, but he himself may not have been.

Francis Gillespie,  wife missing. His family: Cecilia 9 (b 1902 Leitrim), Francis H 8 (b 1903 Co Antrim) , Thomas J 6, (1905 Co Donegal), &  Mary A 5 (b 1906 Co Donegal), Vincent J 4, (b 1907 Co Cavan)  Una 1 baby Margaret 0 age.This is a Roman Catholic family living in Kilaleck Town, Kilmaleck, who has been in Co Cavan for the past three years.

Eliza Jane Gillespie 56, a widow (b 1855 Fermanagh) : Edith 27, (b 1884 Co Cavan) Harriet 25, Alfred H 28.  This is a Methodist family who has been in Co Cavan for 27 years. Living in Drumcarn (townland), Drumcarn, Co Cavan, Ireland. Obviously Eliza’s husband has died young.  Are these other adults her children now independant, moving around but who have returned  to live near here because the father has died? Supposition only.

Two brothers and sister : Hugh (b 1877 Co Monaghan)  & Margaret Gillespie (b 1883 Co Monaghan)  & Arthur 23 (born 1888 Co Monaghan) are living together, all single. Church of Ireland. Living in Cornabreagh, Tullyvin East (rural), Co Cavan, Ireland. School teachers. Maude 14  (born 1897 Queens Co) and Anna 6 (b 1905 Queens Co) belong here, but who is their mother? They are said to be relatives of Francis’ family. It is unknown when these people arrived in Cavan Co. Could they be Eliza’s children, but in her grief she cannot handle little ones?  I would hardly think so.

Edith 27 and Harriet 25 from widow Eliza Jane’s family move to  live in this single member household probably to care for the two little ones, leaving their mother and brother Eliza and her son Alfred alone. Why two sisters? Possibly because of all the single males present, and wanting respectability in the community is the initial thought, but that would mean they were not cousins or siblings. It will be interesting to study the 1921 census to see what happened to each family unit, and look back at the 1901 census as well for earlier information.

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