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The O'Donoghue Society

For all those interested in history and genealogy and whose names are derived from the Gaelic

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Researcher's Tips

Birth years from census (UK) data
It seems almost universal for people to get a probable birth year from census data by subtracting the age from the census year. Certainly some websites and some census CDs provide this as "helpful" information. For me it isn't helpful and personally I always subtract one more year from the result. All the 19th century censuses except 1841 were taken the first weekend in April, so people were three times more likely to have been born a year earlier. E.g. if a person was 24 in 1851, the accepted guess by subtracting one from the other seems to be 1827 for the birth year. But in point of fact, making of course the big assumption that the age is correct, this person was probably born between April 1826 and the end of March 1827. Born any later and (s)he would have been only 23 at the 1851 census. So for 1851 I subtract the ages from 1850, and similarly for the other censuses. 24 from 1850 gives 1826 which is the true "most probable birth year". If you don't do this you may be looking in the wrong year when you go looking for details in the parish registers. Most baptisms took place before the child was three months old, and usually less than that. For someone who was "24" at the 1851 census, even the baptism may have taken place as early as April or May 1826, so I'd always start looking in 1826 and only go on to 1827 if I couldn't find what I was looking for. In 1841 the census was taken in June, and ages above 15 are usually in a state of confusion reflecting the enumerators' understanding, or more usually lack of understanding, of the guidelines. Ages above 15 were supposed to be rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5, so that "20" stands for anything between 20 and 24 and so on. But many enumerators gave up, ignored the instructions and gave the exact age - and I always offer up silent thanks when they did! But for ages under 15, or where the enumerator gave an age that was not a multiple of five, the birth still has seven chances out of twelve (and therefore still slightly more than 50%) of having taken place in the year before the one you get by merely subtracting the age from the census year. Source: Tony Woodward (GOONS)

The Society Journal Content and published issues

For guests, this page shows you the content of all of our many journal issues.
For members, clicking on the link will open the specific journal
ISSUE 68: October 2016
In this issue

•A personal message
•The Robbers’ Den, Foiladown, Clonkeen
•Cornelius ‘Lame Johnny’ Donahue: Discoverer of the ‘Wind Cave’ of South Dakota
•The Gold of Spansel Wood
 
ISSUE 67: July 2016
In this issue

• A personal message
• Society developments
• The Coming of the Gael
• O’Donoghues in Annascaul, Dingle, Kerry
• Pat Donohoe, a threatened G-man, in 1916
• Irish Eyes - a poem .
• The Y-DNA project

 
ISSUE 66: April 2016
In this issue

• A personal message
• Society developments
• The Adventures of Juan Ó Donojú and his family (Part Three): Mariana Ó • Donojú, his sister, and the Irish of Seville, Spain
• Donahues of Holyoke, Mass and the lost gravestone
• Six generations of our women in unmarked graves 1822-1943
• O’Donoghues in the News
• Snippets
• The Y-DNA project
ISSUE 65: January 2016
In this issue

• A personal message
• Society developments
• The Ballyeagh faction fight
• Rex v O’Donoghue – Murder or Infanticide?
• The Man Who Had No Story and the wonderful world of Irish folk-tales
• O’Donoghues in the News
• Snippets
• The Y-DNA project
ISSUE 64: October 2015
In this issue

• A personal message
• Society developments
• The Adventures of Juan Ó Donojú(Part Two): General Tomás Ó • Donojú, his brother
• Ancient Origins of our ‘Donahue’ Family
• He died for Britain – Arthur Gerald Donahue(1913-42)
• Where in North America did our ancestors settle?
• O’Donoghues in the News
• Snippets
• The Y-DNA project
ISSUE 63: July 2015
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• The Adventures of Juan Ó Donojú (Part One)
• An Attempt to trace the Ancestry of the Reverend Jeremiah Aloysius Donoughue
• The Story of Martin H Donohoe War correspondent extraordinary – Episode Four
• O’Donoghues in the News
• Snippets
• The Y-DNA project
ISSUE 62: April 2015
In this issue

• A personal message
• Society developments
• Captain Right - The Rightboy Movement of the late 18th century
• The Very Reverend Father Thomas O'Donoghue
• The Story of Martin H Donohoe, war correspondent extraordinary - Episode Three
• How my father hid wartime secrets at his stables
• O'Donoghues in the News
• Snippets
• The Y-DNA project
ISSUE 61: January 2015
In this issue

• A personal message
• Society developments
• Thomas Donohoe introduced football to Brazil - fact
• The Story of Martin H Donohoe, war correspondent extraordinary -Episode Two
• Flight Sergeant Norman Dunn (O'Donoghue) and his stage heritage
• Clan Donnachaidh
• O'Donoghues in the News
• Snippets
• The Y-DNA project
ISSUE 60: October 2014
In this issue

• A personal message
• Society developments
• The Battle of Clontarf - 1014
• The Story of Martin H Donohoe, war correspondent extraordinary
• A Dunphy love story from World War One
• Halls of Fame – O’Donoghues reach for the stars
• O’Donoghues in the News
• Snippets
• The Y-DNA project
ISSUE 59: July 2014
In this issue

• A personal message
• Society developments
• How did the O'Donoghue name get to north Kerry?
• Irish immigration into Victoria
• Peter Donoghue and the Lusitania May 1815
• The Donahue Family Cookbook
• O'Donoghues in the News
• Snippets
• The Y-DNA project