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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 16: October 2003
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• The yDNA project
• The Fenian movement and The O’Donoghue MP
• Stone, metal, glass, paint and the O’Donoghue artists of Ros Abu
• How I found my father through the society
• Pronunciation of the name
• Irish naming practices and the O’Donoghues
• Snippets
O’Donoghue Avenue, Janesboro, Limerick
Patrick O’Donoghue Place, Togher, Cork
A People of the Year award
The French Connection
The Donahoe Nexus
ISSUE 15: July 2003
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• Religious O’Donoghues in Galway and the state of the Church in the fifteenth century
• The travelling O’Donoghues
• The diary of Kathleen Donohue Donahue – Queensland to New York in 1907
• Snippets
A prestigious fiction award
The first maximum break
Jane O’Donoghue’s progress
ISSUE 14: April 2003
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• Chief Captayne of his nation
• Ann O’Donoghue, memories of Larakea in the 1920s
• Le Journal des O’Donoughue
• The O’Donoghue Cup – the story of a man
• The O’Donoghue Halls of Fame – Focus on music (1)
• Snippets
O’Donoghue’s Opera
John L.O’Donoghue and the war effort or lack of it
Calling all Donoghues from Waterford
O’Donoghue’s beef stew
Father Ignatius O’Donoghue, in verse
The Convert Rolls 1703-1838
ISSUE 13: January 2003
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• O’Donoghue tribal history in Cork and Kerry
• The Donohoes of Wexford
• The O’Donoghue Halls of Fame - focus on sport
• Snippets
John O’Donoghue’s reprint
Dunphys from Waterford to Newfoundland
Reverend Robert J Donohue
How many of us in England, Wales and the Isle of Man?
WW2 Australian nominal roll
Vietnam war veteran’s dog tag
ISSUE 12: October 2002
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• The religious orders and more monasteries with O’Donoghue connections
• The meaning of our name
• The Glennon Y-DNA project
• My great grandfather from Kilmacduagh, County Galway
• Sylvester O’Donoghue – a prominent architect in 19th century Nova Scotia
• The Dunphy coat of arms
• The gathering season
• Snippets
The Rose of Tralee
A mother of advancing years
First class cricketers of the name
O’Donoghue soda bread
Corporal Donaghue
ISSUE 11: July 2002
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• Some abbeys and monasteries with O’Donoghue connections
• Tracing my Duniho ancestry – the trail in Ireland
• The RUC man’s son
• The Currig O’Donoghues
• O’D events Coomacullen, Salem, Red Boiling Springs, North Clare, California
• Snippets
Cake in his pocket
Improving the children’s Irish
Mission No.263
Jane O’Donoghue vs Venus Williams
The Shroud of Turin under question
• In memoriam
ISSUE 10: April 2002
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• The Young Irelanders
• Tracing my Duniho ancestry – the trail in the USA
• Gortaleen and the mystery of my grandfather
• Madge O’Donoghue – who was she?
• O’Donoghue’s bride
• Snippets
Boat trip on Killarney Lake
John Donaghue, the last convict, on the last convict ship
A Donahue book
ISSUE 9: January 2002
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• The O’Donoghues of Ross
• The O’Donoghues of Coomacullen – a sequel; or the Johnnies found
• Looking for Lowitja - Lowitja O’Donoghue
• The Donoho Reunions in Salem, Illinois
• Snippets
A new way of detecting pickpockets
O’Donoghue’s triad
Family stories
Annie Dunphy, Dublin
Two O’Donoghue books
ISSUE 8: October 2001
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• The black Irish of the Caribbean
• The search for an elusive grave in County Kerry
• Daniel O’Donoghue – a pioneer of the 19th century Canadian labour movement
• Places with the name in the USA
• Distribution of the name in the USA – 1850 to 1990s
• Snippets
Mary O’Donoghue’s seven witnesses
An O’Donoghue pantomime
An O’Donoghue sea slug
ISSUE 7: July 2001
In this issue
• A personal message
• Society developments
• Clan symbolism
• From Donaghy in Armagh to Donaghue in Australia
• Patrick Donahoe – Famous US publisher
• Paud O’Donoghue – the statue
• Snippets
Colonel Joseph Cyril Donoghue
Finding a grave sometimes needs tolerance
The Wild West
Thank heaven for little girls