Wednesday 11 May 2022

Nearly half a million Irish-born appear in the 1950 US Census

Last week, Ancestry announced the preliminary release of their transcription of the 1950 US Census. Impressive stuff, given images of the census returns were released only on 1 April. This speedy transcription was achieved by the company's proprietory handwriting recognition software and although it hasn't been fully quality checked, they took the decision to release it to researchers.

I've given it a quick spin to check out the Irish contingent. I'm not fully convinced of the figures returned by my searches, but the number of Irish-born individuals appearing in the collection's index is just shy of half a million: 483,099.

Of these, more than 2,090 were in their nineties (born 1850-1860) as were 8,080 other residents born anywhere other than Ireland. A further 39 Irish-born claimed to be centenarians.

The oldest of the Irish-born were two gents recorded as 104 (see below): Dennis Sullivan (transcribed as Sullman) of Marlborough, Middlesex, Massacussetts and Edmund Walsh of Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan. The Sullivan family – he was living with his daughter and son-in-law – may have been having a family joke, as Dennis was buried two years after this census and his headstone records him as 10 years younger.

Edward Walsh is proving a little more difficult to confirm one way or the other, but he is living in 1950 with a 75-year-old woman. She describes him as a bachelor 'roomer', so may not have known him well.