Stables, barns, sheds and workshops – Your ancestor on the Census B2 Form

Farm house and out-buildings

Making full use of the 1901/1911 Census return forms can tell you not only where your ancestors lived (and the relationships listed on Census night) but also the extent of their property. The B2 Form provided on the National Archives Census search tells you what additional buildings your ancestors recorded, perhaps a stable, fowl-house or barn.

In the townland of Dernamuck, parish of Errigal Truagh, Co. Monaghan for example, 3 families were listed. Each head of household owned the land on which their home stood and each family resided in houses of varying size and class.

The B2 Form tells you that they also held several out-offices or out-buildings (reflecting their relative affluence). These buildings can indicate what type of animals your ancestor kept, if any, or what type of farm equipment they maintained.

Ancestor farm animals - hen and eggs

William McKenna, a single man aged 74 lived alone and had a cow-house, fowl-house and barn. His neighbour, also William McKenna, was aged 60 and was a married man. He held the largest group of out-offices in the townland including a stable, cow-house, piggery, barn, turf-house and shed. Along the road, Francis Sherry aged 49 held a cow-house, piggery and fowl-house. Many families at that time would have kept chickens and pigs and some would have had a horse or donkey.

Additional buildings, outside that of the main family home recorded on this B2 Form will give you a clue about your ancestor’s way of life, his ability to feed his family and general economic prospects.

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