Irish Workhouses

Irish Workhouses

The workhouse has been referred to as the most feared and hated institution ever established in Ireland. Explore our exclusive workhouse records to discover more about one of the darkest periods in Ireland's history.

Irish workhouse records on Findmypast

Irish workhouse records on Findmypast

We're working in partnership with Irish archives and record offices to create a resource of all surviving Irish workhouse and Poor Law Union records, including Dublin, which is exclusively available on Findmypast.

High levels of poverty in 19th century Ireland meant that hundreds of thousands of Irish people passed through the workhouses. The workhouses of the North and South Dublin Unions were among the busiest in Ireland, not simply because they were in the capital but because they often took in paupers from across the country. This was especially true during the years of the Great Famine in the 1840s when crowds of desperate, starving people came to Dublin from all over the country. No matter what social status your family held, they could have found themselves in the workhouses. You can find out names, ages and religion as well as finding out previous address, occupations and the names of other family members.

Learn more about our Dublin workhouse records

Learn more about our Dublin workhouse records

You can find the stories of those unfortunate enough to be admitted to Dublin's forbidding workhouses exclusively on Findmypast in the records of four institutions. With over 1,500,000 admission and discharge records and 900,000 records from the meetings of the Boards of Guardians you will be able to uncover details of some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in the country over an 80 year period.

How to get the most out of our Poverty Relief Records

How to get the most out of our Poverty Relief Records

The Poverty Relief Loans are a collection of papers related to the Irish Reproductive Loan Fund. The fund was created in 1822 to provide short term, low interest loans to the ‘industrious poor.’ These records offer an incredible opportunity to trace your family through the Famine period.