OLD AGE PENSION APPLICATION (GREEN FORMS)
When the Old Age Pension was introduced in Ireland in 1908, people had to prove they were over 70 years of age in order to qualify. As Civil Registration did not begin until 1864, birth certificates were not available for those born before that date. The government, therefore, found it necessary to establish a person’s age by allowing the census returns of 1841 and 1851 to be searched. (The original forms were subsequently destroyed in 1922, during the Civil War.) Applicants provided the information by letter, and where there were sufficient details, a search was carried out. When the family was found, and the applicant identified as a child of the family, a certified copy of the return was provided on payment of two shillings. The information in the Census Search was written on the Census Search Forms called the “‘Green Forms”.
There were two applications from the Parish of Kilmurry-Ibrickane with relationship to O’Brien families in the parish.
· Mary O’Brien McMahon of Donogan, P.O. Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare the daughter of Patrick O’Brien and Mary O’Brien of Shanaway West applied for a pension on 02 March 1922. The 1841 & 1851 Census was examined and the report stated “Not found”. Mary O’Brien was baptized 2 Sept 1857. She would have only been 65 yrs and not eligible for a pension. Mary O’Brien married Thomas Tadgh McMahon of Donogan on 10 Feb 1877.
· Martin Boyle of Knockanalban, Co. Clare the son of Martin Boyle of Tromora, and Mary O’Brien of Killernan applied for a pension on 1 Oct 1920. The 1851 Census was examined and the report stated “Not found”. Martin married Bridget Moloney of Knockanalban on 10 Feb 1884. Martin Boyle was listed in the 1901 and 1911 Census living with his wife Bridget and children. He was listed as being 45 years old and then 65 years. The census indicates he was born between 1846 and 1856. There is not a baptism record for him in the parish register.
Kevin J. O'Brien