This is Erin. I got lucky and found an interesting website that has a lot of Irish records from the turn of the century. It has censuses from 1901 and 1911, as well as Parish Tithe Books and some military information. This has been an awesome discovery!
I found one of my great-great grandfather, Robert Kennedy, along with his second wife and many children, living in Tullaroan, Kilkenny, Ireland. The Irish census is pretty cool because it shows not only every member of the family living in the house, but also the property ownership of the household. If the household has a stable, for example, or boiling room, or a cow barn, or even a piggery (which I’m assuming is like a pig sty, but a much cooler word). So, I’ve found that my ancestors were farmers in Ireland, moderately well-off, with a stable and other farm buildings. They seem to have been doing well, at least in 1901-1911.
Unfortunately, the census records for many of the decades earlier than that have been lost. This is a big problem for me, since I don’t know who the parents of Robert Kennedy are, and could really use a handy-dandy census right about now. Fortunately I know the county and town in which he lived, so hopefully that will help my search.
What are my next steps? I’m going to use the same website to see if I can find any other Irish branches of my family. I’m not sure if the timing is right, but hopefully something will turn up. I’m also planning to dig deeper into the town and county records of Tullaroan to try to find more information.
In the meantime: here are copies of the first pages of the censuses: