The customary way to upgrade a wall in an old house is to tear off the old . and about ¾” in from the edges, attach a panel of drywall onto the glued furring strips. The lower half of the wall could be wainscoting of wood or another material.
If the space is an inch to an inch and a half deep before the bit hits masonry, the walls probably have wooden furring strips attached to them.
I was planning on using furring strips,but thought about using /8 metal studs and just building new walls in front of the others. stud to the wood stud you will have an almost perfect wall and it should go fast with no shims I often use strips of plywood of the appropriate thickness to fur out old walls.