Discover your ancestors who owned or rented land in Ireland between 1847 and 1864. These records may reveal whether your relatives owned or leased their land, the value of their property, and whether the land included buildings. You may also be able to find out the name of their landlord.
Each record comprises a transcript and black and white image of the original register. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:
• First name(s)
• Last name
• Lessor’s first name(s)
• Lessor’s last name
• Occupier’s first name
• Occupier’s last name
• Printing date
The image may contain additional details, including:
• Description of tenement
• Number on map
• Letter or number in field book
• Content of land
• Rateable annual valuation of land (in pounds, shillings and pence)
• Rateable annual valuation of buildings (in pounds, shillings and pence)
• Total annual valuation of rateable property (in pounds, shillings and pence)
The record set comprises over 2.9 million records from all 32 counties in Ireland.
The ‘Occupier’s name’ fields refer to the person who owned, leased or rented a holding. This was the individual responsible for paying taxes and as such he or she was generally the head of household. However, it should be noted that where multiple households lived in one tenement only the head of one household would be included.
The Lessor’s name refers to the person from whom the occupier leased their land; it could be the landowner or a middleman who sub-let the premises to the occupier.
The land is measured in statute acres, rood and perches.
Between 1847 and 1864, Richard Griffith was responsible for carrying out the Primary Valuation of Tenements (generally referred to a Griffith's Valuation because of his role in the project). The aim of the valuation was to produce a uniform guide to the relative value of land throughout the whole of Ireland in order to decide liability to pay the Poor rate (for the support of the poor and destitute within each Poor Law union). The project required Griffith and a team of valuers to determine the value of every piece of land and property in the country enabling every occupiers' tax due to be assessed. The information they collated covering all 32 counties was compiled into over 300 volumes and published over a period of 17 years.
The data collected was organised by county; initially each volume related to a Barony (1846 – 1852) while each volume published after 1852 relates to a Poor Law Union. In both cases, volumes are themselves further sub-divided into civil parishes and townlands. Civil parishes correspond to Church of Ireland parishes and townlands are the most basic Irish land unit. Where the volumes were arranged by barony there are three publications: a full valuation, a list of appeals and a revised version. After 1852, amendments and revised acts were not required. So, depending on which county you are researching there may be more than one volume for a particular location.
While Griffith's Valuation is available on a number of websites, the version you can search on Find My Past Ireland is the one developed by Eneclann Ltd, OMS Services and The National Library of Ireland and is the most complete Griffith's Primary Valuation of Ireland which includes all revisions and ammendments.
No library or archive held the complete set of 301 Griffith's publications (which included new volumes were updates and amendments had been made). The National Library of Ireland and the Valuation Office have the largest collection of original volumes and other collections are held in The National Archives of Ireland, the Genealogical Office and the Gilbert Library and the private collection of George Handran. The team were able to locate 300 of the 301 publications across these and other archives. The information was then digitised and made fully searchable to give you the most comprehensive version of Griffith's Valuation online. The original page images may also be viewed. This version of the survey was first published in 2003, the first time it had been published in its entirety since the 19th century.
Since few fragments of the Irish census records from the 19th century survive - either having been pulped for paper in World War 1 or lost in the 1922 Public Record Office fire - Irish family historians must rely on records that act as ‘census substitutes' to find out information about families and households. Griffith's Valuation is one of the most important sources to Irish local and family historians since it is the most comprehensive surviving household survey for the mid-19th century, providing an insight into households in the period between the Famine and the start of civil registration in 1864.