Land records, Rob Goodbody

Land records, Rob Goodbody

There are several types of records relating to land that can be of use to the genealogist or the local historian. Two of the most useful, as they cover the whole country, are valuation records and deeds.

One source is the Tithe Applotment books, held in the National Archives, which arose from a new system of calculating the liability to tithes in the 1820s. These list agricultural holdings, with the names of the tenants.

Greater detail in relation to buildings can be found in the notebooks of a valuation that was carried out in the 1830s and 1840s. These books, known as the House Books, are held in the National Archives of Ireland and give the names of the occupiers of buildings, including houses, with the dimensions of the buildings.

A later, and better known, valuation carried out between 1848 and 1864, is known as Griffith’s Valuation. This printed and published and volumes survive for each barony, including the names of the occupiers. These are available on line on the Ask About Ireland website. The maps on this site are useful, but are not the Griffith’s Valuation maps, and they date from later in the 19th century.

Griffith’s Valuation was continued in manuscript form and updated frequently and the resulting books can be seen in the Valuation Office in Abbey Street Lower, Dublin. These help the researcher to follow the occupants of a property, possibly through several generations of the same family.

A source that takes more effort to master, but which can be extremely rewarding, is the Registry of Deeds in Dublin. Copies of deeds held there go back as far as 1708. They are indexed by location and also by name. Unfortunately the name index only includes the name of the lessor, so the occupier who gets a lease from a landlord is not indexed. The deeds include leases, marriages, wills and various others and the various names included can frequently be extremely helpful in tracing the history of a family or of a property.

Rob Goodbody

One Comment

  1. Hello, I am researching my ancestor Morgan Sweeny born circa 1815 a Harbour master &/or Coast guardsman from Clifden who married Margaret Burke born circa 1818 from Clifden probably about 1838. They had a daughter Margaret born about 1840. They later lived in Strangford Down. Margaret Sweeny emigrated to Australia around 1865. Are you able to help me locate any records I could search. I will be visiting Clifden and Strangford in September this year to further research the family. I would appreciate any help you could give me, Kate Dale

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