This resource is an index to one of Ireland’s premier genealogical resources, Griffith’s Valuation. It references more than one million individuals who owned property in Ireland between 1848 and 1864. Since no Irish census of the nineteenth century has survived, Griffith’s Valuation is a record of extreme importance. It is, essentially, the only detailed guide to where in Ireland people lived during the mid-nineteenth century and what property they possessed. In effect, Griffith’s Valuation can be used as a census substitute for the years before, during, and after the Great Famine.
Few other records can be used to identify an Irish ancestor’s exact place of origin, and only Griffith’s Valuation links an individual to a specific townland and civil parish. This information is very beneficial since identifying an ancestor’s townland and civil parish is the first step in Irish genealogical research.
- The individual’s name.
- The county and parish where they resided at the time of the valuation.
- Some records contain additional information about an individual’s occupation, religion, or relative’s names.
- Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland: With an Inventory of the Books of the General Valuat
- Richard Griffith (b. Dublin 1784) had already established himself as a distinguished geologist and inspector of Irish mines when, in 1825, he was chosen to be Ireland’s Boundary Surveyor. Griffith’s appointment coincided with the government’s determination to achieve a uniform system of land measuring and valuing for the purpose of eliminating various inequities in levying the two main forms of local taxation in Ireland, the tithe and the county cess, at the townland level. As the head of the Boundary Department of Ireland, Griffith would spend the next forty years supervising land valuation in Ireland and, in particular, the great Ordnance Survey of Irish townlands which fixed local boundaries throughout the nation. The Ordnance Survey documents, comprising over 3,000 maps and 2,300 registers, and Griffith’s valuations of 1826, 1846, and 1852, were the surviving products of Griffith’s efforts, and they constitute perhaps the greatest sources in all of Irish genealogy. The content has been divided into two parts. The first half of the volume treats the history and method used by Griffith and his colleagues in producing the valuations. Here Reilly explains how the surveys were conducted, how standard Irish forms of townland names were assigned, how the descriptive Ordnance Survey Memoirs were compiled, and what one can expect to find within their rich contents. In separate chapters devoted to the three valuations, Reilly describes, among other things, how the valuators assigned a value to property, how the information was publicized, and the relationship of the valuations to the new Irish Poor Laws. Facsimile illustrations of maps, memoirs and other documents from the valuations abound here as they do in the second half of the work, a discussion of Griffith’s genealogical importance… Read More
- Ask About Ireland