Genealogy Research Service Ireland by Bruce Chandler Bruce
Home Page Link
If you find my work useful, help me continue it by CLICKING on my advertising links.
Probates & Wills Estate Records Deeds & Leases Marriage Licence Bonds
Headstone Inscriptions Church Tithes Catholic Parish Records Protestant Parish Records
Griffith Valuations Civil Births, Marriages, Deaths Censuses Electoral Registers
Newspapers Maps More Dublin Records Dublin Archives & Libraries
Griffith Valuation
Griffith Valuation of the mid-nineteenth century, together with its preparatory house and field books and its follow up revision books, is the only detailed guide showing where in Ireland people lived in the mid-nineteenth century and what property they occupied. The survey was undertaken to assess property for local taxation purposes, replacing the very unpopular church tithes. The valuation is arranged by county.

First Step Guide to using Griffith Valuation
O'Mahony extracted all the surnames of occupiers for both the 1826 Tithes and the 1854 Griffith valuation. He did this county by county producing 32 index books of surnames arranged alphabetically. In each book main index he showed the number of times a particular surname appears for each barony of the county in both returns. Using this index you move to a barony index and from it to a parish index. After that you go to the return data. These red coloured index books are on the Reading Room shelves of both
National Library and National Archives. Primary Griffith Valuation is now on line with a subscription web site. You can view the web site database free of charge in the genealogy room of the National Library. The database sorting throws up all names in the valuation and you can call them up parish by parish, county by county.

Maps, Original Valuations 1854, Revision or Cancellation Books
showing changes in occupancy, acreage and buildings from 1860 to current date, are housed in the
Valuation Office Irish Life Centre, Lower Abbey St., Dublin 2. If you can, do your work here as this is the only place you can see all available data at the same time. Microfilm printed copies of the original valuation lists, known as primaries, are available at National Library and various other libraries in Ireland and overseas. Below is an image of a primary printed page.

Image of Griffith Page
"O'Donovan" Notes of the Griffith Valuation
were compiled from 1835 to around 1839. The government commissioned what amounted to a local history of all parishes in the country, townland by townland. Historian John O'Donovan directed this and a large amount of correspondence covers the work. All this is available for inspection at
National Archives and is invaluable to people studying local history. The culmination of O'Donovan's work was to be the publication of detailed "Ordnance Survey Memoirs". These were completed for most of Ulster but the government pulled the funding for the project and the memoirs for the rest of Ireland were never done. The completed OS Memoirs are available today in some 40 paperback books at good Irish bookshops, thanks to the 1990s work of historians at Queen's University Belfast.
Field Books
give details on the character and quality of the land, townland by townland in a parish. They were compiled about 1838. They list owners of houses over a certain rateable valuation. Apart from this they have little genealogy value.
House Books
were drawn up around 1852. They cover houses over a certain rateable value. Not all houses listed in the 1838 Field Books appear in the 1852 House Books, which set out measurements of houses and farm outhouses, known as offices. Although the measurements taken have proved now to be sometimes quite inaccurate, the data is useful to track changes when looking at buildings today and when the buildings of 1852 no longer exist.
Top of Page