Griffith's Valuation Page
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Sir Richard Griffith's "Primary Valuation of Tenements, 1848-1864" was undertaken to assess property and to assign tax. Since the destruction of the Public Record Office in 1922, the 'Valuation' is an important source for tracing families living in Ireland about the middle of the nineteenth century. In the valuation records, you find the name of the lessor and the lessee (landlord and renter,respectively), as well as a description of the property (i.e., small house, office, garden, land), and its taxable value.
In order to use the index, the searcher MUST KNOW the COUNTY from which his ancestor originated. If the place name, but not the county name, is known, check Samuel Lewis' TOPOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF IRELAND (fo914.25 L266). This will identify the status of the place and its location by BARONY, UNION, PARISH, AND PROVINCE. Having established the county--for example we are looking for someone with the surname 'Heather' in the county of Antrim-- begin by checking the index to surnames by county. This follows the "Introduction" on the fiche. Here, you find the surname followed by the barony. e.g. Heather Up. Massereens. This will be followed by a "G" and/or "T". "G5" shows that the name occurs 5 times within the barony. A "T" refers to the TITHE APPLOTMENT BOOKS, the manuscripts for which are kept at the National Archives in Dublin. If a "T" is shown without a "G", then the name given will NOT appear in the VALUATION.
Having established the name of the barony in which your ancestor's surname appears, go back to the "Contents" page which follows the map and the index to the map on the fiche. From this you can get the page numbers for the barony where your ancestor's name occurs. eg. Up. Massereene p. 269-293. Now you are ready for step 2. Move ahead to the end of the surname index for the county. This is an index of surnames by parish under barony. The pages are numbered on the top right hand side The parishes are in alphabetical order after the name of the barony. Make note of the parish or parishes in which your ancestor's name appears. The name 'Heather' appears in Blaris parish. Now go back to the page on which the index of surnames for Blaris parish begins. At the heading you will find the following information. Blaris parish (part of) Upper Massereene Barony, Lisburn Union. Co. Antrim Fiche 13 D 6. Now go to Vol.1 of the VALUATION looking for County Antrim. Pull out the fiche 13 as shown on the top border. Using the left hand margin as a guide, move down to D and then count across 6 single pages. Here you have the valuation for Blaris Parish, and are ready to start looking for the name 'Heasther'. If you alreadyknow the townland, village or city where he lived within the parish, you can find the name quickly. If not, you must go through each division within the parish.
Today, Griffith's is used primarily as a census substitute, given the loss of Irish census records for one reason or another (fire, destroyed by government for confidentiality purposes). It does not give you the actual make-up of the family, but does give you the possibility of locating the town land that your family came from, as well as possibly finding other people with the same last name, nearby, who might be related.
If you want to find out more about the work of Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland with an Inventory of the Books of the General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland why not visit:
Anyone interested in Fees charged by the General Valuation Office:
Special Thanks to: Michael Brennan, Ellen Naliboff, other Ireland List Members and dozens of WEB Sites on the Net which all supplied information vital to making this page. :)
This Page only supplies a few links to the Griffith's Valuation Sites on the net. If you are interested in trying to find out more, please go to any internet search and type in the keywords:
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