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Griffith's Valuation (Primary Valuation of Ireland)

Nature of Source

Listing of heads of household and occupiers of every piece of land or property in Ireland, amounting to around 1.25 million people. The survey known as Griffith's Valuation was carried out from 1847 to 1864 under the direction of geologist Richard Griffith, the head surveyor and Director of the Valuation Office in Dublin.

All privately held land and property was surveyed and valued to assess how much tax each person should pay to support the poor and the workhouses within the newly established poor law unions. The survey was arranged by county, barony, poor law union and townland. The survey resulted in 300 printed books, officially known as The General Valuation of the Rateable Property in Ireland. The first column in the printed valuation book is headed by 'No. and Letters of Reference To Map'. The numbers cited in the column refer to the plot location of the land on the Ordnance Survey valuation map. Capital letters refer to non-contiguous plots of land owned by the same person, whilst lower case letters refer to individual dwellings or structures within each plot. Land measurement for the valuation was calculated by Acre, Rood and Perch, marked as 'A', 'R' and 'P' in the 'Area' column. For an understanding of these and other terms used in the valuation books see the article Explanation of terms.

As property changed hands over the years, the authorities recorded any changes in the so called 'cancelled books'. The books contain handwritten revisions of the published editions updated every few years, continuing in some cases into the 1970s. The books are available at PRONI in Belfast and at the Valuation Office in Dublin.

The Householders Index, produced by the National Library of Ireland, lists the occurrences of surnames in the Tithe Applotment Books and in the Griffith's Valuation. The maps used for the valuation are available from Past Homes the home of Irish townland maps. Other valuation records generated by the Valuation office carried out from the 1830s are also available. The sources include the Field and House Books dating from 1830 to about 1844 and the Perambulation Books compiled in the 1840s.

The valuation has assumed great importance due to the destruction of the vast majority of census returns. Finding a name can provide leads for searching the indexes of the Registry of Deeds and also for further research amongst estate records. The surveyors working on the valuation commissioned a number of maps to accompany the survey. These maps are useful as they provide a graphic representation of where an ancestor lived. The maps are mainly available for viewing at the Valuation Office located at the Irish Life Centre in Dublin. The maps can also be used in conjunction with Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland.

Be aware that only heads of households are cited and the presence of numerous people with identical surnames can make identifying the correct person very difficult. However, the surveyors of the valuation sometimes used terms such as junior and senior to distinguish those with the same name. Sometimes the person's nickname or occupation is given to differentiate between people.

See Also
Surname Origins and Distribution

Where Found

Valuation Office, Dublin (The office holds the original property surveys and valuations dating back to the 1840s including the books and maps of Griffith's Valuations. Subsequent amendments and additions are also recorded against each property. Detailed maps are included in the valuations)
National Archives of Ireland (The Primary Valuation records consist of printed valuation books for each barony or poor law union in the country. These records can also be searched free of charge at www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index. The archives also hold Field Books, House Books, Mill Books, Quarto Books and Tenure Books)
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) (PRONI hold valuation records from 1828 onwards covering every property in the six counties that make up Northern Ireland)
The National Library of Ireland (The Primary Valuation of Ireland, Griffith's Valuation)
Society of Genealogists (Indexes to Griffith's Valuation)
British Library
Linen Hall Library (Genealogy & Heraldry)
County Record Offices (ARCHON Directory: Find the details of a UK archive from a searchable list of over 2,500 archives The catalogue can be found on the TNA Discovery home page)
Local libraries

Period Covered

1848 - 1864

Genealogical Value

Name of landowner/householder and occupier. Address (townland or street). Description and valuation of land or property. Maps are included in the valuation.

Further References

Family History Guides  

Adolph, Anthony. Collins Tracing Your Irish Family History: HarperCollins, 2007

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Begley, Donal. Handbook on Irish Genealogy: How to Trace Your Ancestors and Relatives: Heraldic Artists, 1984

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Caball, Kay. Finding your Ancestors in Kerry: Flyleaf Press, 2015 Buy Now on Amazon
Connell, Gretta. Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Corrigan, Mario &  Durney, James & Kiely, Karel. Tracing your Kildare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon

Davis, Bill. Irish Ancestry - A Beginner's Guide: FFHS, 2001

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Falley, Margaret Dickson. Irish and Scottish-Irish Ancestral Research: GPC, 1981 (1962)

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Franklin, Margaret. Tracing your Limerick Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Grenham, John. Irish Ancestors, A Pocket Guide to Your Family History: Gill & Macmillan, 2004

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Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: Gill & Macmillan, 2011

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Hamrock, John. Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon

Kinealy, Christine. Tracing Your Irish Roots: Appletree Press, 2009

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McCarthy, Tony. The Irish Roots Guide. Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1991

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McCarthy, Tony & Cadogan, Tim. Tracing Your Cork Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Ancestors in Northern Ireland: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Stationery Office, 1997

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Maxwell, Ian. Researching Armagh Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Researching Down Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. How To Trace Your Irish Ancestors: How To Books, 2009

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Maxwell, Ian. Your Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2008

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2010

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Meehan, Helen & Duffy, Godfrey. Tracing Your Donegal Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2008 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Basic Guide to Irish Records for Family History: Clearfield Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Tracing Derry-Londonderry Roots: Clearfield Company, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Connor, Michael H. Tracing your Kerry Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 1994 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Dowd, Peadar. Tracing your Galway Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon

Ouimette, David. Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide: Ancestry.com, 2005

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Paton, Chris. Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide For Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2013
Paton, Chris. Discover Irish Land Records: Unlock the Past, 2015  

Prochaska, Alice, Irish History from 1700: A Guide to Sources in the Public Record Office: British Records Association, 1986

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Raymond, Stuart. Irish Family History on the Web: The Family History Partnership, 2007

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Roulston, William. Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The Essential Genealogical Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2005

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Ryan, James. Irish Records: Sources for Family & Local History: Flyleaf Press, 1997

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Ryan, James & Smith, Brian. Tracing Your Dublin Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Ryan, James. Tracing your Sligo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Scott, Jonathan. Tracing Your British and Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2016
Smith, Brian. Tracing your Mayo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Brian & Kennedy, Gerry. Tracing Your Clare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon

Stewart, Alan. My Ancestor Was Irish: A Guide to Sources for Family Historians: Society of Genealogists, 2012

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Other  
Bradshaw's Railway Map Great Britain and Ireland 1852: Mapseeker Publishing, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Connolly, S.J. The Oxford Companion to Irish History: Oxford University Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon
Coogan, Tim, Pat. The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Dickson, R.J. Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718-1775: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1976 Buy Now on Amazon
Grenham, John. The Little Book of Irish Clans and Tartans: Book Sales, 1995 Buy Now on Amazon
Robinson, Philip. Plantation of Ulster: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Paul & Turner, Keith. Railway Atlas of Ireland Then & Now: Ian Allan Publishing, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon

Websites

www.startyourfamilytree.ie/using-griffiths-valuation.html (Finding Your Ancestors in Griffith's Valuation, by Rachel Murphy)
www.townlandvaluationtranslator.com (Ireland Valuation Books Translator: Providing the keys for understanding the Ireland Valuation Office records to Irish historians and genealogists. The Field Book Translator provides an overview of the land held. The House Book Translator shows the features of each dwelling)
http://rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlmayo2/deciphering_griffiths_val.html (Deciphering Griffiths Valuation)
www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/Ireland-genealogy.html (Irish Genealogy Toolkit: Land records in Ireland, Genealogy research and property records)
www.leitrim-roscommon.com/GRIFFITH/Griffiths.PDF (Is There More in Griffith's Valuation Than Just Names? by James R. Reilly)
www.from-ireland.net/griffiths-primary-valuation-introduction (From Ireland.net: Griffith’s Primary Valuation of Ireland: Introduction)
www.findmypast.co.uk/articles/griffiths-valuation---explanation-of-terms
(Griffith's Valuation - Explanation of terms)
www.nationalarchives.ie/genealogy1/genealogy-records/tithe-applotment-books-and-the-primary-griffith-valuation (National Archives of Ireland Guide: Tithe Applotment books and the Primary, Griffith's, Valuation)
http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/30_griff.html?Welcome=1088658322 (Griffith's Valuation, a 19th Century Irish Census Substitute)
www.rootsireland.ie/index.php?id=39 (Irish Family History Foundation Guide: Griffith's Valuation)
www.proni.gov.uk/your_family_tree_series_-_20_-_how_to_use_griffith_s_valuation.pdf (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland Information leaflet: How To Use Griffith's Valuation)
www.censusfinder.com/ireland.htm (Links to sites offering Valuation transcriptions)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/records/land/ingrif.htm (Indexes to Griffith's Valuation and Tithe Books)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/records/land/grva.htm (Griffith's Valuation)
www.irishgenealogical.org/page/igsi-census-substitutes-griffiths-valuation (Irish Genealogical Society International: Researching in Griffith's Land Valuation, by Beth L. Mullinax)
www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/big-houses-of-ireland/rossmore-castle/griffiths-valuation (Griffiths Valuation, Image from the parish of Monaghan)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/records/land/grva_illustration.htm (Griffith's Valuation: sample page)
www.ancestryireland.com/database.php?filename=townlands (Townlands of Ulster, list of the townlands in Ulster per county)
www.pasthomes.com (Irish Townland Maps: Browse and view Irish Townland maps covering the whole of Ireland. The maps were surveyed between 1829 and 1843 and are highly detailed showing the names of all the Townlands, Parishes and Baronies in Ireland. The Griffith's Valuation was based on the mapping. Use the county index maps to identify the relevant Townland)
https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/getting-started-in-irish-genealogy/594
(FamilySearch.org: Learning Center Online Genealogy Course: Getting Started in Irish Genealogy. Lecture designed to acquaint beginning genealogist with strategies and sources for getting started in Irish genealogy)
www.iar.ie (Irish Archives Resource: The site contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland from many organisations, societies, political organisations and businesses)
www.rascal.ac.uk
(Research and Special Collections Available Locally. An electronic gateway to research resources in Ireland. You can use this web-site to search and browse information about the wide range of research and special collections held in libraries, museums and archives across the region)
www.histpop.org
(Official reports, legislation and essays on the censuses including statistical analysis. The documents on the site include indexes to parishes, townships and places used in the official reports)
www.irishlivesremembered.ie (Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy Magazine. The online magazine is dedicated to tracing your Irish ancestors globally with over 70 pages of Irish genealogy news and resources. Read online or download in PDF format)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Ireland Census Reports. Learn about the community in which your ancestor lived with census reports detailing population and area statistics from the latter half of the 19th century up to the early 20th century)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Ireland Statistical Surveys. Learn about the history, customs, politics, and industries of various Irish counties. The collection is comprised of PDF images of the surveys from the following counties: Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, King's Offaly, Leitrim, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, and Tyrone)

Online Databases

Ulster Ancestry Free Genealogy Pages (Free index to the Valuation of Ireland 1848-1864 covering the counties of Northern Ireland/Ulster)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Name and place index with original images of all available publications, revisions and amended versions, developed by Eneclann Ltd, OMS Services and The National Library of Ireland)
www.findmypast.co.uk
(Ireland Valuation Office Books, 1824-1856. The collection houses several types of manuscript records from the Valuation Office in Ireland including field books, house books, quarto books, rent books, survey books, and tenure books. All of these books helped to inform the publication of Griffith's Valuation)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Griffith's Valuation 1847-1864. The record set comprises over 2.9 million records from all 32 counties in Ireland. Each record comprises a transcript and black and white image of the original register. The online version was developed by Eneclann Ltd, OMS Services and The National Library of Ireland)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Ireland, Griffith’s Survey Maps & Plans, 1847-1864. Griffith’s Survey Maps & Plans, 1847-1864. The collection contains over 95,000 place names recorded in Ordnance Survey maps and town plans used by the team working on Griffith’s Primary Valuation of Ireland. Each record includes a survey transcript and most also contain images of maps and town plans)
www.ancestry.co.uk (Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation, 1847-1864. Griffith’s Valuation, indexed with images in this database, is one of Ireland's premier genealogical resources, referencing approximately one million individuals who occupied property in Ireland between 1848 and 1864)
www.thegenealogist.co.uk (Griffith's Valuation)
www.proni.gov.uk (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Valuation Revision Book Search. Searchable placename index [city, county, parish, townland] to the Valuation Revision Books covering counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone between the years 1864 to 1933)
www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Valuation Revision Books. Search and view digitised images of valuation records covering counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone between the years 1864 to 1933)
www.myirishancestry.com (Search over 1 million Griffiths Valuation records for free)
www.irishgenealogy.ie (Irish Genealogy: Online search facility allowing users to search across a number of databases from different suppliers covering the following sources: 1901 and 1911 census returns; Griffiths Valuations; Tithe Applotment Records; Soldiers Wills; Military Archives; Ellis Island Records; Castle Garden Records; Ireland-Australia Transportation Database)
www.ancestryireland.com (Ulster Historical Foundation: Distribution of Surnames from Griffiths Valuation)
www.irishancestors.ie/?page_id=5392 (Irish Genealogical Research Society: Index of Townlands, 1901: Searchable database of over 64,000 townlands in Ireland which are ancient land divisions measuring from just a few acres to several hundred and still in use today)
www.irishfamilyresearch.co.uk (Various transcriptions)
www.irelandgenweb.com (IrelandGenWeb Project: Various transcribed records covering Irish counties)
www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nirwgw (Northern IrelandGenWeb Project: Various transcribed records covering Northern Ireland/Ulster)
Irish Family History Foundation (Griffith's Valuation for Ireland)
www.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=4077 (Irish Records Index, 1500-1920)
www.failteromhat.com/griffiths.php (Griffiths Valuation 1848-1864)
www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation (AskAboutIreland: Digital images and index of Griffith's Valuation with a name and place search)
http://tipperarystudies.ie/digitisation-project (Tipperary Studies Digitisation Project: The Tipperary Studies digitisation project aims to make available online a range of sources, both historical and genealogical, which are part of the fabric which makes up the history of Tipperary. Browsable records include: Cashel Poor Law Union Rate Books; Nenagh Poor Law Union Rate Books; Thurles Poor Law Union Rate Books; Nenagh Poor Law Union Burial Rate Books)




.thegenealogist.co.uk (Griffith's Valuation)

CD Roms

Genealogical Publishing Company (An Index to Griffith's Valuation of Ireland, 1848-1864)
Past Homes Maps (Irish Townland Maps: The company supplies Irish Townland maps as single sheet six inch county maps or on CD. The maps were surveyed between 1829 and 1843 and are highly detailed showing the names of all the Townlands, Parishes and Baronies in Ireland. The Griffith's Valuation was based on the mapping. Use the county index maps to identify the relevant Townland)