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Landed Estate Records (Ireland)

Nature of Source

Documents relating to the administration of an estate which includes title deeds, agents' reports, correspondence, rentals, household accounts, estate maps, valuations, wage books, maps and surveys. Estate records could also hold militia and yeomanry musters which give the names of men available to serve as local defence volunteers. Other estate records that contain the names of individual tenants and workers and sometimes the children include leases, rent rolls, rent ledgers and wage books.

Many of the wealthy Irish land owning classes had links to England and therefore the estate papers relating to their Irish land and property can be found in English repositories. Estate papers can be found at The National Archives at Kew, the British Library and County Record Offices. If the name of an estate owner is known, a search of the National Register of Archives or the Access to Archives and other online catalogues should be undertaken. The Bodleian Library, part of Oxford University, also houses a number of papers from relating to the estates of prominent Irish families.

The Landed Estates Court Rentals can provide further information on land and property tenure. The records originated from two Encumbered Estates Acts in 1848 and 1849. The Acts allowed for the sale of the many estates that went bankrupt during the famine years. However in many cases the estate was entailed so the Acts also removed these restrictions. The Landed Estates Court Rentals were in effect sales catalogues and included urban and rural properties. The documents provide the date and place of sale with a description of the estate and its location together with a map. The details of the owner is given with a list of tenants with their rents and tenure. If the property was held by lease then the particulars will name those contracted and could involve one or more generations. Landed Estates Court Rentals can be searched online at as part of their Land and estates collection.

Published rentals include The O'Brien Rentals which includes most of those published between 1849 and 1885 and The Quit Rent Office set which is less complete and covers rentals after 1885. These two sets are held at the National Archives of Ireland and two others at the The National Library of Ireland and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Where Found

Period Covered

1700 - 1900

Genealogical Value

Names, addresses, occupations, ages of tenants. Sometimes the tenant's children and their ages are given.

Further References

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

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

Connolly, S.J. The Oxford Companion to Irish History: Oxford University Press, 2007

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

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

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

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: Gill & Macmillan, 2006

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

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

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

Maxwell, Ian. How To Trace Your Irish Ancestors: How To Books, 2008

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

Mitchell, Brian. A Guide to Irish Parish Registers: Genealogical Publishing Co, 2001 (Limited preview at Google Books)

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

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

Raymond, Stuart. Irish Family History on the Web: The Family History Partnership, 2004

Reid, Noel (ed). A Table of Church of Ireland Parochial Records and Copies: Irish Family History Society, 1994

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

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

Smyrl, Steven. Dictionary of Dublin Dissent-Dublin's Protestant Dissenting Meeting Houses 1660-1920: A & A Farmar, 2009

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

Tracing your Cork, Galway, Sligo, Westmeath, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon & Clare, Ancestors: Flyleaf Press (Series with separate titles covering research in individual Irish counties)

Websites (Estate Records) (Land Registration) (Irish Estate Records by Judith Eccles Wight) (Irish Land Records by Kyle J. Betit) (Digitised images from landed estate records and a guide to the Background to Landed Estates) (Land Records in Ireland, by Kyle J. Betit) (Historic property taxation and valuation in Britain and Ireland) (Land and Property Records) (Irish Encumbered Estates Papers)
PRONI Research Guide (Landed estate Records)
(Landed families of Britain and Ireland: Results of long-term research into the landowning families of the British Isles and the country houses which they owned. Each post will concern the history and properties of a particular family, making it possible to trace both the links from families to houses and from houses to their owners over time) (Land, Estate and Freeholders Records in Ireland, by Kyle J. Betit) (Irish-Genealogy-Toolkit: Landed estates court rentals)
(Irish Archives Resource: The site contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland from many organisations, societies, political organisations and businesses)
( 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) (A county-by-county listing of relevant records) (Information on Northern Irish counties and available resources) (Irish Genealogy: Research in Ireland: Irish Records: What Is Available?) (Irish Genealogy: How To Start Your Family History) (Ireland genealogy links) (Information on Irish counties and available resources) (Family History & Research) (Research guide from GRO Ireland) (Fianna Guide to Irish Genealogy) (IreAtlas Townland database)  (1851 General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, parishes and Baronies of Ireland)

Online Databases (Landed Estates Court Rentals 1850-1885 in partnership with Eneclann. The database contains information on the ownership and occupation history of the estate, the list of tenants, the quantity of land, the yearly rent as well as a map specifying the boundaries) (Landed Estates Database: Searchable online database of all Landed Estates in Connacht and Munster, maintained by the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, National University of Ireland, GalwayConnacht and Munster Landed Estates Project. The records are compiled from a variety of sources and organised by family name and name of estate)
(The Great Parchment Book of the Honourable The Irish Society. Online access to people, places or livery companies mentioned in the Great Parchment Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives. The Book records details of forfeited estates owned by the City of London in the County Londonderry, Northern Ireland in 1639) (Trinity College Dublin: The Down Survey of Ireland. Digital images of all the surviving Down Survey maps at parish, barony and county level with written descriptions of each barony and parish that accompanied the original map. The Survey, taken in the years 1656-1658, sought to measure all the land to be forfeited by the Catholic Irish and transferred to the Protestants) (Ireland, Landed Estate Court Files, 1850-1885) (Genhound: Dunluce Manor Records, Antrim 1798-1847; Residents from Court Leet records 1934-1934 covering Ballymoney, Antrim) (Genhound: Names extracted from the book 'The Ulster Land War of 1770' written in 1910, particularly relevant for the counties of Antrim and Down and Belfast containing the names of those responsible for attacks on landlords evicting tenants as well as the names of the victims)
Ulster Historical Foundation (Estate Records) (Irish Family Research: Databases of landowners and freeholders covering a number of counties)
Ulster Ancestry Free Genealogy Pages (Transcriptions of sources specific to Ulster genealogy including various census transcripts. Ulster Ancestry also offers a specialist ancestral research service for those wishing to trace their family origins in Northern Ireland) (Some transcribed records including rent rolls and leases) (Some transcribed records) (IrelandGenWeb Project: Transcribed records covering individual counties) (Northern IrelandGenWeb Project: Transcribed records covering individual counties) (Irish Records Index, 1500-1920)