skip to content

Tithe Award Records/Apportionments (Parish & Land & Property)

Nature of Source

Records covering England and Wales generated from the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 which allowed tithes (tenths) to be converted into cash payments. These payments were known as Tithe Awards (also known as apportionments or schedules) and were based on land values and the price of corn. Tithe Commissioners administered and collected the payments. Tithes had been levied on people from Anglo-Saxon times and entitled the church to one tenth of their annual revenue or produce. By the early 19th century the tithe system had become unwieldy and unpopular, so the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 converted tithes into cash payments. Finally in 1936 tithe rent charges were abolished.

In the majority of cases three copies of the award were made. One for the parish, one for the diocese and one for the Tithe Commission. The award provided details of landowners and occupies within each tithe district usually based on the parish boundary.

The tithe award also has a reference number to an accompanying large scale tithe survey map of the parish showing what land was occupied as well as features such as houses, parish boundaries and field names. Maps that met the rigorous standards set by the Tithe Commissioners were classified as 'first class' whilst those classified as 'second class' varied in quality and scope.

In addition to the tithe awards/apportionments and maps, the third set of records associated with Commutation Act is the miscellaneous collection of correspondence produced by the Tithe Commission officials, referred to as the 'tithe files' which are now held at the National Archives.

The tithe survey refers to the land owned and not necessarily the known address of the person owning the land. Always check the survey summary which provides an alphabetical list of the landowners cited in the tithe survey with their total acreages owned as well as the names of the tenants.

Few tithe commutation records exist before the Commutation Act, with pre-Act arrangements only coming into force by private acts of parliament. These tithe books survive from the 17th and 18th centuries and are now lodged with County Record Offices. Tithes were sometimes commuted at the time of Enclosure Awards. If a person does not appear in the 1841 census but is listed in the Tithe Apportionment Schedules from 1836, a person's date of death can be narrowed down to a specific time frame.

In Scotland, Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 did not apply. The Scottish equivalent of the English tithes were known as teinds with the Teind Court deciding over matters relating to disputes and payments. Teinds were finally abolished by the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000. The records from the court are held at the National Records of Scotland and can be searched for at the online catalogue.

Where Found

The National Archives (IR 18, Tithe Files; IR 29, Tithe Apportionments; IR 30, Tithe Maps. The document reference is available at the TNA Discovery catalogue. First click on ‘Advanced search’ and then type in the place name being searched. Then under ‘Search within’ select ‘Enter a reference’ and type ‘IR 29’)
County Record Offices (Parish and diocese copies including pre-1836 parish tithe lists)
National Library of Wales (The Library holds a set of tithe maps and associated schedules for Wales. All the tithe maps in the Library have now been catalogued and can be found in the online catalogue)
List and Index Society (Tithe Maps and Apportionments and Tithe Files)

Period Covered

1836 - 1936

Genealogical Value

Tithe Apportionment Schedule
Landowner's name and address. Description of land held and the amount measured in acres, roods and perches. Plot number showing where the plot is on the tithe map. Tenant's/occupier's names and the amount of tithe payable.
Tithe Apportionment Map
Large scale parish maps with field names.

Useful for house histories.

Further References

Dale, T Cyril. The Inhabitants of London in 1638: Society of Genealogists, 1931 (Householders listed by parish showing rents and tithes. Transcribed and available online at British History Online)


Davies, Robert. The Tithe Maps of Wales: National Library of Wales, 2000


Evans, Eric & Crosby, Alan. Tithes: Maps, Apportionments and the 1836 Act: A Guide for Local Historians: British Association for Local History, 1997


Foot, William. Maps for Family History: The National Archives, 2004


Jones, Brian. Bradford Tithe Returns 1638: 1995


Kain, Roger & Prince, Hugh. Tithe Surveys for Historians: Phillimore, 2000


Kain, Roger & Prince, Hugh. The Tithe Surveys of England and Wales: Cambridge University Press, 2006


Kain, Roger & Oliver, Richard. The Tithe Maps of England and Wales: A Cartographic Analysis and County-by-County Catalogue: Cambridge University Press, 2011


Masters, Charles. Essential Maps For Family Historians: Countryside Books, 2009


Munby, Lionel M. & Thompson, Kathryn (eds) Short Guides to Records: First Series-Guides 1-24: The Historical Association, 1994


TNA Research Guide: The History of Tithes

Websites (Your Archives guide, Tithe Apportionments) (British Library Help for researchers: Tithe and enclosure maps with county-by-county listing of available online maps) (Devon Heritage Centre: Information Leaflet: Tithe Records) (Cheshire Archives and Local Studies: What are Tithe Maps and Apportionments?) (Friends Of Devon's Archives Tithe Apportionments Project) (National Library of Wales: Tithe Maps of Wales. All the tithe maps in the Library have now been catalogued and can be found in the online catalogue) (Cynefin Project-National Library of Wales. The Cynefin project aims to repair and digitise around 1,200 tithe maps and transcribe over 30,000 pages of index documents by September 2016. The aim of this project is to create an online resource which can be freely accessed to research the tithe maps and their indexes in an efficient and innovative way. In order to create the online resource, this crowdsourcing website has been set up to allow anyone to contribute to the project by volunteering online) (Can Tithe Maps help me research my family tree?) (Tithe surveys) (Tithe Maps & Apportionments) (Directory of UK Map Collections) (1841 Tithe Map List - Tithe Number, Description, Owner & Occupier)

Online Databases (The Tithe Records for England and Wales. These records have been reproduced from series IR 29 and IR 30 in conjunction with The National Archives. The tithe records show all tenants and landowners across England and Wales from over 11,000 parishes linked to images of microfilm maps with the plot references. Fully linked tithe maps are available online for Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Brecknockshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarfonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, County Durham, Cumberland, Denbighshire , Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Glamorganshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, York City and Ainsty [colour maps] and Yorkshire) (The National Library of Wales: Places of Wales: Search and browse over 300,000 entries from the tithe maps of Wales and accompanying apportionment documents using original and present-day maps. Users can search the tithe apportionments by parish, occupier, landowner, farm name, filed name or select a village, town or city to view local tithe information) (Gloucestershire Archives: Tithe Apportionments database. Transcripts of tithe apportionments for all parishes in the Diocese of Gloucester. The maps which accompany these apportionments have been redrawn by Geoff Gwatkin and are available for consultation at Gloucestershire Archives. Copies of the originals are also available on microfilm) (Cheshire Tithe Maps Online: Cheshire Archives and Local Studies. The site allows users to view and search almost 500 tithe maps and compare alongside later OS maps and other historic mapping. Users can also view the owners and occupiers of property recorded in the tithe apportionments) (Worcestershire Tithe and Inclosure Map Project: On-line access to digitised 18th and 19th century inclosure, tithe and estate maps searchable by name with transcribed entries from the original documentation) (The North Hampshire Tithe Map Project) (Dorset, England, Tithe Apportion and Maps, 1835-1850. This database contains tithe apportion maps listing land owners and occupiers in Dorset, England indexed by name showing detailed plans of their neighbourhood and the exact area they owned or rented) (Tracks in Time, the Leeds Tithe Map Project. Search the apportionment data for ancestors and other people who lived and worked in Leeds and Bradford in the mid-nineteenth century. View the land they owned and occupied. Compare tithe maps to modern and historic Ordnance Survey mapping data) (Durham University Library: Family and Local History Records: Tithe Plans and Apportionments, 1836-1936. The Special Collections hold a complete series of tithe plans and apportionments for County Durham, available online. A map to the tithe district showing the areas covered by each tithe map is available. There are also a large number of altered plans and apportionments dating from 1853) (The Norfolk Historical Map Explorer: Nearly 700 tithe maps covering about 85% of Norfolk, created between 1836 and about 1850) (Worcestershire Tithe and Inclosure Map Project: On-line access to digitised 18th and 19th century inclosure, tithe and estate maps searchable by name with transcribed entries from the original documentation) (Know Your Place: Explore Bristol neighbourhoods through historic maps, images and linked information) (East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Digitised tithe maps of 1840 covering all 29 modern day parishes of the East Devon AONB from Exmouth to Honiton and Uplyme with accompanying apportionment data showing the names of owners and occupants of each plot) (Devon County Council: Tithe Maps and Apportionments. Online access to tithe maps and links to a pdf of the original tithe apportionment and a transcription of the apportionment in both pdf and csv format)
(Friends Of Devon's Archives Tithe Apportionments Project. Abstract of the names of property owners, lessees and occupiers, along with the names of the holdings and their acreages) (The Keep-East Sussex Record Office. Search and view tithe maps in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove. The tithe maps are broken down by parish and are searchable by map name, place name or surname of landowner or occupier) (Warwickshire County Record Office: Tithe Apportionments Database. This is a database of the information contained in the Warwickshire tithe apportionments, produced after the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836) (Kent Archaeological Society: Kent Maps and Tithe award schedules. Over 400 Kent Tithe Maps have now been digitised by the Centre for Kentish Studies) (SoG Data Online: Barrow, Cheshire tithe map schedule 1837)

Search online for local tithe award transcriptions.

CD Roms

Cornwall Record Office (Cornwall Record Office: Maps and apportionments are available for many parishes)
The Keep-East Sussex Record Office (All available tithe maps covering East Sussex and Brighton & Hove are available to buy on CD)
Kent History and Library Centre
(Over 400 Kent Tithe Maps have now been digitised by the Centre for Kentish Studies with the tithe map for each parish available on CD)