Ireland Land and Property
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Land records are a particularly valuable genealogical resource. These records may reveal where and when your ancestor lived and where they previously lived. Often, family relationships and information may be stated or inferred such as the names of spouses, children, heirs, other relatives, and neighbors. Additionally, the occupation and social status of your ancestor may be gleaned from these records. It is not uncommon to trace multi-generations in land records. Estate ownership and tenancy from one generation to another was an integral part of the Irish land system.
Online Databases[edit | edit source]
- Ireland Tithe Applotment Books, 1814-1855 at FamilySearch
- Ireland, Valuation Office Books, 1831-1856 at FamilySearch
- Ireland Landed Estate Court Files, 1850-1885 at FamilySearch
- Griffith's Valuation 1847 - 1864
- The Tithe Applotment Book 1823 - 1837
- Valuation Revision Books covering counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone (1864-1933)
- Griffith's Valuation 1847-1864 ($) at FindMyPast
- Ireland Valuation Office Books ($) at FindMyPast
- Landed Estates Court Rentals 1850-1885 ($) at FindMyPast
- Griffith's Survey Maps & Plans, 1847-1864 ($) at FindMyPast
- Burke's Landed Gentry Of Ireland, 1899 ($) at FindMyPast
- Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation, 1847-1864 ($) at Ancestry
- Ireland, Sustainability Loan Fund, 1812-1868 ($) at Ancestry
- Ireland, Tithe Applotment Books, 1805-1927 ($) at Ancestry
- Ireland : registry of deeds, surname and county index 1708-1904, register of contents (online book)
- Landed estates rentals, 1850-1885 (images)
- The landowners of Ireland : an alphabetical list of the owners of estates of 500 acres or £500 valuation and upwards in Ireland (images) U. H. Hussey De Burgh, 1878
- Transcripts of memorials of deeds, conveyances and wills, 1708-1929 (images)
- Ireland & Northern Ireland: Genealogy & History Resources
- Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland
- GENUKI: Land and Property
- Guide to Irish Land Division
- Landed Estates
- Irish land divisions and how they impact genealogy research
Registry of Deeds[edit | edit source]
After the accession to the throne of William III & Mary II (1689) control of land ownership by Roman Catholics was tightened. It is important historically to see this in the context of the time such measures were set. Ireland had been in turmoil since the beginning of the Cromwellian period in the 1640s. And although the country was generally much unsettled and there was much public anxiety, land ownership, whether by Protestants or Catholics, was an issue to only a tiny fraction of the population.
A system of registration of deeds began in 1708 and although it was not compulsory, it was generally held that the courts would be more favourable when issuing decrees and judgements where title had been registered. However, for those who were not wealthy enough to ever consider court proceedings the need to register was not an issue particularly as a fee was required. In addition to land deeds, marriage settlements, leases, mortgages, and wills involving the transfer of land are also found within the deed registrations. These records can be very helpful, especially for time periods prior to the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths.
The Registry of Deeds is located at:
- Henrietta Street
- Dublin 1
For an excellent overview of records at the Registry of Deeds, see:
- Begley, Donal F., ed. "The Registry of Deeds for Genealogical Purposes." In Irish Genealogy: A Record Finder. (Family History Library book 941.5 D27i.)
- Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. 3rd ed. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 2006. (Family History Library book Ref 941.5 D27gj 2006.)
The deeds may be obtained by visiting (or mailing to) the Registry of Deeds in Ireland or by using microfilms or online records at the Family History Library or a Family History Center. These deeds and indexes are listed in the Family History Library's catalog under the following title:
Indexes for the Registry of Deeds[edit | edit source]
There are several indexes available to assist in finding the deeds you are interested in.
- Indexes made by the Registry of Deeds. This set of indexes consists of a Grantor Index as well as a Land Index. The Grantor Index lists the Grantors and one or two of the Grantees. The grantors are those demising the property (selling, mortgaging, leasing etc.) and the grantees are those who are receiving property rights. The Grantor Index does not include all of the names contained in the memorial of the deed. The Land Index is a list memorials by each place (city, town or townland) which are arranged by county or barony. When the Registry of Deeds was established in 1708, memorials of the deeds were numerically assigned a number. Until the year 1832, there is no year in the grantor index to denote which memorials align with which year. Use the table below to determine the year of the event from the memorial number found in the index.
|Year||Memorial No.||Year||Memorial No.||Year||Memorial No.||Year||Memorial No.||Year||Memorial No.|
- Will Indexes for the Registry of Deeds. There are two indexes that provide the memorial index information for each testator whose will is contained in the registry. There are also indexes containing abstracts of each will in the registry. These can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by clicking on Wills in the Registry of Deeds. The three volumes are available in the Irish Manuscripts Commission out-of-print collection:
- Online Index. Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland has over 278,000 index entries from nearly 30,800 Memorials of Deeds in the registry and continues to grow. This is the only index where you can search for any person mentioned in a deed; no matter what a person’s role is in a memorial. Each index record gives the names of each person mentioned in the deed as well as any relationships that are stated. It also mentions the type of memorial, i.e. lease, marriage settlement, mortgage, etc. While it is not complete, it is a good place to begin a search of the deeds.
Estate Records[edit | edit source]
Estate records are a valuable set of property records to identify commoners in Ireland. Most Irish lived on large landed estates owned by a minority of the population. Landowners usually hired overseers to keep records of transactions involving their leases for families who were their tenants. Estate records vary in content and duration and may include deeds, leases, rent rolls, maps, correspondence, and account books, among other records. A brief explanation of estate records is found in "Land Records" in John Grenham, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide.
There is the Landed Estates Database It has family names, associated Family Names, Names of estate records, Archival sources. The CONNACHT LANDED ESTATES PROJECT. This has Maps of where the estates are located (Townland, Civil Parish, Barony, County, etc.) This is a valuable website for Estate records in Connacht Province.
To locate estate records you need to know the name of the estate owner. If you can locate your ancestor in Griffith's Primary Valuation, you may also find the name of the owner of the estate on which your ancestor lived. A helpful Web site that explains what information is in Griffith's, searchable by place or surname, is found at Ask About Ireland.
Estate Records of the Irish Famine is an important book detailing a significant period of intense emigration as a result of the devastating potato famine of the 1840's. The book is arranged by county and then alphabetically by surname of the proprietor of the estate. Each entry includes the time period of the records, what the records include (rentals, tenancy returns, lists of evicted tenants, maps, etc.), the repository where the records are held, and the archival reference numbers. FHL book 941.5 J73ea
Books[edit | edit source]
Estate owners often lived away from their estates. Some lived in England. Many of the records of owners living in England have been deposited in English archives. The following sources identify some estate records and where they are deposited:
- Irish Manuscripts Commission. Analecta Hibernica. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1930-. (Family History Library book 941.5 B2ah.)
Grenham, John. "County Source Lists." InTracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. (Family History Library book Ref 941.5 D27gj.)
- Hayes, Richard J. Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization. (Family History Library book 941.5 A5h.) Now fully searchable online (with additions & corrections) as part of Sources.
- Index to the National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United Kingdom and Ireland. (Family History Library fiche 6341118.)
- Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Records.Belfast, Ireland: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1924-. (Family History Library book 941.5 A5rn.)
The Family History Library's copies of estate records are listed in the Place Search of the catalog under the following headings:
IRELAND - LAND AND PROPERTY
IRELAND, [COUNTY] - LAND AND PROPERTY
Valuation Office Revision Books[edit | edit source]
For information on the records of the Valuation Office pertaining to land records, see Valuation Office Revision Books.
References[edit | edit source]
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Research outline: Ireland. Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2000.