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Finding Your Irish: Census Substitutes

Published on Thu, 11/08/2012 - 02:35pm

Have you looked at census records for Ireland? If so, have you noticed that only 1901 and 1911 are available? That’s right. The 1821-1851 records were largely destroyed in the fire in the Public Records Office in 1922. There are only a few surviving fragments. Those for 1861-1891 were completely destroyed by the government.

The next available census will not be released until 2027 but don’t panic. There are census substitutes; that is, other types of records that exist:

Land Valuation Records. These include:

  • Tithe Applotment Books - 1823-1837 (only for some rural/agricultural areas) on Ancestry Library Edition.
  • Griffith’s Valuation-1848 - 1864 (all of Ireland) on Ancestry Library Edition.  
  • Cancelled Land Books/Revision Books on Family Search. Using the Family Search catalog, use the "place-names" search; for example, Ireland, Clare:
    • Land and Property
    • Look at titles available for General Valuation Revision Lists (you must know the Poor Law Union of your ancestors).
    • Order the microfilm and you might be able to see the handing down of your ancestor's land from generation to generation, possibly from the year Richard Griffith valuated your particular county through 1930.

Using Irish Land Valuation Records to Find an Ancestors Home (audio recording) by David Ouimette is also available at MGC for checkout.

You can call the Midwest Genealogy Center at 816.252.7228 for an appointment with an Irish expert if you need help with these records; but remember, researching your Irish is not much different than researching your ancestors in the states. You need to know an approximate location to get started; at least a county in Ireland is usually needed and sometimes more.

Cindi F.
Midwest Genealogy Center

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