Tracing those Irish Ancestors…

Family history research can often hit those brick walls which can stop you in your tracks. It is then that the benefits of technology and online research websites come to the fore to help out.

Griffith's Valuation Records in Ireland
Griffith’s Valuation records, helps family historians find their Irish ancestors

One such issue can occur when tracing those ancestors who lived in Ireland. In the 19th Century there was an extensive amount of record taking in Ireland to analyse the population of the country. Despite the best intentions, the first Census in 1813 was felt to be greatly flawed and was deemed useless and subsequently destroyed. However, the 1821 census was more successful and produced the first comprehensive record of all the names in every household, fully 20 years before this was done in England!

This excellent record taking would have been ideal for the family history researcher looking to trace their records. Unfortunately, the Irish census records for 1861-1891 were pulped by government order during the First World War to clear space, and then an explosion and fire in 1922 destroyed most of the census records from 1821 to 1851.

This has proved unfortunate but there are ways around this for the family historian. Griffith’s Valuation records provide a valued substitute for the lost census records for Ireland, as it lists every householder in Ireland at the time it was taken.

Griffith’s Valuation was carried out between 1848 and 1864 and provides records on where people lived and who owned property in Ireland. A typical example of how the records can be accessed online can be seen below courtesy of www.TheGenealogist.co.uk

Simple, easy searching online gives the researcher the following results:

Complete with the original image:

Using the records on TheGenealogist, the database is searchable by forename and surname with phonetic matching and wildcards in combination with County and Barony and lists over 2.6 million Individuals.

The information given includes county, Barony, Poor Law Union then divided into electoral divisions, parishes and townlands, and OS map sheet number with link to view available maps. This is the first time that Griffith’s Valuation has been made available with Phonetic matching, Nicknames, Wildcards and OS Maps.

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