How to use Griffith's

Findmypast is working in partnership with IrishCentral to share fascinating insights into your Irish ancestors.

As many 19th century Irish records such as censuses do not survive, it is important to look for alternative research sources when building your Irish family tree. Probably one of the most widely used census substitutes is Griffith’s Valuation but what exactly is it and how do you get the most out of it?

Between 1847 and 1864, Richard Griffith was responsible for carrying out the Primary Valuation of Tenements in Ireland. The aim of the valuation was to produce a uniform guide to the relative value of land throughout the whole country. The information collated covers all 32 counties, was compiled into over 300 volumes and published over a period of 17 years.

Griffith’s is an excellent source for Irish family history research because it is the most all-inclusive surviving household survey for the mid 1800s and allows you to pinpoint where exactly in Ireland your ancestors were living at a given time. Information included in the records will give you names and locations of landlords and tenants throughout Ireland – over 2.9 million of them, making it the perfect alternative to fill the gap left by a lack of Irish census records. Once you’ve discovered your family on Griffith’s, it will open up more possibilities for your genealogical journey; such as parish records or visiting your ancestor’s homestead.

As part of the survey, comprehensive Ordnance Survey maps and town plans were also used, which can give you an exciting visual of your ancestral home. The most complete version of Griffith’s Valuation and the accompanying maps can be found on Findmypast.

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