Primary Valuation Of Ireland*1848 - 1864 by Richard Griffith

For anybody that is would like post about records that can be found in the Republic of Ireland.
I will start sub-forums for each of 26 Counties if needed.

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Primary Valuation Of Ireland*1848 - 1864 by Richard Griffith

Post by admi »

(borrowed from here, there and everywhere)

Griffith's Valuation of Tenements.

The Primary Valuation Of Ireland was compiled between 1848 and 1864 by Richard
Griffith. It is a valuation of property holdings carried out in order to
determine liability to pay the Poor Rate (for the support of the poor and
destitute within each Poor Law Union). As it lists every landowner and
householder in Ireland, it is the only comprehensive guide to where people
lived in nineteenth-century Ireland. It covers both rural and urban areas. It
is arranged by county, and within each county by Poor Law Union. Each Poor Law
Union is broken down into electoral divisions, civil parishes and townlands.
The records contain the following information: map reference number (the
location of the holding on the first edition six inch Ordnance Survey map) name
of occupier name of immediate lessor (the person from whom the building was
leased) area valuation of buildings and land The valuation records can provide
useful family information. In areas where particular surnames were common, the
father's forename will follow the lessee's name in brackets to distinguish
between individuals.

The Primary Valuation of Tenements

Under the Irish Poor Law Act of 1838 commissioners were empowered to "unite so
many townlands as they think fit to be a union for the relief of the destitute
poor". These Unions were further subdivided into electoral divisions which were
chargeable for the relief of their poor. In some instances individual estates
were recognised as electoral divisions. Under the terms of the Act, a valuation
of each separate tenement was authorised to meet the requirement of the
assessment of the poor rate. This valuation was entrusted to the guardians of
each poor-law union and was carried out by local valuators appointed by them. In
many instances the local valuation was assigned to incompetent and dishonest
valuators. The passing of the first Tenement Valuation Act and subsequent
amending legislation placed the valuation on amore uniform basis throughout the
country. Because of the role of Richard Griffith, mining and canal engineer and
commissioner in charge of the Board of Works Relief Department during the
Famine, in directing the Valuation it is commonly referred to as 'Griffith's
Valuation'. Land and buildings were valued separately. In rural areas the
valuation was carried out on a townland basis. In towns individual tenements
were arranged according to streets.

These books were prepared for baronies which were subdivided into townlands,
civil parishes and electoral divisions of the poor law unions. The numeral in
the first column referred to the location of the individual tenement on the six
inch to the mile townland maps. These maps, which show the boundaries of
holdings on a townland basis can be misleading, inso far as subsequent changes
were often superimposed on the original valuation maps. The division of a
tenement into sub-tenancies was indicated by the use of letters and holdings-in-
common were bracketed together. This enables us to estimate the extent of these
practices on a barony basis. The names of the occupiers and lessors are of great
importance. They allow the historical geographer to reconstuct patterns of land
ownership and occupation and can also be utilised as a measure of either
continuity or change.

The Valuation Books are a more comprehensive and thorough inventory than for
example the great ledger books of the seventeenth century. These paid no
attention to occupiers. In the 'description of tenement' a distinction was drawn
between tenements which consisted of land only, and those on which a house or
other buildings were located. From an examination of this information it was
possible to determine the distribution and acreage of nonresidential holdings in
Fassadinin. Buildings which served religious, commercial and administrative
functions were also identified. However, the commercial functions of buildings
were not always listed. Retail outlets for basic commodities such as tea and
alcoholic drink, for example, were not identified. Information on the size,
distribution and number of holdings permitted an evaluation of landholding
patterns in the barony. By utilising these particulars it was also possible to
indicate the areas in which, 'commercial' as distinct from 'subsistence'
agriculture was practised. The net annual value of a tenement was defined as,
"the rent for which one year with another, the same might in its actual state be
reasonably expected to let from year to year with cost of repairs, insurance,
maintenance, rates, taxes and all other. public charges except the tithe rent
being paid by the tenement".

Land was valued at the current prices of the day, mainly with reference to the
'intrinsic' fertility of the soil and not according to the state of agriculture
prevailing in 1850. 'Pasturage', was to be valued at the price per acre
proportionate to the number of cattle and sheep it may be capable of grazing
during the year, according to the usual price per head in the neighbourhood for
grazing. The quality of the 'herbage' and 'permanent' improvements such as
roads, drainage and fences were to be taken into account. The Valuators operated
a sliding scale of allowances in respect of what were termed 'peculiar local
circumstances'. When these circumstances, for example, relative location,
communications, climate, elevation and shelter were favourable to agriculture,
land values were correspondingly increased.

On the other hand when local circumstances were unfavourable, land values were
reduced. Land valuation was, to an extent, an indication of soil fertility. It
did however, take many other aspects of site and situation into account. It may
be more correct to suggest that the valuation was an assessment of land
potential as perceived by the valuators. The valuation of buildings was
ascertained separately from land. Censuses compiled from 1851 onwards, contain a
summary of the total valuation of townlands and civil parishes.

1. Field Books: Information on the size & quality of a holding
2. House Books: Occupiers name and measurement of any buildings
3. Tenure Books: Annual rent paid and legal basis - whether by lease, or at will,
also the year of any lease.

These notebooks also document any changes in occupation between the initial
survey and the final published survey.

The valuation office holds the 'Cancelled' / 'Revision' Land Books & Current
Land Books.

The 'Cancelled Land Books' and 'Current Land Books', give details of all changes
in the holdings, from the time of the Primary Valuation up to the present day.

The books can be very useful in pinpointing a possible date of death or
emigration, or even in identifying a living relative. **All counties **All counties. **Clare only. **Leitrim & Roscommon only. ... ifintr.htm **Limerick only. **Cork only. **Kerry only. **Donegal only.
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