Irish Family History: Extra Sources of Records

Irish Family History: Extra Sources of Records

Within the previous post of the seriesNicola Morris explored the surviving Irish census returns. On this difficulty, she discusses the principal nineteenth century census substitutes; what the information will inform us, the place to search out them on-line and learn how to greatest use them for analysis.

NB: RootsEire, Ancestry and Discover My Previous are free to go looking, however require subscriptions to view information.


As soon as the information of civil registration, parish registers, census returns and land information have been totally explored for proof of your ancestors, there are many different sources that may complement what has been established about your Irish household historical past.  A few of these sources will add color and depth to your loved ones story and others could comprise clues that can progress your analysis to earlier generations.

A miscellany of information follows, that may be price exploring for proof of your ancestors in Eire.

Valuation Workplace Books

Within the final put up we checked out land information which are used as census substitutes, the first of those being Griffith’s Valuation.  The Valuation Workplace Books are the precursor to Griffith’s Valuation. Compiled within the a long time previous to Griffith’s Valuation the books are particular surveys of property organised into Home Books, Discipline Books, Tenure Books and Quarto Books. The Home and Tenure Books are most likely probably the most helpful for genealogical analysis.

Valuation Workplace Home Books
The Home Books are valuations of buildings.  Though the surveyors have been solely required to worth buildings over £5, in lots of cases they valued each constructing in a townland.  The books file the occupier of the constructing, its description and dimensions and every constructing was assigned a high quality quantity that indicated its age, restore and the supplies utilized in its development.  It’s typically attainable to determine the occupier of a constructing a decade or extra previous to Griffith’s Valuation together with an outline of their property, together with farm buildings, which may be recognized as stables, piggeries or coach homes.  Not all Home Books survive and never all Home Books file each constructing in a townland, however they’re definitely price exploring for earlier proof of your ancestor’s household.

Valuation Workplace Tenure Books
The Tenure Books file particulars of the tenure of every occupier of property and file the quantity of hire paid by the tenant, the phrases of their tenure; whether or not they maintain a lease or are tenants from 12 months to 12 months, in addition to observations on the property and the occupier.  The Tenure Books can point out the date when the occupier entered right into a lease for his or her property and in some circumstances, if the lease was for quite a lot of lives, the names of the lives on a lease, which may typically be kids of the tenant. The Tenure Books don’t survive for each townland or parish, however are definitely price exploring for proof of your ancestor’s household.

Valuation Workplace Discipline Books
The Discipline Books are the least informative as a result of they fail to file the occupiers of land holdings.  The Discipline Books file the a lot of land in every townland with an outline of every lot, nevertheless, these may be tough to match with the lot numbers assigned in Griffith’s Valuation and with out the title of the occupier are in lots of circumstances ineffective, until the researcher desires an image of the final high quality of land in a selected townland.  Some Discipline Books file the names of the occupiers of homes that have been valued within the corresponding Home Books for that townland.

The Valuation Workplace Books have largely been digitised and printed on-line.  They’re free to go looking on the Nationwide Archives of Eire family tree web site: the place you can see a hyperlink to Valuation Workplace Books.  The search engine requires precise spelling, so it could be wise to make use of wild playing cards or simply seek for books regarding a particular parish or townland after which verify the entire surnames listed.  There are detailed explanations of every supply on this assortment, in addition to a proof of the shorthand used for describing homes within the Home Books.

The identical assortment can be printed on-line at within the Land and Estates assortment, which has a greater search engine.  I have a tendency to make use of each websites to ensure I’ve picked up every part related.

Occupational Information

The vary of occupational information accessible for analysis in Eire is huge.  Many occupational information can comprise very important clues for household historical past analysis.  

Royal Irish Constabulary

In case your ancestor was described on a census return or beginning, marriage or dying certificates as a policeman, constable or R.I.C. and even R.I.C. Pensioner, there needs to be a file of their police service.  The service information for males serving within the Irish Constabulary date from 1816 to 1922.

Irish constabulary service information file the title of the recruit, their age, and bodily description, county of beginning, faith, date of marriage and county of  beginning of spouse, occupation previous to service, date of enlistment and the title of the one who beneficial them. The service file additionally signifies when the recruit was promoted, reprimanded and retired, died or departed the service.  Many Irish policemen emigrated and joined police forces abroad in locations like Manchester, New Zealand and South Africa. In case your ancestor was a policeman in certainly one of these locations, he could have additionally served in Eire previous to emigration.

Three essential clues in a service file are county of beginning, date and place of marriage and the title of the one who beneficial the recruit.  Constables didn’t serve of their county of beginning, which implies the place the place they married and lived is just not often their hometown. Marriages often happened within the parish of the bride, if the county of beginning of the bride is recognized your seek for their marriage can give attention to that county.   If the county of beginning of the police recruit is just not sufficient to find their household, the title of the one who beneficial them can be utilized to slim your search. This particular person was often a landlord, magistrate, Police Inspector or parish priest or minister. By figuring out the place this particular person was situated on the time of your ancestor’s enlistment, you may decide that your ancestor most likely lived in the identical space.  The placement of this particular person can often be established utilizing land information or directories or perhaps a newspaper search.

The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) service information have been printed on-line at nevertheless it may be wise to first use the index or listing of males who served within the RIC which is printed on-line at  The index will determine the service variety of the recruit.  Looking out the service information at Findmypast utilizing a service quantity is way more sensible.  The Findmypast assortment additionally contains pension information and directories. The Irish constabulary additionally flip up within the Petty Session Court docket information printed at Findmypast, the place they took circumstances towards the native inhabitants.    A search of those court docket information can place your police ancestor in a particular jurisdiction at a selected time.

Service information for the British Military and Navy also can file the enlisted’s hometown and occupation previous to enlistment.  Allowing for that giant variety of Irish males that served within the British military within the nineteenth century, surviving service information doc a big portion of the Irish inhabitants.



One other instance of invaluable occupational information relate to schooling.  Sadly, it may be tough to search out proof of kids attending faculty in nineteenth century Eire, however lecturers are a lot better documented.

1905 Listing
The Nationwide Archives of Eire maintain a listing of all Nationwide College lecturers within the nation in 1905.  The worth of this listing is that it information the colleges the place the instructor was taught. As most youngsters attended a Nationwide College near their dwelling, figuring out their native faculty can result in finding their place of residence or beginning.  This listing is accessible within the studying room of the Nationwide Archives of Eire.

Division of Training Information
The Division of Training information for nineteenth century Eire are held within the Nationwide Archives of Eire and embody instructor wage books in addition to registers regarding the administration of the college, which embody inspectors’ feedback on the standard of the instructing and the departure, switch or appointment of lecturers to a selected faculty.

British Parliamentary Papers
In an appendix to a British Parliamentary Commissioners Report on the state of Training in Eire in 1826 is a listing of lecturers organised by county, barony, parish after which townland.  This listing contains hedge faculty lecturers and personal faculty lecturers and an outline of the college. British Parliamentary Papers may be accessed on-line at most libraries and archives and the appendix may be looked for a surname or townland or parish.

These are simply two examples of the kind of occupational information accessible for analysis in Eire.  John Grenham, in his e book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors and on his web site: presents a listing of surviving information that doc sure occupations.  A few of these sources are printed, some on-line however many are solely accessible in archives and repositories in Eire.

Crime and Poverty

In recent times Findmypast have printed a big assortment of surviving court docket, jail and workhouse registers for Eire.   The mainstay of this assortment are the Petty Session Court docket information. The Petty Session Court docket was the bottom court docket within the nation, listening to circumstances of petty crime.  In lots of cases the crimes have been nothing greater than being drunk and disorderly, permitting livestock to wander or driving a cart with out lights on a public street after darkish.  Regularly household disputes or feuds with neighbours seem within the Petty Session Court docket information. Because of this these information can determine fairly a lot of the inhabitants for the areas and time frames for which the information survive.  The defendants have been often recorded with their townland deal with, making it straightforward to determine related ancestors.

Extra severe crimes have been heard within the Quarter Periods or Assize Courts and the very best place for locating proof of circumstances in these courts are newspapers.  Irish newspapers reported on the native quarter classes, typically with verbatim transcripts of the circumstances heard.

Irish Newspapers
Irish newspapers have been printed on-line on two totally different web sites.  The British Newspaper Library holds a replica of each Irish newspaper printed from 1826, in addition to an intensive assortment of pre 1826 Irish papers.  This assortment is being slowly digitised as a part of the British Newspaper Library’s on-line assortment and is replicated at  A separate assortment of Irish newspapers may be discovered on-line at Each websites are subscription web sites and though there may be some duplication, their collections are largely totally different.  The very best means to go looking these huge collections for related stories on your loved ones is to go looking utilizing their townland deal with, an virtually distinctive search time period, which, when coupled with your loved ones surname, ought to find articles related to your loved ones.  

Whereas it may be enjoyable endeavor broad newspaper searches for any reference to your loved ones, for those who want to undertake a extra focused seek for a particular occasion, corresponding to a court docket look, beginning, marriage or dying discover it may be wise to start out your search by figuring out the newspapers most related to the place your ancestors got here from.

The Nationwide Library of Eire web site hosts a Newspaper Database (  This isn’t a set of digitised Irish newspapers, it’s a itemizing of all surviving newspapers for Eire.  It’s attainable to go looking the listing by city or county of publication. Your ancestor is more likely to look in a newspaper printed within the space during which they lived.  By figuring out related newspapers after which figuring out whether or not the paper has been digitised and printed on-line you may goal your search to a particular publication. If the newspaper has not been printed on-line it could be essential to undertake a guide search on the British Library, the Nationwide Library of Eire or at a neighborhood library or archive.

Transportation and Jail Registers
In case your ancestors have been transported to Australia they need to seem within the Transportation Register, a set created from Irish and Australian information and printed on the web site of the Nationwide Archives of Eire (  The database, which may be searched by title, ought to point out the date and place of the trial and date of transportation.  The trial could have been reported in native newspapers which can comprise extra particulars of the crime or the origins of the convict.  The Transportation Register may also embody references to further information discovered within the Nationwide Archives, such because the CRF, (Convict Reference File).  The CRF, if one exists, can comprise letters from the household of the convict pleading for clemency.

Surviving Jail Registers held within the Nationwide Archives of Eire have been digitised and printed on-line at  Though these are removed from full and don’t cowl all the nation, if a related entry is discovered it may be illuminating.  Jail registers typically recorded the age, description, faith and beginning place of the convict, which may result in beginning or baptismal information and different household info.

Dublin Workhouse Information
The Admission and Discharge Registers for the 2 Dublin Metropolis workhouses have additionally been printed on  For households from Dublin metropolis it’s definitely price exploring this assortment.  The poverty that almost all of the inhabitants of town lived in typically led to transient spells within the workhouse.  Ladies used the workhouse for maternity service and the aged and sick additionally used the workhouse for medical care. Together with the Admission and Discharge Registers are the Minutes of the Board of Guardians for each Dublin Unions, North and South.  The minute books can comprise stories from inspectors on kids who have been boarded out (fostered). If you’re looking for ancestors who may need been orphaned or deserted in Dublin this is a wonderful supply for info regarding their care.

Property Information

The significance of land information as a census substitute was illustrated within the final put up.  Along with the countrywide land surveys of Griffith’s Valuation and the Tithe Applotment Books, it’s typically attainable to find information regarding the property on which your ancestors lived.  

In case your ancestor was a tenant of a giant properly administered landed property in Eire there could also be surviving hire rolls, lease books and different information that doc the tenantry.  Hire rolls and lease books can typically doc tenants paying hire again into the late 18th century.  Leases, if discovered, can typically title the kids of the leaseholder as lives on the lease. Tenant software books can comprise requests from tenants for cash to to migrate or to make enhancements to their holding and even for intervention in a dispute between neighbours.  Employment information can element the labourers, carpenters, masons, surveyors and plenty of others employed on an property, how a lot they have been paid and the hours that they labored.

Step one to finding property information is to determine the proprietor of the property, making an allowance for that a substantial amount of land in Eire modified fingers within the 1850s and 1860s.  The owner is recorded because the quick lessor in Griffith’s Valuation.

As soon as the proprietor of the property has been recognized a search may be carried out for surviving property information.   The Landed Property Database at may be looked for the property proprietor and will listing surviving information regarding the property and the situation of the information.  Nonetheless, this isn’t a complete database.

Property information recognized as a part of the cataloguing of Irish manuscripts in repositories in Eire and around the globe throughout the twentieth century have been listed on the Nationwide Library of Eire web site: the place you may seek for a reference to the property proprietor.  This website lists collections in quite a few repositories together with the Nationwide Library of Eire, the Nationwide Archives of Eire (Public Document Workplace) and the Public Document Workplace of Northern Eire, in addition to some British and French repositories.  The Important Catalogue of the Nationwide Library of Eire has additionally built-in their very own manuscript collections, so also needs to be checked for property information or assortment lists regarding Irish landed estates.

John Grenham’s web site additionally lists property information by parish, though this isn’t a complete file.

The information themselves usually are not going to be accessible on-line and would require a go to to the repository the place they’re held or commissioning a researcher to examine these information in your behalf.

The sources listed above are solely a style of what’s accessible.  At you can see many further sources listed for every parish in Eire.  In case you determine a manuscript supply that has not been printed on-line you should use the Timeline Family tree Clerk service to request a replica or a search of a doc present in an Irish repository (…) or fee knowledgeable genealogist in Dublin or Belfast to entry the fabric in your behalf.

Genealogical analysis ought to all the time be systematic, working methodically again from one era to the earlier.  Collect as a lot documentation for every ancestor as you’ll find, as every supply could comprise a invaluable clue that can help additional analysis.  At all times save each doc you discover; label it and make a remark of the supply. This may prevent coming again years later to attempt to discover a doc that you just as soon as noticed however can not bear in mind the place.  Preserve your analysis organised, you by no means know what future generations will probably be relying in your work when their curiosity in household historical past is instantly piqued.


Nicola Morris M.A.G.I is knowledgeable genealogist and member of Accredited Genealogists Eire. She is the director of Timeline Research Ltd, certainly one of Eire’s main genealogical analysis corporations. Nicola has undertaken the Irish analysis for WDYTYA? in the UK and US and has appeared in quite a few episodes. She was additionally the presenter of the first sequence of the Family tree Roadshow broadcast in Eire in 2011.