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Griffith’s  Primary Valuation

   I began a series on Strategies for Finding Your Irish Ancestors this past Saturday for the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research.  The morning session was on strategies for finding a locality in Ireland, and the afternoon session was on using Griffith’s Valuation.  If you’re not familiar with this very important resource, I’ve written on it here.  I realized that some were not aware that Griffith’s was done under two different Statutes.

   Under the 1846 Act (which is noted as 9 & 10 Vict., Cap 110) the 1st valuation was printed, titled the "Primary Valuation" indicating it was not final, and a date was printed on the front page indicating when appeals would be heard.  Once the appeals were heard, there was a second printing titled “Valuation of Tenements.”  Prior to the digitization of Griffith’s we used to use the printed books, or microfilm, and it was easy to check the front page to see which version since not all repositories had both sets.  

   The valuations done under the 1846 act took place during and immediately after the famine and because of deaths and emigrations, you are likely to find differences in the two printings.  Your ancestor might have emigrated and therefore not appeared in the final printing, which could confirm his identity.  Although the Act had a provision for annual revisions, none were ever done. 

   FindMyPast has digitized not only the original “Primary Valuation,” but also the results of the appeals for those Unions done under 9 & 10 Victoria.  The columns give the Occupier, the area, the original valuation and any modifications.  The important column is the final column which lists “Observations.”  You will see here if the occupier (or lessor) has changed.  

It does not appear that FMP has digitized the final “Tenement Valuation.”  When you view the results of your search, look to see if there were multiple dates listed for the same individual. 


 (Note one is 1849 and the second for the same individual in the same location is 1850)

   So how do you know if there are changes for the location where your ancestor lived?  The 1846 Act was superseded by a new Act in 1853 (15 & 16 Vict., Cap 63), so the first thing you need to do is check the dates for your county.  There were six counties done under 9 & 10 Vict…Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford.   Because Baronies sometimes overlapped counties, some of the adjoining Poor Law Unions might also be included.   

A great resource is an article written by the late James R. Reilly with titled: Is there More in Griffith’s Valuation Than Just Names?”  To find out even more about Griffith, you can refer to the book Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland, also by James R. Reilly.  

   Happy Hunting!

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© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018