Origins.net provides access to over 80 million British and Irish
records. The Census records & census substitutes contains Griffith’s Valuation and this is the site that I currently use to access those records. Although indexes appear in many locations, this site provides images and the Ordnance Survey maps. Note that if you are searching a common surname, you might get thousands of hits in Griffith’s alone. By selecting “Refine Search” you can then begin to narrow down your criteria by county, parish and in some cases, town. Click on “View Records” to get a list which gives the Lessor, the name of the parish and townland.
When you click on image read all of the names in the townland. Are there other individuals with the same surname? Do surnames of witnesses from baptisms or marriages also appear in the same townland? Is there an agnomen listed for the individual (check the Griffith’s Valuation blog for more information on this). The list above represents only five different individuals. The two listings in the townland of Farran are the same person (no agnomen is listed; one lease is for a house and garden, the second is for land). The same is the case for the individuals in Carhoonanhuca. Don’t forget to use the next and previous buttons to read the surrounding pages.
If you do a general search of the site, it will provide results by the various databases. Some of the other records in the Census substitute collection are the Dublin City Census 1851 (index - no images), the Elphin Census 1749, William Smith O’Brien Petition 1848-1849 and the Tithe Defaulters 1831. They also have Irish “strays” in the England and Wales censuses for 1841 and 1871 (in case you ancestors spent some time in England). As with all databases, it is very important to read “About” the records since many of these records cover only specific areas of Ireland.
As an example, the Marriage Records are taken from the Will and Grant Books Index 1270-1858 of the Diocese of Dublin, covering Dublin, parts of Wicklow and Kildare, and smaller parts of Carlow, Queen’s and Wexford. This is the Church of Ireland Diocese and the names found here would likely be of the middle and upper classes.
Origins.net is a subscription website and costs £55 annually (about $92) for complete access. You can subscribe to only the Irish portion for £9.50/month (no annual subscription available) or for as little as £6 for 72 hours. This last option makes sense if you can set aside the time to do all your research in a three day period. If you have a subscription to Ancestry, you can check their index to Griffith’s, and identify those individuals whose records you want to check. I have not found this database available at any libraries including the Family History Centers.
Last month, FindMyPast.ie was launched which also lists Griffith’s Valuation as one of their databases. This is a joint venture between FindMyPast.co.uk, which has provided British records for a number of years, and Enéclann, an Irish research and publishing company that has been digitizing Irish records since 1998. I have not had a chance to use this new site, but will write on it when I’ve had a chance to evaluate it. They show the cost of an annual subscription to be €59.95 (about $90). They also offer a “pay as you go” plan. There seems to be quite a bit of overlap, but there are a number of unique records.