Griffith's Valuation of Ireland

In 1695 penal laws were enforced against Catholics and known as the 'Popery Code'. Among the many prohibitions was that the Catholic Church was forbidden to keep church registers, so we have no such records befoe the 1780's and the liberal period known as Gratten's Parliament.
MacManus "The story of the Irish Race" 1921. Devin-Adair Publishing Co., New York.

The English administration in Ireland conducted censuses every 10 years from 1821 to 1911.
"The original census returns for 1861 and 1871 were destroyed shortly after the censuses were taken. Those for 1881 and 1891 were pulped during the First World War, probably because of the paper shortage. The returns for 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were, apart from a few survivals, notably for a few counties for 1821 and 1831, destroyed in 1922 in the fire at the Public Record Office at the beginning of the Civil War."
National Archives of Ireland

Griffith's Valuation: The primary valuation of Ireland or Griffith's Valuation - carried out between 1848 and 1864 to determine liability to pay the Poor rate (for the support of the poor and destitute within each Poor Law Union) - provides detailed information on where people lived in mid-nineteenth century Ireland and the property they possessed. Griffith's Valuation is fully searchable online, free of charge on the Ask About Ireland website.
National Library of Ireland

About Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation, 1848-1864
Griffith’s Valuation, indexed with images in this database, is one of Ireland's premier genealogical resources, referencing approximately one million individuals who occupied property in Ireland between 1848 and 1864. Griffith's Valuation, or Primary Valuation of Ireland, was executed under the direction of Sir Richard Griffith to provide a basis for determining taxes. This involved establishing the value of all privately held lands and buildings in both rural and urban areas in order to figure a rental rate for each unit of property. The resulting survey was arranged by barony and civil parish, with an index to townlands appearing in each volume. The original volumes of the survey are held in the National Archives, Dublin, and Public Record Office, Belfast. Griffith's Valuation is an invaluable reference for family historians with ancestors in Ireland in part because no census material from the nineteenth century has survived. In effect, because it is the only detailed guide to where in Ireland people lived in the mid-nineteenth century and what property they owned or leased, Griffith's Valuation serves as a census substitute for the years before, during, and after the Great Famine. Griffith's Valuation is also a valuable record of social and economic data and includes map reference numbers that can help researchers identify and perhaps locate property on Ordinance Survey maps created before the valuations took place. Few other records can be used to identify an Irish ancestor's exact place of origin, and only Griffith's Valuation links an individual to a specific townland and civil parish. This is extremely important, since the first step in Irish genealogical research is to identify an ancestor's townland and civil parish, which can lead you to ecclesiastical parish records of births and marriages.

The Hoy surname in Griffith's Valuation

Example of format

The first link below leads to a page with this image as an example. Most links lead to pages on the very valuable Site or the excellent Irish Government site called Ask About Ireland. has great maps of all Irish counties, baronies, parishes, and townlands. It is based upon OpenStreetMap. The Ask About Ireland Site has a huge amount of information about Ireland from which we get links to the original Griffith's Valuation pages as well as beautiful sepia images of the 1830s Ordnance Survey maps which preceded it. The county, parish, and townland links go to, the totals link goes to Ask About Ireland Site, and the Surname link goes to another page with each person's data and a link to that townland.

The second link is similar except that it is based upon surname not county.

About Ireland, Ordnance Survey, 1824 - 1846
The detailed maps of Ireland that make up this database took 20 years to complete and offer an unparalleled look at 19th-century Ireland around the time of the Great Famine. The English Parliament ordered Major Thomas Colby to Ireland in 1824 to undertake a survey of the country. His teams of surveyors would produce detailed maps on a six-inch = one-mile scale that would be used to determine land valuations for tax purposes. The maps were finally published in 1846. They cover almost the entire country and include details of the smallest civil division of the time: the townland.

The Tithe Appointments Books

Title Applotment Books
A tithe was one tenth of the produce of agricultural land levied for the support of the official, state-established Church of Ireland and its clergymen. Under the Tithe Composition (Ireland) Act, 1823, this was converted into a monetary tax and the Tithe Applotment Books were compiled at various dates between 1823 and 1837 for the purpose of assessing the amount of this tax that occupiers of agricultural holdings above one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland. There is a manuscript book for almost every parish in the country, giving the names of occupiers, the amount of land held, and the sums to be paid in tithes.

Tithe Defaulters lists
Tithes were a tax levied on all occupiers of agricultural land regardless of their religious affiliation. Payment of tithes was bitterly resented, particularly by the Roman Catholic population, which also had to support their own priests. In the years 1831 to 1832, many people began to refuse to pay tithes and so began the ‘Tithe War’, which was fiercest in Leinster and Munster. The Clergy Relief Fund was established in 1832 under the Recovery of Tithes (Ireland) Act, 1832 to assist affected Church of Ireland clergy affected by the non-payment of tithes. The clergy made returns to government of the names of people who refused to pay tithes in order to receive compensation for unpaid tithes. Some of these returns survive in the form of schedules of recording the names of approximately 29,000 tithe defaulters and form part of the archives of the Office of the Chief Secretary. The schedules list the defaulter’s address and the sum due. Some also list the defaulter’s landholding and occupation.
National Archives of Ireland

The Tithe Applotment Books: About the Records
This change in the law resulted in the valuation of individual holdings in almost all parishes containing agricultural land, in order to assess the portion of the tithes for which each occupier of land would be liable. The apportionment was recorded for each Church of Ireland parish in a Tithe Composition Applotment Book. The information was collected and the amounts were calculated by two Parochial Commissioners, one of whom was appointed by the cess-payers of the parish and the other by the relevant Diocese of the Church of Ireland. This procedure was carried out in over 2,500 parishes between the years 1823 and 1837.

The Tithe Applotment Books are in a variety of formats, from a few pages sewn together to elaborately bound volumes. In most cases they are written in manuscript throughout, although some consist of manuscript entries on printed questionnaires. The information in the books is broadly uniform and generally includes at least the name of occupier; the size of holding, the valuation and the tithe payable. In some cases more detailed information is provided. Some volumes have maps and most have certificates and correspondence attached.

The sub-divisions of the parish were recorded. Some of these subdivisions, such as ploughlands, ceased to be in official use after the six inch survey of the Ordnance Survey was completed in the 1840s. Only productive land was subject to tithe, and the books usually distinguish between this tithable land and untithable land such as roads or mountains. Tithable land was in some cases classified by quality, and a money value was given to each class. In some cases the proportion of tithe payable to the rector, vicar or lay proprietor of the tithes was set out. The column for observations was sometimes completed, with information about commonage, for example.

There are a number of other points that should be noted. The acreages given in the Tithe Applotment Books are in Irish or Plantation measure, which is 1.62 times larger than statute measure. Only occupiers of land at the time of the tithe composition are recorded, so not all heads of households living in a parish at the time are included. Only rural areas are systematically covered, although inhabitants of towns who held plots of cultivable land are included. The equivalent tax in urban areas, Minister’s Money, has left few records.
National Archives of Ireland

The Hoy surname in the Tithe Appointments Books

The Tithe Appointments Book pages have links for the county, parish, and townland. These all point to the National Archives of Ireland pages for these book. Some don't return results.

Censuses and lists before Twentieth Century Ireland

Pender’s Census of 1659

Almost all Gaelic manuscripts and all Catholic records were destroyed by the Gall (foreigners) from the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169 until 1782 and the liberal period of Grattan's Parliament.

There are only a few sources of population records before then and no real surviving census until 1901. The National Archives of Ireland has all available records.

Some surviving records of interest to the Hoy families