Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland

Griffith’s Valuation

The Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland was a systematic survey of all of Ireland. It was made to determine how much money the UK government could expect from collecting rates and so it was designed to make a record of all the properties in Ireland. The results were progressively printed and published by county from 1847 to 1864, and these are what you see when you search Ancestry or AskAboutIreland. Here’s an example from County Tyrone:

Griffiths Valuation, Tyrone, Errigal Keerogue, Ballymackilroy

Griffith’s Valuation of Ballymackilroy townland showing Robert Ewing’s land

Here we can see my ancestor (perhaps, it’s not easy to be sure), Robert Ewing, in the townland of Ballymackilroy in the parish of Errigal Keerogue in County Tyrone. We can see who Robert pays the rent to – Sir John M. Stewart, Baronet – his 8 acres, 3 roods and 5 perches of land, and how much was payable in rates.


The ‘numbers and letters of reference to the maps’ allow you to see exactly where on the field map the property is. The maps have also been published online.

Part of the Griffith’s Valuation map for Green Hills, County Tyrone, showing Ballymackilroy townland.

To the left of Green Hill Demesne in the number 21 in red, above Ballymackilroy – that’s Robert’s land. A quick Google search confirms my suspicion that Robert’s landlord, Sir John Stewart, was the owner of Ballygawley House in the middle of Green Hill Demesne.

Griffith’s Valuation Field Books

The Field Books, House Books and various other books were the handwritten records of the valuers as they travelled around the country, and can contain their own descriptions, drawings and other information. It is important to know what year the book for your area was published, and here is why: When Griffith and his team was travelling around the country valuing properties the rules changed a couple of times, and properties that were initially exempt from tax as being below the tax threshold had to be revisited. For the northern counties, which were visited first and then had to be re-visited, there may be two field books. These can be compared – the Great Famine came in between and many families had moved or died.

Here is the entry for widow Anne O’Neill in Tobercurry, County Sligo.

Valuation Field Book for Tobercurry, Sligo, July 1856

Valuation Field Book for Tobercurry, Sligo, July 1856, showing Ann O’Neill. The numbers of the entries correspond to the numbers on the plan at left.

We can see in this example that the second house, occupied by Anne O’Neill, is marked on the plan on the right. From this plan I was able to find the house on Google Maps:

Anne’s house is the second from the right, the pink one. You can see the odd-shaped block next to the first house from the right, which corresponds to the map. (Google Street View)


All of this research can now be done from home at Ask About Ireland, adding so much to your understanding of the lives of your Irish ancestors. See the section of Griffith’s Valuation searches and records to find the records, and explanations of what the records are and what they mean.