Researching your ancestors from Great Britain and Ireland

A guide to researching your ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, using resources at State Library Victoria.


The Tithe Applotment Books and Griffith’s Valuation records are important substitutes for the nineteenth-century Irish census returns as they are the only detailed guides to people who owned or occupied land in nineteenth century Ireland. Please note that the information provided is very brief compared to that recorded in census returns.

Tithe Applotment Books

The Tithe Applotment Books were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland (the main Protestant church and the church established by the State until its dis-establishment in 1871).

Books exist for most of the civil parishes in the country and include the names of occupiers of each townland, the amount of land held and the sums to be paid in tithes. Tithes were only levied on agricultural land not urban land and records only list the owners and occupiers of land and only the names of heads of family.

Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland

Griffith’s Valuation

The Tenement Act of 1842 provided for a uniform valuation of property in Ireland for the purpose of paying tax to the government. The Commissioner of Valuation, Richard Griffith, compiled the General valuation of rateable property in Ireland (commonly known as Griffith’s Valuation or the Primary Valuation), published between 1848 and 1864. There is a printed Valuation book for each barony or poor law union in the country.

The Griffith’s Valuation included a map reference number, names of occupiers, names of immediate lessors, descriptions of tenements, area of holdings, valuation of buildings, land etc.

Available from home

Available in the library

Cancelled Land Books and Current Land Books

These records contain any revisions to the valuations, from the time of Griffith's Valuation to the present day. Information includes the name of the rated occupier, immediate lessor, description of property, land area and rateable valuation.  The Valuation Office Ireland holds the Cancelled Land Books, the Current Land Books and maps associated with Griffith’s Primary Valuation. They offer a research and copying service (fee based),Further information can be found on the Archives, Genealogy and Public Office webpage.

Further information