Records Ireland - Land & Taxation

Griffith's Primary Valuation

The Irish Government ordered a valuation of land for tax purposes. Sir Richard Griffith undertook this responsibility -a Valuation of Tenements - in 1848 through 1864. Every piece of land and property in Ireland was to be counted and the value determined in order to assess the amount of the tax.

There is a printed valuation book for each barony or poor law union, showing the names of occupiers of land and buildings, the names of persons from whom these were leased and the amount and value of the property held.

A CD-ROM index to the Primary Valuation is available as Index to Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland, 1848-1864. This lists each name (surname & first name) on the Griffith's, the County, Parish and Location of that name. The "Location" is the Townland or Town. Microfilms of the original valuation books are available at the National Archives of Ireland'

There is a free online surname index for Griffith's Valuation for all Ireland between 1848 and 1864.

The table below shows the number of Madden households in each county in the Griffith's Primary Valuation property survey of 1848-64. Courtesy of

Antrim 30 Armagh 29
Belfast city 17 Carlow 6
Cavan 9 Clare 48
Cork 118 Cork city 17
Derry 27 Donegal 14
Down 9 Dublin 41
Dublin city 37 Fermanagh 26
Galway 228 Kerry 8
Kildare 20 Kilkenny 11
Laois 12 Leitrim 3
Limerick 70 Limerick city 11
Longford 5 Louth 12
Mayo 92 Meath 46
Monaghan 9 Offaly 80
Roscommon 56 Sligo 26
Tipperary 125 Tyrone 26
Waterford 1 Westmeath 16
Wexford 10 Wicklow 9

There is also a free online surname index to Griffith's Valuations for Clare 1855 on the Clare County Library site.

Tithe Applotment Books

The Tithe Applotment Books (1823-1837) are one of the two major surviving records collections that serve researchers as substitutes for the pre-1901 censuses that were destroyed in the Dublin’s Four Courts record office’s 1922 fire.

For almost every parish, they show the occupiers’ names, amount of land held, and amount to be paid in tithes to the Church of Ireland (the Established Church until 1871). The amount was fixed, based on the average price for wheat and oats in each parish over the seven years preceding 1821, and was to be paid in cash rather than in kind (e.g., services, crops). Only persons occupying 5 acres of land or more were liable for tithes.

For researchers, the Tithe Applotment is a detailed census of occupiers of titheable land, both landed gentry and farmers and tenants. But this represents only a small section of the population and does not include other classes such as cottiers, landless people and those living in urban settlements.

Microfilms of the original tithe applotment books are available at the National Archives of Ireland.

There is a free online surname index to Clare Tithe Applotment Books on the Clare County Library site. MADDENs from the Clare Tithe Index have been extracted.

The only other indexes currently available for Tithe Applotment Books are those available on CD compiled by Heritage World Family History Services of County Tyrone and online through Ancestry for the six counties that constitute present-day Northern Ireland – Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh, and Tyrone. MADDENs for the Northern Ireland Tithe index have been extracted.

The tithe defaulters lists (held by the National Archives under Official Papers Miscellaneous Assorted) detail people involved in the infamous Tithe War of 1831-1838. From 1831 onwards, many people refused to pay the tithe and so began the Tithe War, which was fiercest in Leinster and Munster. The names of people who refused to pay their tithe were recorded by the Church of Ireland clergy.

The 1831 Tithe Defaulters Schedules have been published on CD by Eneclann and online by the Origins Network. The counties covered and the number of tithe defaulters in each county were as follows: Carlow 437, Cork 2115, Kerry 20, Kilkenny 10263, Laois 360, Limerick 851, Louth 965, Meath 36, Offaly 23, Tipperary 9346, Waterford 1838, Wexford 2719. MADDENs from the 1831 Tithe Defaulters index have been extracted.

Other Land Records

Land Owners in Clare 1876

The IreAtlas Townland Database is a searchable index to townlands in Ireland. The spelling of townlands is phonetic and variable making townlands often difficult to identify. To help overcome this dificulty, this index allows searching within a particular Poor Law Union, which later became the registration districts used in the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths.