Griffith’s Valuation is one of the most important record sources in any modern Irish family search. It’s helped thousands of people all over the world re-discover their Irish roots, and is often one of the first sources someone consults when doing Irish genealogy research. If you have yet to use this gold mine of information on Irish families, it’s recommended that you examine it right away, as it could contain much-needed information that you’ve been missing in your research.
Griffith’s Valuation was a survey of Ireland that was completed in 1868, making it a treasure trove of Irish family information from the 19th century. Richard John Griffith was appointed by the British government in 1825 to conduct a boundary survey of Ireland. As part of the extensive project, Griffith was supposed to mark the boundaries of every county, civil parish, and town in Ireland. This job was completed in 1844. At the same time, Griffith was also working on an Ordnance survey of Ireland, which was taken over by Sir John Ball Greene in 1868. Green oversaw annual revisions of the valuation.
The valuation that’s so important to an Irish family search today was comprised of two parts–a townland valuation and a tenement survey. The tenement survey is of most value to family historians. This valuation indexed and valued individual property for the first time, whereas only the larger estates of the gentry had been valued before. Griffith’s Valuation was essentially an every-man survey of Ireland, and records heads of households that otherwise might be lost to history today.
If you’re working on an Irish family search for ancestors who were in Ireland in the 19th century, you absolutely must examine Griffith’s Valuation. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to access. It’s widely available on many online genealogical databases, including Ancestry.com, so get out there and look up your family in Griffith’s Valuation today!