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From 1823 to 1864, records were kept of people who paid taxes to the Church of Ireland or the government in Ireland. A surname index to these tax records is called the Index of Surnames of Householders in Griffith's Primary Valuation and the Tithe Applotment Books, commonly called the Householders Index.
The Tithe Applotment Books list people of all religions who paid taxes to the Church of Ireland between 1823 and 1838. Griffith's Primary Valuation Lists identify people who paid taxes to the Irish government between 1847 and 1864. Both of these records are important for locating people who lived in Ireland during these time periods, since other records such as census returns and church records may not have survived.
These tax records give the names of people who occupied land, where they resided, usually a description of their property, and the amount of tax assessed. The names shown in these records can be used to help determine a possible place of residence for an ancestral family.
The following links will take you directly to the FamilySearch items.
- Griffith's valuation film numbers : the Ireland householders index & 2 lists- one for the Republic and one for Northern Ireland
- The Ireland Householder's index : Resource guide
How to fine the Index
Once you get the information you can search the items at the Family History Library or Family History Centers. You can order microfilms though our online ordering system for viewing at your local Family History Center.
The following also have the Ireland Householders Index:
How the Householders Index Can Help You
You can use the Householders Index to:
- Find a civil parish within a county where a surname can be found. (A civil parish is an administrative subdivision of a county.) Search this link to find the parishes in the counties of Ireland. Counties of Ireland
- Search for an uncommon surname.
- Determine the frequency of a surname in Griffith’s Primary Valuation.
The index is arranged by county. For each county there are two sets of surname lists. The first set covers the whole county and lists the barony (s) where the surname is found. (A barony is an administrative, tax, and regional division within a county.) The second set is arranged by civil parishes within each barony. The steps below discuss how to use the Householders Index.
Before beginning a search, you should know the county where your ancestor resided. If you do not have this information, it will be necessary to search for the surname in every county listed in the Householders Index. Counties of origin are often found in personal journals, obituaries, family histories, vital records, and so forth. To search the Householders Index, follow the steps listed below. They are discussed in more detail on the following pages.
FIVE STEPS TO FOLLOW WHEN USING THE HOUSEHOLDERS INDEX
- Locate the county in the film version of the index.
- Locate the surname in the general surname index.
- Locate the surname in the parish surname index.
- Record the information for the surname.
- Look in the actual tax lists to record additional details for the surname.
Step 1. Locate the County in the Print or Film Version of the Index
A microfilm or book volume may contain more than one county. Counties are listed in alphabetical order. Because counties Cork and Tipperary are so large, they are divided into geographical sections in the Householders Index. Be sure that you search all the sections for these counties.
The introductory pages for each county include a title page, civil parish map, a list of civil and Catholic parishes, a contents page, and an explanation of the “G” (Griffith's Primary Valuation) and “T” (Tithe Applotment Books) references found in the indexes.
Step 3. Locate the Surname in the General Surname Index
Following the introductory pages of each county is the general surname index which includes the “G” and “T” references and the name of the barony where the surname appears. The number next to the “G” reference tells how many times that surname appears in Griffith's Primary Valuation records for that barony. A “T” reference appears if the surname is also found in the Tithe Applotment Books of that barony but does not indicate the number of times the name is listed.
Figure 1 is an example of what you would find in the general surname index for the surname Benson in county Mayo:
Benson G6 T Gallen
Benson G T Clanmorri
Figure 1. General Index Example.
Step 4. Locate the Surname in the Parish Surname Index
The general surname index is followed by the civil parish surname index. In this index parishes are in alphabetical order by baronies, with surnames recorded alphabetically in each parish.
To use this index, go to the barony (s) you identified in step 3. The contents page of each county’s Householders Index has an alphabetical list of the baronies with page numbers where they will be found.
Step 5. Record the Information for the Surname
When you find the surname(s) you are searching for, record all the information given, including the barony, union, civil parish, dates of Griffith’s Primary Valuation and the Tithe Applotment Book, and “G” and “T” references. The “G” references in the civil parish list include the number of times the surname is found in each parish.
Figure 2 shows an example of what is listed for the surname Benson in county Mayo for the civil parish of Killedan:
Killedan Parish, Gallen Barony, Swineford Union, Co. Mayo
Griffith’s Valuation Year 1856 - Tithe Applotment Book Year 1834.
Benson G6 T
Figure 2. Civil Parish Index Example.
Step 6. Look in the Actual Tax Lists to Record Additional Details for the Surname
Once you have the information found in steps 2 through 5, look in the actual tax record to obtain the full details found in that source. Film and book numbers of the taxation records are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
IRELAND - LAND AND PROPERTY
•The Tithe Applotment Books consist of 140 rolls of microfilm arranged by parish.
•Griffith's Primary Valuation Lists consist of more than 100 bound volumes that have been microfilmed on 22 rolls of film. The book collection of the index at the Family History Library is arranged alphabetically by county. The film collection listed in the Family History Library Catalog is arranged by county and either union or barony. (A union is an administrative division that may cross county lines.)
To find out what union a parish is in, check the alphabetical index to the parishes of Ireland in General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns of Ireland (1851 Census or 1901 Census) or in Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns of Ireland (1871 Census). The book and film numbers of these sources are listed in the
Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
IRELAND - GAZETTEERS