Ireland Tithe Applotment Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Collection Time Period
These records cover the years 1824 through 1840.
In 1823, the Composition Act was passed in Ireland. This act required that the tithes that were owed to the Established Church (the Church of Ireland) must now be paid in money. These tithes were a tax on agricultural land and had previously been payable in kind. As a result, it was necessary to have a valuation or assessment of each civil parish in the entire country to determine how much would be payable by each landholder. The act provided for the appointment of commissioners to make the valuations in each parish.
The tax was based on the average price of wheat and oats over the seven years up to 1823 and was levied at a different rate depending on the quality of the land. As a result, the tax was not assessed equally on all land; some lands had no tax assessed at all. The tax caused a great resentment by those who were not members of the Church of Ireland since the money was used to support the church. A series of acts were passed from 1823 onwards in an effort to make the method of calculating the tax fairer. The tax was generally abolished in 1869.
Books listing tithe-payers and quantities of land were compiled for most parishes and generally ranged between the years 1823 to 1838. The books were first deposited with the Irish Land Commission, and then in the 1940s, they were transferred to the Public Record Office of Ireland and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. The books list about 40 per cent of the heads of families
Why This Record Was Created
The Tithe Applotment books were compiled to determine the amount of tithes (tax) which must be paid to the Church of Ireland by those who occupied agricultural lands.
The information in the books is quite reliable.
The books are either handwritten on preprinted pages or handwritten using the same format as the preprinted pages.
Tithe Apployment books contain the following information:
• Townland name
• Landholders’ names
• Amount of land held
• Amount to be paid in tithes
In addition, many books also record the following information:
• Landlord’s name
• Assessment of the economic productivity of the land
How to Use the Record
Because most pre-1901 census records of Ireland have been destroyed, the Tithe Applotment Books are an important substitute. Although the books do not have a complete list of householders and residents, they are the only countrywide survey for the time period. In addition, they generally name individuals of lower economic status who carried the heaviest burden of tithes and about whom there are few other records.
The information in these records verifies the place and length of residency. Once you have established residence information, you can determine which church records to search.
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Sources of This Collection
“Ireland Tithe Applotment Books, 1824-1840,” database, FamilySearch Record Search (http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch) from National Archives of Ireland. Tithe Applotment Books. National Archives of Ireland, Dublin. FHL microfilm, 140 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
How to Cite Your Sources
Click here for instructions on citing specific records or images within this collection. A full bibliographic record is available in the Family History Library Catalog.