census substitutes

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cronin griffith's extracts

tithe applotment books

In Ireland it was required by law that all farmers pay tithes (one tenth of income) to the Church of Ireland regardless of whether or not they belonged to that church, this differed from England where tithes were optional. The Tithe applotment books were prepared in the 1830s as a means of assessing the amount of tithes to be paid, they take the form of a list of land occupiers together with the land area and the amount of tithes due. The books are arranged by Church of Ireland parish and have been filmed by the LDS. Some parishes are available on line.

In 1831 many farmers refused to pay tithes (a period known as the tithe war) causing financial problems for some C of I clergymen. An act of Parliament was passed setting up the 'Clergy Relief Fund' to pay those in difficulty but only for the year 1831, the State would then attempt to recover the arrears. In order to apply for relief the clergyman was required to supply a list of defaulters. These 'tithe defaulters lists' are available on commercially released microfiche.

The amount payable was later reduced but it was not until 1871 that the 'disestablishment act' saw the end of tithe payments.

griffith's valuation

In 1838 the 'Poor Law Relief Act' was passed requiring landholders to pay 'rates' for the maintenance of the poor. The amount due would be calculated by multiplying the 'rate' by the value of the land held. This necessitated a standardised valuation of all land in Ireland, the first of which is known as 'Griffith's' valuation, in county Cork this took place in the years 1850-3.

Griffith's is arranged by county - barony - civil parish - townland and shows: occupier Name, townland, immediate leasor, description of property, land area, rateable value and reference to it's position on a Valuation Map.

After the valuation was published the landholders were given the opportunity to appeal. The appeal lists contain much the same information as the valuation but can be useful for filling the gap between Griffith's and the first of the valuation books. The publication James R. Reilly Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland gives a full explanation of the background and process.

valuation books

In the years that followed Griffith's the valuation office kept up to date with changes in the information recorded as well as periodic revaluations. This process started a few years after Griffith's and continued for at least 100 years. These 'valuation books' are particularly useful in tracking families as they record (to within a few years) the date land changed owner either by sale or inheritance. The changes are hand written on the original and the date noted in the same colour ink in a separate column, for this reason they can be difficult to read on a black and white photocopy or microfilm.

Unlike Griffith's the valuation books are arranged by county - district electoral division - townland. This is the same method used to arrange the census returns.


Copies of the Griffiths, the appeals, the valuation books (in colour), and maps, may be ordered from the valuation office. The LDS has filmed the tithe applotment books, Griffith's, the valuation books (in black and white), and the combined tithe/Griffith's 'Householders Index'. There is also a commercially published CD-ROM index to Griffith's.

Cronin Families of Cork - Census Substitutes
2002 Michael Cronin
Last revision: 5 January 2003