How to trace a family farm or homestead..

Regular readers of this newsletter know that the Eneclann genealogists provide the Genealogical Advice Service in the National Library of Ireland every summer.
One of the most common questions from visitors availing of the service, is how to trace a family farm or homestead.

If you can identify your ancestor or their family in Griffith’s Valuation, it should be a relatively straight-forward exercise to trace your ancestral place.
Unfortunately, not all the versions of Griffith’s Valuation available online are complete.

The only complete version of Griffith’s Valuation with the original maps marked to identify the corresponding holdings, is on

A version of Griffith’s Valuation on includes the original volumes but uses much later maps from the 1880s to 1900s, forty to sixty years after the original survey was taken.

If you consider that in the fifty years after the Famine, the Irish population fell by more than half.

Irish population in Census

Figures from A New History of Ireland, vol 8.

As the Irish population fell, many small holdings were consolidated to make larger viable farms.
So these much later maps don’t show the same farms and homesteads documented in Griffith’s Valuation.

Unless you’ve looking at the contemporary records made between 1847 and 1864, you’ll never be able to trace your ancestral home

By Research Expert,

Fiona Fitzsimons,

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