This is the sixth post in the series 8 Days of Irish Research.
The Tithe Applotment books are searchable online via the National Archives of Ireland. These were compiled between 1823 and 1837 to “order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland.”1
These books only provide the name of the head of household, whom would be responsible for paying the tithe. You will not find relationship data in these books. In order for you to find your family you will have to know where they lived during this time period otherwise it will be a crap shoot trying to figure out which John O’Connell (insert any common Irish name) is yours.
This set of records does not contain all of Ireland, as only 31 counties are listed in the drop down menu. County Antrim is missing. PRONI holds the books for Northern Ireland, these have been microfilmed and are available at the National Archives for browsing if you cannot find what you are looking for.
Information on the tithe can be found here to help you understand why the tithe was paid (it was law). So even though you have Catholic ancestors in the late 1820s it is possible that they are paying the tithe to the Church of Ireland (COI). As we discussed yesterday, do not look at just one churches records. Your ancestors can be found in the COI records as well as the church of their denomination.
You can search these records by name or by location (another reason to really be able to define the land your ancestor lived on).
Because my earliest known ancestor is a child during this time, I know I cannot find him there. However, if I search by location; County, Parish and townland (Cork, Dromtarriff, Garravesoig), I find one O’Connell. C. H. O’Connell Esq. has 102 acres. Valued per acre at 11 shillings 5 5/98 pence. Total value of 58 pounds 5 shillings 6 pence. I have no clue if C. H. O’Connell Esq. is related to me. I know that on of the sponsors to a baptism in my family is Cornelius.
The tithe that C. H. had to pay was 1 pound 5 shillings 10 pence to the Vicar, and 1 pound 3 shilling 10 pence to the Impropriator.
Because I do not know if C. H. is our Cornelius. I do not know if I will ever be able to tie him to the family. But, it is good to know we can look at the townland our people lived in and see how many people that share the surname paid the tithe.
Take some time in the next day or two and search the Tithe Applotment Books to see what you can find.
The Tithe Applotment Books, National Archives of Ireland [Accessed 17 Nov 2016] ↩