Using the Valuation and Maps

Guide to Maps

These maps present the six-inch series created at the time of Griffith's Valuation during the nineteenth century, including the dividing lines between valuations.

The small red rectangle outline shows the borders of the six-inch sheet(s) listed in the valuation records. Note that the placement of this red rectangle is sometimes inexact, however the location is typically close by. Where there are two sheets identified in a valuation record, two rectangles are shown. Where there is no sheet listed, no rectangle is shown and the smallest administrative unit is centred upon instead. In some cases, this may be the county.

A circle is also used to assist in finding a location. It is centred on the place name, townland, parish or other information available in the Valuation records. There is a possibility that the geographical information system which 'finds' these places on a map may not find your location; in this case, the circle marker is centred on the first six-inch map sheet mentioned in the valuation record.


Navigate and Zoom

In order to find your exact location within the circle and rectangle, you will need to navigate to the location using the arrows on the upper left side of the map. You will also need to use the zoom buttons (buttons marked + and -). The slider on the upper right corner will also help by allowing you to slide between the historical map and a modern map version for the same location.

Links to PDF Guides:

Further information on understanding the maps can also be accessed on the Griffith’s Valuation search page.


Map Versions

For many locations, several different map versions exist for the same location. These various versions correspond to the different years in which map sheets relating to Griffith’s Valuation were updated. The exact year of revision/publication for each of these versions has not been possible to identify. The earliest map versions are those in black and white sketch and the latest versions are those in coloured print.

To view different versions of a map sheet/location, click on the arrows below the ‘Map Version’ heading located on the upper right side of the map view. For some locations/map sheets, only one map version may exist, while for other locations/sheets, up to 8 versions may exist (and up to 12 for Dublin City).

The black and white Griffith’s map versions were provided for this service by the Valuation Office.


Town Plans

Historical town plans are available for towns and many villages throughout the country. Click Show Towns to show the towns within 10km of the centre of the map. By clicking on any of the town images which display on the map, you can access the town plan. Click Hide Towns to hide the town plans.


Name Books

As part of the townland survey and mapping of Ireland in the first half of the nineteenth century, individual place name details and variants were collected in order to determine a suitable spelling for each name which did not already have a standardised English form. This information was recorded in a series of volumes known as Name Books.

Click Show Name Books to show the Name Books within the current view. By clicking on any of the Name Book images which display on the map, you can access the Name Book.

Click Hide Name Books to hide the Name Books.


Understanding the Valuation and Maps

On Griffith's Valuation, the numbers and letters of reference to the maps are the connection between the Valuation and the accompanying Ordnance Survey map; they appear on the left of the ‘Number and Letters’ column on the original pages of the Valuation. In general, each townland is surrounded by a thick line on the map, with the numbered subdivisions outlined with lighter lines.

The numbers represent a lot number, that is to say, a single area outlined on the Ordnance Survey map and labeled with that number.

Capital letters after the subdivision number (e.g. ‘2A, B ,C’) are used to label subdivisions within a lot and indicate separate parcels of property in the townland held by the same individual. For example, if a John Kelly rented two separate fields in the townland of Ballymore, these will be listed within the townland under his name following each other as 2 A, B. It follows that the order of the personal names within each townland does not imply geographical location: the fact that two names appear beside each other does not mean that the individuals were neighbours. The number represents only the order in which the valuator listed each holding in his manuscript field book.

The same capital letter can appear more than once within the same numbered lot when the location of cottagers' or labourers' houses is being indicated. 

Lower-case letters after the holding number (e.g. ‘2a, b ,c’) indicate a single property held in common by a number of listed occupiers. This was common in rural areas in early and mid-nineteenth century Ireland, especially in the West, with anything up to 20 families farming an area in common.

Lower-case italic letters are used to indicate built structures, including houses. The order in which these lower-case letters appear is significant: where cottagers' or labourers' houses are included within the limits of a farm, the farmer's house is labelled a, while the cottagers' houses are labelled b, c ...

It should be noted that the connection between the maps and the Valuation is never perfect; there are regular omissions and mistakes. The best connection is in the working copies of the maps used in the Valuation Office itself.



Example original page from Griffith's Valuation

In the example above, John Donnolly is occupying lot 7, subdivided into A and B, with a house and office labeled "a" within 7A. Then, also within lot 7,  Bridget Shea's holding is labeled "- A b", meaning her house is separate from John Donnolly's, but is also within 7A.


Local Numbers

These generally appear in urban areas, where there is street numbering, and appear on the right of the ‘Number and Letters’ column. Unlike the map reference numbers, they do imply that those listed beside each other were actually neighbours.


This large double column includes all the personal and place names recorded by the Valuation.

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