Townlands and Occupiers

This is by far the most complex sub-column. In urban areas, it may be headed “Street etc. and Occupiers”.

For rural areas the name of the townland is given centrally, with the number(s) of the Ordnance Survey sheets on which it appears immediately underneath. There may also be further geographical information – sub-terrace names in towns, small village names in the country.

Under the geographic names comes the list of occupiers. It is very important to keep in mind that this is just a list of economic occupiers of the associated properties, not a list of heads of household. Nonetheless, this is the only part of the record that will sometimes record family information. In areas where a surname is particularly common, it is not at all unusual for more than one individual of the same name to be recorded as the occupier. Where this happened, the valuator was required to add some distinguishing information, an agnomen. This could be an occupation (“John Kelly, tailor”), “Junior” or “Senior” to distinguish father and son, or most usefully, a patronymic   - “John Kelly (Mike)” and “John Kelly (Pat)” indicating that the father of the first John Kelly is named Michael and that of the second Patrick. A number of other agnomens are also sometimes used, but do not convey family information.

Where there are multiple separate lodgings in a building, the name of the immediate lessor is entered in the occupiers column, with “lodgers” in brackets. This happens most frequently in urban areas, for obvious reasons.

previousPrevious - Using the Valuation and Maps
Next - Immediate Lessorsnext