Discover Irish Land Records
By Chris Paton
( Unlock the Past, 60 pages, £7.50) Confiscation, colonisation, eviction and rebellion. Understanding the history of the Irishman’s relationship with his land is vital for identifying and locating records that document Irish ancestry.
This short but dense booklet starts with a detailed history of the ownership of land in Ireland. Paton’s perspective is that of an Ulsterman, with more focus on the plantation of Ulster (see page 20 for more information) and the 1798 Rebellion than pre-famine subdivision of land and the founding principles of the Land League. Nevertheless, he transports the reader through Ireland’s history with ease and includes a detailed explanation of Irish land divisions that will aid anyone researching th heir Irish roots. In the absence of other genealogical sources, land records are employed to document the earliest generations of an Irish family.
Paton has written a comprehensive account of the records available for the north and south of Ireland, from the 16th to the 20th century. I would have given Griffith’s Valuation more prominence and perhaps a closer proof of the text, but the in-depth detail and extensive weblinks more than compensate for the minor quibbles of a pedantic genealogist. Nicola Morris is the director of Timeline Genealogy Ireland