Monday 16 September 2019

Northern Ireland's Tithe Applotment Books to be released online this year

Scotland-based genealogist Chris Paton has returned from a stakeholder meeting at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) with the excellent news that the repository intends to make its Tithe Applotment Books collection for Northern Ireland available to researchers through its (free) online catalogue. These records will be downloadable in pdf format for each townland/parish, and should be online by the end of the year. You can find more details on Chris's Genes Blog.

The Tithe Applotment Books (TABs) record the results of a land survey taken to assess the tax payable by land occupiers to the Church of Ireland, and are an important source of information for pre-Famine Ireland. They don't cover urban areas, and some other lands were exempt.

TABs for the Republic of Ireland have been searchable online at both the National Archives of Ireland's Genealogy website and since 2012. The two sites share the same database, which is not, unfortunately, famed for its accuracy. The database does, however, include a small number of records for parishes that straddle the international border into counties Armagh, Derry, Down and Fermanagh.

As far as I'm aware, there's only one other online provider of TAB records, and that's Ancestry. This collection is searchable by name and provides the following information for each individual: name, townland, parish, county, and year of enumeration. The record count for this collection is a little over 600,000 but Ancestry's source notes claims there are about one million entries listed. It holds records from all historical counties of the island, so may well prove useful to researchers trying to identify likely locations for searching in PRONI's catalogue when the TAB pdfs are released.