About Valuation Revision Books

PRONI holds valuation records relating to the valuation of property in Northern Ireland from the 1830s to 1993. The original purpose was, and remains, the assessment of every building and every piece of land and an estimation of its financial value.

Valuation Revision Books in context

The first Townland Valuation (PRONI Reference: VAL/1) of 1828 to 1840 was followed by a Primary Valuation of Ireland (1848 to 1864), better known as Griffith’s Valuation.  After that, properties were valued annually from 1864 until the early 1930s (the annual Valuation Revision Books (PRONI Reference: VAL/12/B)).  

Each year, valuers recorded any change to

  • the names of occupiers or immediate lessors
  • quality or dimensions of the properties, 
  • any differences in the acreage and value 

The changes were recorded in different colours of ink, one colour for each year, and the alterations are usually dated.  This can help to establish significant dates in family history, such as dates of death, sale or migration.

The PRONI Valuation Revision Books will complement any research undertaken using the Griffith's Valuation database currently available on the Ask About Ireland website.

How is information presented in Valuation Revision Books?

Indexes

Each volume in a series will generally contain an index.  The index provides a note of the poor law union, electoral division, and county and a list of the townlands contained within the volume.  If the townland exists within a town or city, this too will be listed, along with any streets within that urban area.  

The index also provides page numbers for each of the areas listed, and often, it will provide information about the parish for each townland.  

The indexes within a series of volumes illustrate the growth and development of small towns over a number of years, indicating where streets have been renamed, or added to urban areas.  They also show the addition of new townlands within union areas, and the changes in electoral divisions.  These changes are normally noted in the final volume in a series.  Please note that because of the annual revisions carried out, and the subsequent alterations made to the content of the volumes, the index page numbers are not always accurate and cannot always be relied upon.  In some of the volumes, the index has been omitted or is missing, but it is rare for all of the volumes within a series to have no index.  

Volume pages

The volume pages provide details of properties, their residents and the value of the properties.  Each year, valuation assessors recorded any change in quantity or dimensions of the properties, the names of occupiers or immediate lessors, and the differences in acreage and value.  Changes were recorded in different coloured ink, one colour for each year, and the alterations were usually dated.  This can help to establish significant dates in family history, such as dates of death, sale or migration.  Some of the volumes also provide the OS Map reference for the area.  Also contained within the volume pages is information about the parish, barony, poor law union and electoral division of the area, although this is not always consistently recorded throughout the volumes.  Each entry within the volume pages is hand written.

Towns, cities and urban areas

The majority of the volumes for the County Borough of Belfast (for Counties Antrim and Down) and the Londonderry volumes are of a larger format and contain detailed information about the properties and residents of the streets and Wards of the district being described.  

The Ward was introduced as an administrative unit in county boroughs, municipal boroughs and urban districts in 1898 for the purpose of elections, and is equivalent to the district electoral divisions.

The Belfast and Londonderry County Borough volumes illustrate how electoral boundaries were re-drawn over time to reflect the growth and expansion of the cities of Belfast and Londonderry. They are handwritten alterations and annotations, again in different coloured inks, one colour for each year.  

Many of the County Borough of Belfast volumes do not contain indexes to their content, or one index in a volume will span a number of volumes in a group.  Again, please note that because of the annual revisions carried out, and the subsequent alterations made to the content of the volumes, the page numbers in these indexes are not always accurate and cannot be relied upon.

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