Searching Valuation Revision Books
A searchable placename index linking to digitised images of Valuation Revision Books covering counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone between the years 1864 to 1933.
Before you start
The application is searchable by placename (city, county, parish or townland) or by PRONI reference.
The cities of Londonderry and Belfast have been indexed to street and ward level. Streets can be found by using the free text search.
To look for a city, town, street, townland or parish, input the search criteria into the ‘Placename’ search field and press the search button.
‘All’ word search
‘All words’ is the default search option and will find all of the words you have searched for. For example, a search for ‘Queen Street’ will return results with all of those words, including Queen Street, North Queen Street and New Queen Street.
‘Any’ word Search
The ‘Any’ word search is useful when you are unsure of the exact title of a place. For example, if you search for Cushleake Mountain, the search results will include any references to Cushleake or Mountain, so your results may include Cushleake Mountain Middle, Cushleake Mountain North and Cushleake Mountain South, as well as Black Mountain, Carrowreagh Mountain.
‘Exact’ word search
The ‘Exact’ word search is best used when you know the exact name of the location you are looking for. For example, an ‘exact’ search for Ballymoney Street will return results only with that exact phrase.
The wildcard (*) can be used in the placename search. Use the wildcard when you are unsure about the spelling of a particular word. This is particularly useful for difficult place names. Many Irish townlands were spelled phonetically until the twentieth century. For example, Tanderagee is also recorded as Tandragee. Therefore, a search for Tand* will return results for both spellings. Be wary of using the wildcard search with words like Bally* or Tully* as these will return many results.
When searching for words like street, road an saint be aware that there will be some differences in how these have been captured in the database. Street may be recorded as St., Road as Rd., and Saint as St. You may wish to try both options if you are not sure how a word may have been recorded.
When searching for place names with apostrophes, for example Halliday’s Road, you may wish to search both with, and without the apostrophe as these may have been recorded differently in various volumes.
Variations in words
There may be some differences throughout the volumes in how certain placenames have been recorded. For example, Town Parks is often recorded as Townparks, Whiteabbey as White Abbey, Albertbridge Road as Albert Bridge Road. You may wish to try variants if you are not sure how a placename may have been recorded.
Placename searching refined by location
It is possible to refine a placename search by combining it with a ‘County’ and ‘Parish’ search. You can refine your search to one specific county (Antrim, Down, Londonderry, Fermanagh, Tyrone or Armagh), or to a specific county borough (Belfast or Londonderry).
When you have chosen a county, you will be provided with a list of parishes within that specific county. This search is optional, but if you know the parish, it will help to further refine your search.
Browsing by location
This search is useful if you are unsure of an exact placename, but know the county and parish you wish to research. You can browse through the locations of an entire county by selecting a specific county from the drop down list. Be aware that by choosing a county only, you will return many search results. However, you can further refine your search by choosing a parish from within that county, from the parish drop down list. It is not possible to search for a parish in the drop down list, without first selecting a county.
PRONI reference searching
PRONI reference searching cannot be used with any of the other search functions.
If you know the PRONI Reference number for a specific volume, this can be entered into the ‘PRONI Reference Search’ for example VAL/12/B/43/A/8. The reference number you enter must be accurate or you will receive an error message.
If you search for a specific volume, you will also be shown a list of other related volumes, with your search results. Consulting the other related volumes can be very useful as this can show how a geographical area has developed over a number of years, any changes in the electoral boundaries, or changes in demographics.
Viewing search results
Browsing through a volume
Most of the VAL/12/B volumes contain an index at the beginning of the book. Where an index is available, you will have to option to navigate directly to the Index page when you open a specific volume. You can browse backwards and forwards through each volume one page at a time. However, as some of the volumes contain over 200 pages, you also have the option to skip forward or backward by ten pages at a time.
Viewing volume pages
When viewing volume pages, hover your cursor over the image to zoom in. Use the scroll-wheel on your mouse to control the level of zoom. Use the 'pinch and zoom' feature on your tablet or smartphone to achieve the same zoom functionality.
When carrying out a search using the placename search, the results will be displayed in alphabetical order by default. You can re-sort your results alphabetically by the following headings by clicking on a suitable heading in the list of results:
- PRONI reference
Save and print
You can print pages from the volumes by selecting the ‘Print’ option provided on screen. These images are high quality jpegs, so make sure that you select ‘fit to page’ in your print options. Alternatively, you can save the image to your computer by selecting the ‘Save’ option, and manipulate and print the image using your own imaging software.
More useful links
- About Valuation Revision Books
- PRONI - Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
- Family and local history records
- Family history, heritage and museums