Saturday, March 17, 2018

Some Irish Land Revision/Cancelled Books Now Online

Revision books or cancelled books are bound ledgers which are updates to Griffith's Valuation. Griffith's Valuation created a uniform system for placing a value on property for taxation purposes. As ownership of property changed and values changed these books were updated. About every 10 years new ledgers were started. The old books became filled with changes of ownership and other notes creating a need to cancel the old ledgers and begin new ones. When ownership of land changed the previous owners name was crossed out, and the new owners name would be recorded above it in color coded ink representing the year of transfer.

There are a couple of places you can look at revision or cancelled books online PRONI and 

To use the Proni revision books you need to know the location of your ancestors land because there doesn't appear to be a name index? 

The revision books at are not yet indexed either. The Familysearch books aren't in color so you can't see the color coding of notations. Finding a book digitized for your particular area is hit or miss proposition at this time. My Mullen families revision books have been digitized, the books for my  Huvane/Huanes  in County Mayo haven't been digitized yet. 

To find these books at go to the catalog. Enter the county in the search box leaving out the word county. Then enter the option to filter for only online records in the next box. 

In the screen displayed next you can select revision books from either land records or the taxation link. 

The page you are now taken to lists the electoral division volumes and under those you'll find your townland listed. Looking at the image below you see the Mullen townland of Pollaturick listed in volume 30, so that is the right film. The camera to the far right means this divisions books are online. If there was a lock over the camera you would have to view this digitized film at an LDS Family History Center or Library. If there was a film instead of a camera displayed you would have to go to an LDS Library, which has this particular film in their collection. 

The Mullens' townland, Pollaturick, is in the Milltown district books. The townlands are listed in alphabetical order in the ledgers. When a new ledger is started you'll noticed the change back to the beginning of the alpha order. The books for my area don't give the date for the start of the new ledgers. In order to get an idea of the time period the ledger covers you can look at the years of the transfers recorded under observations, in the far right column. 

Under observations it was recorded that land changed hands in 1933 and 1935

There are two digitized books with ledgers, which are out of order by the way, for the Milltown Electoral Division. One covers the period 1856 to 1897, the other covers 1896 to 1936. 

There was only one Mullen, Patrick, on the 1855 Griffith's Valuation for my ancestors townland Pollaturick. So I assumed that he was my ancestors father. My ancestor Patrick Mullen was born about 1837 in Pollaturick. The 1855 entry was unlikely to be him due to the fact he would have been too young to have such a large holding, as described in the Valuation. He didn't marry until 1880, so didn't set up a household until much later. 

The revision books helped me establish the fact a Patrick Mullen owned land in section 1 of Pollaturick townland from 1856 until the the books end in the 1930's. My ancestor Patrick Mullen born about 1837 died in 1930. There is a Patrick Mullen I believe to be his father who died in Pollaturick in 1886. The revision books confirm that my Patrick Mullen owned the same land in section 1 as the Patrick Mullen listed in 1855. This strengthens my case that his father was Patrick Mullen, and his mother was Ellen McQualter, since they were the only couple living in that area when my Patrick was born, plus his likely brother Michael stated that Patrick and Ellen were his parents. 

Here is a map showing the sections for Pollaturick townland. 

Patrick Mullen owned all of section 1 in 1855. His sons later divided up this land

I believe I misunderstood the meaning of a land transfer for Patrick and Michael Mullen in 1910. I thought Patrick was transferring a portion of his land to his son Michael in that year. His son Michael was about 28 years old in that year and still farming the land in section 1 with his father Pat. Now I believe the 1910 land transfer involved his brother Michael. The land purchase acts allowed lease holders to buy their land at a reduced price. They could also take out low interest loans to buy the property. I believe when their father Patrick died they never changed the name on the lease. I understand this because when my father died we didn't change the property title for over 5 years. Pat and Michael stayed on their father's land paying the taxes owed in his name. When they were able to buy the land they changed the ownership to reflect the fact my ancestor Patrick farmed plots A and B, and Michael farmed plots C and D of section 1. 

I know they bought the land because of the notations In Fee, and LAP stamp or land act purchase stamp. LAP means they received a low interest loan to buy the land. Pat's brother Michael never appeared in the revision books before buying his portion of his father's land, reinforcing the likelihood this transaction was between the brothers, not father and son. The change of ownership actually likely recognized the ownership of the two brothers removing their father as leaseholder. 

Early on my ancestors leased the land they farmed. My ancestor's original landlord was Courtney Clarke. Apparently he died in 1876 and his name is struck through with the new Clarke landlord now listed above his name. 

It was very rewarding to see when my family finally bought the land they farmed for so long. This land was still in the Mullen family a few years ago. I'm not sure if it is still owned by descendants at this time? 

Within a couple of years all of the revision books should be searchable online. Keep checking back if your books aren't digitized yet. 

A homestead in Pollaturick

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