Monday, September 19, 2016

Pass The Nodoz


     Well, I've done it again.  Upon reading that Find My Past was offering a free look at their new Irish records until midnight yesterday I hastened to the site.  The long, long, long awaited Valuation Office Books were included!  In my rush I failed to notice that the books were to be free forever.  I had missed the email notifying me of this momentous event, having been preoccupied with family events, and only viewed it late last night.  Midnight?  Damn!  So even though exhausted by the aforementioned family matters, I settled in for a long session.  We're talking Valuation Books after all!

     I found some really good information and some disappointments.  I located the entry for great-great-great-grandfather Daniel McGarr by finally just searching his townland of Ballyraggan.  McGarr seems like such a simple name to spell, but it never works out that way.  This time it was indexed as Magan--that's a new one.  This was a house book and had some wonderful information.  I knew from the Irish census taken years after his demise, that there were several out buildings on Daniel's farm, which was occupied at the time of the census by his late daughter Sarah's husband Thomas Hughes; but I had no idea if the buildings were there during Daniel's lifetime.

     As seen above, the question is settled.  Along with the house, there was what appears to be a Cow House, (that one made me giggle), a barn and stable, and another I can't quite make out--it looks like Cas House or Car House, still puzzling that one out.  I wrote to the Valuation Office years ago and they sent me wonderful copies from the cancelled books of Daniel's holding, detailing decade by decade the current occupiers so I almost didn't waste my "limited" time looking for him.  But this information from the house book was not included in the packet sent to me by the VO, so I was glad to have found it.

     I also located another 3rd great grandfather, Connor Ryan, in Goldengarden, Tipperary and got a peek at his life there on the estate of Lord Hawarden.  He had only a house and barn which really didn't surprise me.  While Grandpa Daniel on the Fitzgerald estate had a generous (for the era) lease, Hawarden was very stingy about giving them out.  Grandpa Connor was probably hesitant to make major improvements to his holding with no real assurance he'd be there long.

     The disappointing parts?  Still nothing on my Hore/O'Hore/Hoare family, another seemingly simple name that gets mangled.  Just nothing, not in these records nor the tithe applotments.  I know their address from their children's baptisms, but they are nowhere in sight.  The other disappointment is that I was under the impression the cancelled books were to be included, but they aren't there.  The bright side is, I can again write to the Valuation Office and request copies of Connor Ryan's cancelled book entries now that I know for sure he's there in the records.  It's a great time to be an Irish researcher!


  1. Nice one, Ellie! It's like Christmas morning for Irish researchers, right now. You know, all the records recently released by FMP were added to the National Archives site too and with their search parameters might offer you another chance for success. The cancelled books are being scanned and images of each page, for some counties, are available on a computer in the V.O. It would be great if they were published online someday, even with ZERO search functionality.

  2. Thanks Dara. I'm loving all these new records, you're right, it truly is like Christmas morning. When I started this years ago I longed for access like this and it's finally happened!!!