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The Valuation Office, set up to carry out the original Primary Valuation, is still in existence and has two related sets of records that are potentially valuable. The first of these are the notebooks used by the original Valuation surveyors, consisting of field books, house books and tenure books. All three record a map reference for the holdings they deal with, as in the published Valuation.
As well as containing information such as this, which does not appear in the published Valuation, the valuers' notebooks can also be useful in documenting any changes in occupation between the initial survey and the published results. Unfortunately, they are not in existence for all areas. The National Archives in Dublin now houses those that survive for the Republic of Ireland. Those covering Northern Ireland are now to be found in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
The Valuation Office itself, now situated in the Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street, Dublin 1, contains the second set of useful records. These are the 'Cancelled Land Books' and 'Current Land Books', giving details of all changes in the holdings, from the time of the Primary Valuation up to the present day. Any variations in the size or status of the holding, the names of the occupier or lessor, or the valuation itself are given in the revisions carried out every few years.
The books can be very useful in pinpointing a possible date of death or emigration, or in identifying a living relative. A large majority of those who were in occupation of a holding by the 1890s, when the Land Acts began to subsidise the purchase of the land by its tenant-farmers, have descendants or relatives still living in the same area. The Cancelled Land Books for Northern Ireland are now in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
Creators: John Grenham
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