research in the post-publication manuscripts
Revision Books, Cancelled Books and Current Land Books are resources for
advanced study of Griffith's Valuation.
The terms cover the same group of
Revision Books are manuscripts in which, following the publication of each volume of the
Primary Valuation of Tenements, the Valuation Office recorded any
changes to occupier, landlord, size of holding or value for each plot.
changes, or revisions, were recorded on an annual basis, directly into the
So if, for example, your ancestor, John Leary, sold the old homestead in
County Cork in 1863 (ten years after the Primary Valuation was completed in
that county... see map), the new owner's name would have been noted in the
Current Land Book that covered that townland and that exact plot of land.
Current Land Books are exactly what you'd expect from the name – the books hold
the most up to date or recent revisions for each plot.
So, in the
case of John Leary's sale, the new owner's details would have been recorded in
what was, in 1860, the Current Land Book.
Are you new to Griffith's Valuation?
This page deals with fairly advanced research. If you're new
to Irish land records, or just want a good overview of what this resource
offers, you should starting on the Griffith's
Valuation page and get to grips with the Primary Valuation of Tenements
book became so full of revisions that it could hardly be deciphered, it would
have been marked up as a Cancelled Land Book and a new Current Land Book would
have been started.
'Valuation Revision Books' can be used generically for both Cancelled and
Current Land Books.
In practice, the term Revision Books tends to be used in
Northern Ireland; the Republic usually differentiates between Cancelled or
Current Land Books.
The Primary Valuation of Tenements was published county-by-county between
1848 and 1864. From 1852, a system for annual revisions was introduced for
those counties that had been 'published'. In fact, few revisions were recorded
until the 1860s, by which time the Valuation for ALL counties had been
From then until the mid-1970s (only until the 1930s in Northern
Ireland), all changes in holdings were hand-written into the Current Land
How the revision books system works -
LAP: Land Act Purchase
The Land Commission was created by the 1881 Land Act. In the
latter part of the 19th century and early 20th, people who occupied land were
given assistance to buy it. As a result you'll see many entries in the Revision
Books marked as In Fee, which meant that the occupier had become the owner. You
may also see noted (often by a stamp) the letters LAP; this means the occupier
has been given assistance by the Land Commission to complete the purchase.
Each annual round of revisions was allocated a coloured ink code. For
example, when I look at the revision book pages for the townland of Curragh in Co Cork, where my
paternal family lived, I can see that all revisions for 1915 were noted in
purple ink, those for 1921 were recorded in permanent red ink, and those for 1929 in
green . Although the dates are recorded, the colour coding helps to maintain
some level of legibility over many years.
When a change of occupancy occurred, the name of the previous householder or
owner was crossed through and the new owner's name written above it. In the
same colour ink, there will be a date (usually just the year) recorded in the
right hand column.
All manner of observations are also noted to the size or
physical structure of the land/property holding.
These annual revisions can be extremely useful for helping genealogists to
calculate significant dates in their family's history such as dates of
emigration or death, and to help find living descendents.
Where to view Valuation Revision books
The manuscript Revision books for Northern Ireland are held by
PRONI - the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland - in Belfast. They have been
digitised and are now available, free to view, on the Revision Books section of PRONI's website.
The collection is available as a fully searchable placename index to the
Valuation Revision Books covering counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh,
Londonderry and Tyrone between the years 1864 to 1933. A small number (44 out
of a collection of some 3,900 volumes) were not included in the initial online
upload; they will be added in due course.
The Cancelled Books and the Current Land Books for the Republic of
Ireland are available to personal callers at the Valuation Office, Irish Life
Centre, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1. They are not online. The collection is
gradually being scanned, county by county. As each county is finished, the
manuscript books are being moved to storage and visitors are offered only the scanned
copies to view on computer terminals.
At October 2022, nineteen counties and three cities had been scanned, so the project is at least three-quarters completed.
The Valuation Office plans to complete the digitisation and upload the searchable copies to an online database by the end of 2023. This database, like that for Northern Ireland's Revision Books held by PRONI, will be free to access.