Saturday, May 19, 2018

Griffith’s Valuation-McKenna Family

After my last posts Researching the Land of My Ancestors-County Tyronne, Ireland and Felice and Sarah McKenna of County Tyronne, Ireland  I decided to see if I could find anything about them in Griffith’s Valuation. 

First, I need to understand what these records are:
Many Irish records were lost in 1922 when the Public Records Office burned, so, surviving tax records are particularly significant to my Irish research.  A valuation of taxable property in every parish in Ireland, called Griffith's Primary Valuation, was done between 1848 and 1864.

In 1825 a man named Griffith was appointed by the British Government to carry out a boundary survey of Ireland (Ireland is about the size of the state of Indiana). He was to mark the boundaries of every county, barony, civil parish and townland in preparation for the first Ordnance Survey.  Griffith’s Valuation in County Tyrone was completed on 13 July 1860. 

The valuation records list the name of the head of the household, the name of the landowner ('immediate lessor'), the acreage of the plot, the value of the property, and the amount of tax assessed. The tax based on the property valuation was used to support the poor.  Valuations were then made throughout Ireland approximately every decade.
So, knowing the place and date of my ancestor’s residence will be extremely helpful in my Irish research.  What can I find?

I found the following 2 records for 1860 in the Parish of Clonfeacle, County Tyrone:      (click on individual images to enlarge)


In the image on the left I found a listing for Francis McKenna (I believe this is Susan’s father) living on Killyman Street in the village of Moy.  (See the red box.)  Francis was leasing a House, office and yard from Maria Martin.  Francis’ total annual Valuation of ratable property was 4 British Pounds.

In the image on the right I found a listing for Felix McKenna (I believe this is Susan’s brother) living in the nearby area of Anagasna Glebe. (See the red box.)  Felix was leasing 2 pieces of property from Rev. Joseph Stevenson.  The first listing contained a house on the property.  The size of this property with the house was 4 Acres, 1 Rood and 10 Perches.  [30 1/4 square yards = perch, 40 perches = rood and 4 roods = acre]  This land was valued at 3 British Pounds, 5 Shillings.  The building on the land was valued at 10 Shillings.  The second piece of property was probably a field of agricultural or grazing land.  This size of this land was 1 Acre, 1 Rood and 15 Perches. The value of this land was 1 British Pound.  Felix’s total annual Valuation of ratable property was 4 British Pounds, 15 Shillings.

Some thoughts to ponder:
  • In the same area that Felix lived there are listings for 11 men with the surname Hughes (underlined in green) as well as other McKennas.  My ancestor Susan McKenna married Patrick Hughes.  Could these Hughes be siblings/family of Patrick?
  • I believe I have found a US Federal Census record for Susan and Patrick Hughes in New York City in 1850 but I wasn’t 100% sure I had the right family.  Living with them according to the census was a Susan Quinn of about the same age as my Susan.  I see there is a Patrick Quinn living in the same area as Felix McKenna, underlined in yellow on the right above.  Could this be family of Susan Quinn?  Was Susan Quinn a close friend of Susan McKenna?  Coincidence??
Even though my ancestors Susan McKenna and Patrick Hughes left Ireland around the late 1840s this gives me information about her father Francis and her brother Felix.  Since Felix appeared to stay in Ireland perhaps I can find descendants of his in Ireland one day.  Oh, so much more research to do…

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. Wonderful that you located something in the Griffith records. I have tried many times to no avail. Thanks for sharing your successes.

  2. Donna Moughty's Guide #3 really helped me find something. Every once in a while there is success.