A Guide to the records we searched
St Tierneys
Contact me




The Rent book Cancellations


These are similar to those of the published Griffiths valuation but observations made are handrwritten in on these. The observations can show whether the size or physical structure of the holding were altered, also the changes in the name of the landlord or occupier..this can show death or
emigration for a particular year. Changes may have been noted up to a few years after the actual change. It is best to go to the original earlier years and work your way forward with these because the actual numbers of lots can have changed over the years because of lots being broken up or joined together.

The Land Commission was created by the 1881 Land Act. Initially it was created to determine fair rents but its main purpose became to assist tenants to purchase their property. A Congested Districts Board was set up in 1891 and this had a similar function, but it was abolished by the Irish Government. in 1923 and its power transfered to the Land Commission.

So, in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century people who occupied land were able to buy that land. You will see an entry in the cancelled books showing 'In Fee' meaning that the occupier was now the owner. Also, on these you may see LAP: Land Act Purchase stamped on an entry, meaning that the occupier had been assisted in by the Lands Commission to purchase the land.

The cancelled books for the 26 counties are held in Dublin in the Valuation Office while those for the 6 counties of Northern Ireland (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry (Derry and Tyrone) are held in the PRONI in Belfast.

Click to enlarge


The 1901 & 1911 Census


census of the Irish population was taken every ten years from 1821 until 1911 and manuscript returns for each household survive for all 32 counties for 1901 and 1911. The returns are arranged by townland in rural areas and by street in urban areas. The returns for each townland or street consist of:

(a) Forms (Forms A) were filled in by the head of each household, giving the names of all people in that household on census night and their age, occupation, religion and country of birth.

(b) Forms (Forms N, B1, B2) were filled in by the official taking the census, summarising the returns for that townland or street.

No manuscript returns survive for 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 but there are some returns for 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 covering parts of counties Antrim, Cavan, Cork, Fermanagh, Galway, King's County (Offaly), Londonderry (Derry), Meath and Waterford.

Widow Anne Rooney of Derryartry,Co monaghan can be seen on this copy of the 1911 census.


Click to enlarge



The majority of wills and testamentary records for Ireland prior to 1922, were destroyed in the fire at the Public Records Office. However, there are a number of surviving records and Calendars which go some way to filling in the gaps left in 1922.

In 1859 a new registry system was established in Ireland for the first time, and the administrative structure by which wills were recorded, proved and administered changed. From 1859 a Calendar of Wills and Administrations was published annually, and these Calendars still survive, even where the original documents do not. The Calendars are arranged alphabetically, and each record contains: the name, address and occupation of the deceased; the place and date of death; the value of the estate; the name and address of the person(s) to whom probate or administration was granted.

What makes the Calendars a particularly useful source, is that from the second half of the 19th Century a much wider section of the Irish population began to leave wills, and from the early 1860s, abstracts of wills for small farmers, shop-keepers, publicans and even labourers can be found.

A complete list of all the Rooney wills for Fermanagh and Monaghan, taken from the Calender of Wills and administrations at proni can be seen by clicking here



In May 2008 , The public records office of Northern Ireland (proni) made available online thier wills catalogue. This is currently online in a searchable database.

We sent off for several Rooney wills and the information we gained from them was just amazing.

If you would like to search and send off for your own Fermanagh or Monaghan will the database and ordering details can be viewed here

The copy of the will to the right is that of my Great Great Grandfather Patrick Rooney of Derryartry in County Monaghan.

I can not describe how elated we were to actually find his will existed, and to get a copy, in his own handwriting was just an unbelievable feeling.


Click to enlarge




track hits