Author Topic: Researching family roots by property deeds? Can it be done?  (Read 595 times)

Offline MMCADEN

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Researching family roots by property deeds? Can it be done?
« on: Thursday 13 May 21 18:50 BST (UK) »
On my last round of search I am forced to quit because there are no 'people' records to work with. However, having dealt with a property purchase in Ireland I know that there are 'deeds' used to record the property.

My question, then, is 'can we find from these 'deeds' who owned a property over the centuries?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Interested in the US-McDUNN / MCADEN / MCADDEN / MUCKEDON family history,and variants Westmeath Co. Ireland.  Have read parts of John McDunn's scholarly work on the US-McDunn descendants of Patrick Muckedon of Winetown Co. Westmeath, Ireland.

Offline Elwyn Soutter

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Re: Researching family roots by property deeds? Can it be done?
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 13 May 21 22:08 BST (UK) »
Registering change of ownership has only been obligatory in Ireland (both the Republic and Northern Ireland) since the 1990s. Prior to that, you mostly just needed to hang on to the deeds to prove ownership, though there was an option to register transactions with the Registry of Deeds in Dublin. There was a fee attached to that so many never bothered.

Second point is that the vast majority of the population didn’t own their properties in Ireland. Most just rented because landowners wouldn't sell (a source of great discontent with farmers).  So they had leases, in some cases lengthy ones, but not ownership. That changed a bit with Wyndham’s Land Act in 1903 but prior to that only a minor proportion of the population owned their property.

It might be easier to help you if you were specific about which property/land you are interested in, and when.
Elwyn

Offline what0101

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Re: Researching family roots by property deeds? Can it be done?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 16 May 21 23:20 BST (UK) »
FamilySearch has scanned some of the Land Valuation Office revision lists and they are available for viewing in FHCs.


Offline eileenwilson

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Re: Researching family roots by property deeds? Can it be done?
« Reply #3 on: Monday 17 May 21 12:03 BST (UK) »
Griffiths Valuation showed who was living in each townland and the amount of land they owned or leased and who the landlord was if that was the case.  These books were revised several times, and PRONI has the revision books for Northern Ireland scanned and available on their site.

Offline felixquaxer

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Re: Researching family roots by property deeds? Can it be done?
« Reply #4 on: Monday 17 May 21 14:27 BST (UK) »
It is unlikely (but possible) that title deeds to real property could help in researching family roots but consider why if say in your case you wished to sell a plot of land why would it be necessary to name your siblings / parents etc especially if they had no disposable interest in that plot.
Wills (when they exist ) are far more likely to be of practical value to you.
A previous correspondent stated that you should be far more precise in stating what you are seeking and she is perfectly right. General answers (as above for example) are of limited value being hedged with so many provisos. Consequently you should name the family ,all locations and dates to narrow the search areas.

Felixquaxer