The University of Ireland Galway has developed a Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database covering estates in counties Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Waterford. It documents historic estate houses, families and records from c1700 through 1914, opening up new research avenues for family historians.
The database can be searched by Estate, Family and Houses. The Estates included those with over 500 acres, although when interconnected with large estates, smaller ones are also listed. There are over 4500 Houses and 2700 Families currently in the database. There are alphabetical links which directs the researcher to the appropriate page. There is also a Search feature which does allow for a word search in the entire database.
The various searches are cross referenced with each other; making this feature one of the most important on this website.
Research Strategies for the Cross Reference Listings
The Registry of Deeds can record marriages as well as layers of leases. This can be confusing. By taking the names mentioned in the deeds and comparing them with the database, the chances are good family and social relationships will begin to emerge more clearly.
Often connections between various landed families are not obvious. The database includes maps showing where the estates were located which may give you extra clues to connect your tenant family with another one with the same surname a few miles away.
When studying the townland names, it is important to remember these did change. Townland names and boundaries were not officially set until the 1830s by the Ordnance Survey. A search may help you identify places no longer on an official map.
The cross references is also helpful in determining if a landed family had several estates. If tenants were moved between the estates for work, this can explain migration patterns.
Reference Listings in the Database
For the genealogist, the References are the very core of this database. These include Archival Sources, such as manuscripts at the National Library of Ireland; Contemporary Printed Sources, such as Griffith’s Primary Valuation or the Parliamentary Papers; and Modern Printed Sources, such as local periodicals. It is within these References that the survival of estate papers can be identified. That in itself is the end game for most of our research.