Electoral Rolls

This guide was last updated in 2014

If you have an address for your family in Ireland, it should be possible to trace the occupancy the property backwards to identify earlier generations of your family.

The Valuation Office Revision Books, which are available in the Valuation Office in Dublin, are rate books that run from the 1850s to the 1970s for residential property. It is possible to identify a household in the Revision Books in the 1960s and trace the occupancy of that property back into the 19th century.

If you are looking for living descendants of an emigrant ancestor, you can use the Revision Books to determine whether descendants of your family were still residing at the same address in the 1970s. Electoral Rolls can take your search right up to the present day and will tell you whether there are registered voters with the same surname, residing at the same address. The National Library of Ireland holds an extensive collection of electoral rolls for all counties in the Republic of Ireland.

For urban and even rural areas, national and city directories can also be used to trace the occupancy of a property or to follow the career of a tradesman or professional. County libraries and archives should hold a collection of directories specific to their area and the National Library of Ireland holds national and regional directories for the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

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