The Irish collection of Evicted Tenants contains eviction details from applications for financial assistance in 1907.
The collection has about 3,400 records from the entire island of Ireland.
This article looks at what you’ll find in this collection on Find My Past. We also give you tips on searching for what you need.
Who And Where Does The Evicted Tenants Collection Cover?
Were your Irish ancestors evicted from their tenant farms in the 1900s?
They may be recorded in this collection of applications to the Estate Commissioners Office in 1907.
These unfortunate people were some of the more impoverished people in the country. Most tenant farmers at the time had no lease for the land that they tended. They could be evicted by landlords with little recourse.
As you research your family tree, you may find that it’s easier to uncover documents about more well-off members such as landowners and professionals. This resource of evicted tenants provides a source for people who were less well off.
The original reports were compiled by province i.e. split into four collections for Leinster, Munster, Connacht, and Ulster. The digitized collection combines the four reports.
You can get a feel for the ratio of records from this list of the number of pages per province:
- Munster – 80 pages
- Connacht – 49 pages
- Leinster – 43 pages
- Ulster – 36 pages
The county with the highest number of applicants was Cork in Munster.
What Do The Records Tell You?
If you’re browsing or searching the collection on Find My Past, the transcripts include these basic details:
- first and last name of the evictee
Be sure to look at the image of the record! That’s where the rich detail resides, including:
- name of the evictee
- the townland
- the estate from which they were evicted
- the area of land in acres, roods, and perches
- annual rent in pounds, shillings, and pence
- the occupier’s name at the time of the application
- the circumstances of the applicant
By the way, a rood is about a quarter of an acre, and a perch is about 30 square yards.
Circumstances of the applicant
The recorded circumstances of the applicant may make you draw breath when you remember that these people were being evicted from the source of their food and meager income.
Here is one fellow:
50 years old. Married, wife living. Has nine children. Eldest son is 15.
Nine children under the age of sixteen are a lot of mouths to feed.
Here’s a female applicant with an extra comment in the record. Perhaps the age range of her sons is the reason why she may not get recompense.
Widow, aged 55. Has five sons (26-13). Not a strong claim.
And here’s some interesting information about emigration and this particular family.
68 years old; five children – four in America, one at home (ages 22 to 40)
How To Browse The Evicted Tenants Collection On Find My Past
I suggest that you browse through a few pages of the collection before you jump into searching for specific people.
Here’s one way to browse the collection:
- Use the top Search menu to “Search all records”
- Set the country in the left navigation pane to Ireland
- Expand the “Census, Land & Substitutes” category in the left pane
- Click on “Land & Estates”
- Click the “Browse Record set” link beside the Record set input box
Here’s a picture of the steps above.
The “Browse Record set” link opens a pop-up window that lists all the record sets under the Land & Estates category within Ireland.
You’ll see a collection that starts with “Estate Commissioners Offices” in the list. Select this record set and apply the filter.
There are about 3,400 records in the collection. I suggest that you view all the results the first time you’re taking a look at this archive.
Check out an image for any one of the results and you’ll see a single page from the original report. There are about twenty people per page.
Searching the record set
Once you’ve applied the filter, you can run typical searches on the last name and optional first name.
Although I couldn’t find an ancestor in the collection, I was interested in viewing people from a specific townland.
Unfortunately, the townland or parish doesn’t seem to be indexed. I got zero results when searching for a townland I could see on a page I’d browsed.
However, I had more success when using the location to enter a county. That was wider than I wanted, but it’s not a huge amount of results. to browse through.
Related Collections On Find My Past
The people who appear in the Evicted Tenant list have fallen on hard times. Sometimes they must resort to petty crime to survive.
Check out our guide to the Irish Petty Sessions On Find My Past. The Petty Courts heard cases at the lower end of offences such as minor larceny.
Evicted Tenants Collection On Other Sites
Find My Past isn’t the only website where you’ll find this collection.
FamilySearch.org used to have the index, but it may not be currently available. When I was looking for it in late 2021, there was no way to search the collection (although it still had a catalog page).
However, some sites have the full collection available to purchase as a download.
Overview Of Irish Court And Prison Records
Check out our general overview of online archives of Irish court and prison records.
This covers the main paid and free sites that have collections with online access.