Old Homestead

Finding the Old Homestead in Ireland


Co. Tipperary Examples:

Dennis Carr

     Loughbrack, Templebeg parish

Patrick McGrath

     Loughouorna, Knigh parish

Jeremiah Conan

     Foilagoule, Moyaliff parish




The ancestral cottage has often been considered the Holy Grail of genealogists researching ancestors in Ireland. There are many old cottages, from the famine era and beyond, that still dot the Irish countryside. The years of neglect have exacted a toll on many, others have been reduced to use for storage and some have been demolished. Occasionally there is a pleasant surprise awaiting the intrepid researcher when the cottage has been maintained and is presently occupied, perhaps even by a relative.

There are many paths to the discovery of an ancestral cottage and several of those stories will be related on this page and through the various links. The paper "Finding the Old Homestead in Ireland" describes a methodical approach for searching for an old homestead utilizing a number of different records. There are also some suggestions for squeezing the maximum information out of these records. As with most Irish genealogy research having a wee bit of the luck of the Irish is always advised.


The IreAtlas Townland Database

The site for searching a Parish Register Index

The Irish Parish Registers

Griffith’s Valuation and Maps

The Ordnance Survey Map site

Geohive Map Viewer

           About Geohive

 “Thomas Long Land Lease – May 1839

“The Neighbors in Ireland”

 Measuring Areas on Google Satellite Images.



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Finding the Ancestral Cottage
























Mary Ryan McGrath

The link below is to a paper that describes my family's 19 year search to find the cottage of our gg-grandmother Mary Ryan McGrath. In this case we finally made contact with relatives in Ireland and they were able to verify the connection and they were still living on and working the same farm.

The Search for Mary Ryan's Cottage



This is the Valuation map of the southwestern section of the Gleninchnaveigh townland located just west of Upperchurch village in Co. Tipperary. This has been the home of the Ryan family (Connie) since at least the late 1700s.


This is a Google satellite view of the same region from 2016


This is a view, looking southwest, of the cottage labeled 1a in the valuation map. This was the cottage of Jeremiah Ryan, brother of my gg-grandmother Mary Ryan McGrath. She was living there during the Great Famine until she and her two sons left for America in  1850 to join her husband Edmund. Today it is occupied by my 6th cousin and her family.


Copyright © 2006 - Michael F. McGraw

McGrath Genealogy

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