Friday, 29 November 2019

PRONI uploads digitised NI tithe books and school grant aid records

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland ( has initiated a major evolution with its online catalogue, with the release of two important digitised record collections for the six northern counties now constituted as Northern Ireland (Antrim, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Londonderry). The collections are the Northern Ireland Tithe Applotment Books 1823-1837 (FIN/5/A), and the National Education Commisioners Grant Aid Applications (ED/1).

Tithe Applotment Books

The tithe applotment books can now be downloaded for each parish.

i) From the home page at, click on eCatalogue.
ii) Click on Search PRONI's eCatalogue
iii) Scroll down and click on the green Search the eCatalogue button.
iv) On the top right of the catalogue search screen, click Browse.
v) Type in FIN/5/A and click on Search.
vi) On the results page, which states the following, go to the second option:

vii) If you click on the word More in the Title/Description column, you will gtet a short summary describing what the tithe records are.
viii) If you instead click on the blue PRONI reference FIN/5/A link in the first column, you will now be taken to a more detailed listing for each parish in alphabetical order.

ix) The View link at the end column allows you to download a hefty PDF file for the relevant parish. When you click on it you will first be asked to agree to a copyright statement:

Then you will be asked if you wish to save the relevant PDF file or to open it. Upon completion, this is the sort of thing you will then see:

COMMENT: Some of the files are quite large, but the quality of the digitisation is superb. Note that the records cannot be keyword searched - you'll have to go into them the good oul' fashioned way!

I have downloaded a couple of parishes, but one parish of interest, Islandmagee (simply noted as Island in the list) is showing as a damaged file which 'cannot be repaired'! I have notified PRONI, suspect it is just a minor teething issue.

Tithe records for the Republic of Ireland are already freely available at

National Education Commissioners Grant Aid Applications

The search technique for these is similar to the above, with the results portrayed in county order over a series of files covering different periods from 1832-1899. For example, County Antrim is presented across ED/1/1 to ED/1/10, each of which subdivides further to individual schools - the ED/1/1 link, for example, leads to individual PDFs for 163 separate school applications (ED/1/1/1A to ED/1/1/164). Note that the applications are for named schools, so don't be going in looking for parish names in these.

Again, the presentation is superb, and the files with these are considerably smaller, so will open much quicker.

Have fun with the records!


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  1. wonderful -is it possible for me to put this info in our local (NZ) genealogy newsletter with a thanks to you? Many thanks, Anne

  2. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions, Chris.

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  4. had the same error you mention with Seagoe & Shankill pdf's FIN/5/A/248A + FIN/5/A/248B & FIN/5/A/245A + FIN/5//245B on clicking to open them with Adobe Reader DC - yet if I right click on them and select open with they open absolutely fine with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Nitro Reader 5. Same on re-downloading (whether downloaded with Firefox or Edge).

  5. Thank you for the excellent instructions. Unfortunately, I also got damaged message for the Eglish Parish file. I tried twice to download it.