The value of estate papers in Irish genealogy is in finding information about the estate and the tenants on the estate. Often there is very little personal information available in church or state records for tenant farmers. However, estate papers may mention them in deeds, leases, rent books etc. and provide a backdrop to life in that area and may even throw light on local emigration patterns.
I have come across references to the Kenmare Estate papers, Lansdowne Estate Papers, Bantry Estate Papers and will add to my list as time goes on. The landlord in Griffith’s Valuation sometimes gives a clue as to which estate the land belonged at that time. The name associated with the Lansdowne Estate is Fitmaurice while the name associated with the Kenmare Estate is Browne. White is the name assoiated with the Bantry Estate Papers which are in the Boole Library, UCC, Cork.
There is a useful online pdf catalogue: Bantry Estate Papers Catalogue
Gerard J Lyne wrote a book entitled “The Lansdowne Estate in Kerry under W.S. Trench 1849-72″. This book or rather tome is extensive. The author uses many many sources to outline the history of the estate under the land agent W.S. Trench and gives very useful notes and references. The tv program on the Lansdowne Estate:Hidden History – Land is Gold was shown on RTE
I found an interesting article on the Lansdowne Estate here while I was trying to discover where the Lansdowne papers might be found: From Famine to Five Points Lord Lansdowne’s Irish Tenants Encounter, North America’s Most Notorious Slum. It was written by TYLER ANBINDER in the American Historical Review, Vol. 102, No. 2. April 2002
One of the footnotes in the above article states:
“Although most of the Lansdowne Papers were recently sold to the British Library, the papers relating to his Irish estate are still in the possession of his descendants, who now charge £100 per day to anyone wishing to examine them. Before these fees were put in place, Irish historian Gerard Lyne was given free access to these papers, and I decided to rely on his very thorough analysis of those records in this and subsequent paragraphs.” [added October 2009]
Here is a link to a pdf file on the PRONI website. It describes the content and location of the Kenmare Papers: Kenmare Papers.
The following link gives some general information on estates:Estate Records
Lismore Estate Papers [added 12th October 2009]
I came across the following:Lismore Papers pdf file on the National Library of Ireland website. Another useful link:Some postings on the Lismore Papers with references to some excerpts in volumes of O’Kief, Coshe, Mang.
The following pdf file gives some information on the location of the Doneraile papers.Doneraile Estate Papers [added January 2013]