The Ordnance Survey letters in regard to Kerry 1834-1841 are a valuable resource for the local historian. The collection, commonly known as O'Donovan's Ordnance Survey Letters, after the historian, John O'Donovan (1806-1861), who led the project are now available online here.
In the early 1820s, a consistent island-wide valuation of property in Ireland was initiated by the British parliament as a basis for an effective taxation system. The Valuation involved military engineers, through the Ordnance Survey, mapping and setting administrative boundaries and assessing the productive capacity of all property in the country in a uniform way. The writing is surprisingly easy to read which is great.
The Ordnance Survey Letters are the surveyors' field notes, commentaries and correspondence to the Ordnance Survey headquarters in Dublin. They were written between 1834 and 1841. The Letters' collection is commonly known as O'Donovan's Ordnance Survey Letters, after the historian, John O'Donovan (1806-1861), who led the project of information collection, notation and compilation.
This collection provides a unique glimpse into everyday life in Co. Kerry in the years leading up to the Great Famine. The Letters provide the surveyors' experiences of the places they visited and their accounts of the local history, topography and antiquities of each parish. Also included are their informal reflections on the living conditions and impressions of the local people in the parishes visited.
The collection of Letters available for access in this section is provided courtesy of the Royal Irish Academy. Online information by AskAboutIreland.