Questions related to 19th Century records.
An ancestor was said to be a pensioner. What does it mean?
If an ancestor was a pensioner, it almost always means he had a pension for either war wounds or very long service from Chelsea Hospital in England or Kilmainham Hospital in Dublin. You could be in luck if you consult the UK National Archives catalogue. In the first line of the search fields put his name, or try his last name with a large letter AND then Longford. On the second line put rough dates to bracket the search - try 1795 to 1860. If you leave it empty you get all the WW1 pensions!. Then on the third line put WO, which stands for War Office. If found, it may well give the townland or parish origin, and ordering the file will give further info.
How do I access the tithe applotment lists?
The best way is to track down a copy of County Longford, Residents Prior to the Famine, by Guy A. Rymsza, published in 2004 in both book and CD-ROM form. Try this link to Amazon for the disc. Otherwise, microfilms of the various parishes are available on microfilm from the Mormon Family History Centres. For example Kilcommock parish is #0256626, Tashinny & Tasheenod are #0256688, and Killashee is #0256636.
Where should I start with my 19th century research?
If you think they are in Co. Longford records, start with either the Griffiths Valuation (1854), or the tithe applotments (1820s and 1830s). They are likely to give you the best chance of spotting the family. Once you have a particular parish, and perhaps townland, go to religious registers, and perhaps check land records, etc.