Sunday, 25 March 2012

Scottish sasine and servants taxes to go online this year

I've just been listening to Tristram Clarke's lecture from Who Do You Think You Are Live, and there a few wee nuggets of fothcoming online releases included.

He first touches on the Scottish valuation roll for 1915-16 which is due to go online at ScotlandsPeople ( imminently - I've been in touch with one of the beta testers, and have some idea of what is planned, although as changes are still being implemented to the format for these, including the pricing model, I will wait until it formally happens to announce more on this. However, these are a very useful resource following the 1911 censuses, listing the valuation of property for taxation purposes, with the heads of the household and the relevant superiors, and they will be released for every tenth year going back to their start in 1855-56.

I knew about the above, but two new announcements I've just picked up on from the lecture. Tristram has mentioned that servants taxes are to be released on ScotlandsPlaces ( later this year. At present the site has free access to Horse and Farm Horse tax, and Clock and Watch tax, from 1797-98. The servants taxes in question are as follows: E326/5 Male Servants tax (1777-98), and E326/6 Female Servants tax (1785-1792). The year range to be made available is not known (though I suspect it will be for a single year again), but nevertheless a great resource when it comes. The NRS website lists the tax as folllows: for male tax, this was "Imposed on certain categories of employed or retained manservants. Names of masters or mistresses, names of servants, sometimes their jobs"; for the female tax "Names of masters or mistresses, names of servants, sometimes their jobs".

Of greater significance though - and this is a biggy - is news that Scottish sasine records are to go online for the post-1780 period later this year. The abridgements have already been digitised and can be consulted in the Historic Search Room at present. The abridgements list the basic details for all property and land exchanges in Scotland, and are a unique set of records with no equivalent in the rest of the British Isles. Tristram has stated that he believes the records may be made available as part of a new subscription based component to be introduced to the ScotlandsPeople site (but only for certain categories of records e.g. kirk session material, also due to goon the site at some stage), but this is all still to be worked out.

The lecture is online at - lots to look out for!

(With thanks to Tristram)


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1 comment:

  1. Wow. Fantastic news. I knew about the valuation rolls going online imminently, and knew the sasines were also planned for long-term. And I was a tester for the kirk session online system. But the servants taxes, albeit for just probably a single year, are a big bonus for me. I've examined an awful lot of the late 18th century tax records in the archive in Edinburgh, but my research was limited to specific areas. I'd like to do more widespread research long-term. And I can't easily get to Edinburgh now.