Wednesday 29 August 2012

Tax records and OS Name Books added to ScotlandsPlaces

From the RCAHMS:

Historical documents, including Ordnance Survey (OS) Name Books and Scotland’s Servant and Hearth Tax rolls dating back some 300 years, are now available online on the Scotland’s Places website. The records are among new additions to a treasure trove of historical information held on the site, which brings together records from three of Scotland’s national collections: RCAHMS, the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the National Library of Scotland (NLS).

The Hearth Tax rolls date from 1691 to 1695, and represent the first comprehensive survey of all towns, villages and other inhabited places in Scotland. The Servant Tax rolls date from 1777 to 1798 as a tax on wealthy households who employed non-essential servants like butlers and coachmen. OS Name Books for Stirlingshire, Nairnshire, Inverness-shire, Clackmannanshire, Buteshire, Berwickshire and Ayrshire have also been digitised – with the remaining counties to be added by 2013. The Name Books outline all of the place names within their counties during the latter half of the nineteenth century and include variant spellings, details of where places are situated, descriptive remarks and general observations, as well as references to corresponding OS sheet maps. These specific records can be now accessed as a part of a subscription service. At the same time, new free-to-access materials made available online include 25,000 Second and later edition OS maps – made up of 7,486 6-inch maps dated 1892-1960, and 17,466 25-inch maps dated 1892-1949.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said, ‘This data gives us an insight into Scotland's history dating back 300 years. The result of an innovative collaboration between RCAHMS, National Records of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland, this project provides rich historical detail about our buildings, our communities and our people. Viewed together, this data provides a fascinating picture of Scotland's past.’

For more information on the new material and the subscription package, visit Scotland’s Places at

UPDATE: the subscription for these new records is £15 +VAT for 3 months access, so basically £18. That is a serious amount of money for what is being made available at present, so I think I will personally wait for a bit until more is made available before subscribing. The records that were previously available for free continue to be so offered.

Also: Upcoming resources
The ScotlandsPlaces team are currently working on conserving and digitising more archival resources to be added to the website. Upcoming subscription resources to be added in the near future will include:
* Ordnance Survey name books for the remaining Scottish counties
* 17th and 18th century tax rolls


Check out my Scotland's Greatest Story research service
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)

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