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Launch of the 1895 Valuation Rolls - 28 May 2013



Launch of the 1895 Valuation Rolls - 28 May 2013

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Dear ScotlandsPeople Customer,

The 1895 Valuation Rolls are now live on the ScotlandsPeople website!
We're delighted to announce that the Valuation Rolls (VRs) in Scotland for 1895 have just been added to the ScotlandsPeople website.

The new records, comprising 2,095,707 indexed names and 75,565 digital images, cover every kind of building, structure or dwelling that was assessed in 1895 as having a rateable value, and provide a fascinating picture of Scottish society during the late Victorian era.

What do the 1895 Valuation Rolls contain?
word cloudThe Rolls contain the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property - and in many cases, occupations are also included. The head of the household is usually the named person, although sometimes a husband and wife might both be listed - interestingly, wives are often the named tenant in rented property.

As the Rolls contain individuals from right across the social spectrum - from dwellers in Scotland's tenements to famous property and land owners - they reveal some very interesting features of social history in Scotland during the late Victorian era. To highlight some of the interesting social history captured in the Rolls, we've included some examples below.

If you have any questions about Valuation Rolls, visit the dedicated FAQs page that we've created to help explain what the VRs are all about.

What can I learn from the 1895 Valuation Rolls?
You can find out who was living at a specific address, and whether they rented or owned the property. You can also see the rent that was paid for the house or flat, as well as the rateable value of the property, As the 1895 VRs appear between the 1891 and 1901 censuses, we believe that these new records will help family history researchers to find ancestors who have gone 'missing'.

Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and Perth Prison
To give you an idea of how the VRs record the property situation of all social classes, we've chosen several examples to illustrate this point.

embra castleIn the example for Edinburgh Castle, you can see the names of the officers and NCO (Non-Commissioned Officers) who were billeted in the castle at this time – unfortunately, the names of the rank and file were not included. It seems likely that, unlike the privates, the officers and NCOs stationed in the Castle had their own individual quarters, which is why they are listed in the Rolls.

As tied housing is a major feature of the social history of this time, we've also included an entry that lists some of the staff members at Holyrood Palace. Since Queen Victoria more often resided at Balmoral than at Holyrood, fewer staff members are listed in the Roll for Holyrood Palace. Nonetheless, it's fascinating to see the various types of jobs that people did at Holyrood Palace.

Likewise, the entry for Perth Prison also lists the name and occupations of the workers who lived in the prison's tied housing ('the prison village', as it's called) – the annual rateable value of the live-in accommodation is also listed.

N.B. when viewing these large images on the website, just click on the image to enlarge it even further.

Edinburgh Castle Holyrood Palace Perth prison

Edinburgh Castle

Holyrood Palace

Perth Prison

Note: the photo of Edinburgh Castle appears with the kind permission of Stuart Caie.

Famous Scots and their ancestors – Neil Munro, Hugh MacDiarmid and Anne Redpath
As we love looking at records for famous Scots and their forebears, we thought we'd use the 1895 VRs to indulge in a spot of ancestral celebrity spotting.

neil munoAs the 3rd of June 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Neil Munro, we thought we'd track down the Glasgow whereabouts of the creator of 'Para Handy' in 1895. As you might have guessed, we found him living in a rented flat in a Glasgow tenement at 21 Gibson Street. As this was still fairly early in Munro's literary career, his occupation listed in the VR entry is that of 'Journalist'.

Another 'man of letters' is John Grieve, a postman who lived in Henry Street in Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway. However, John Grieve is more famous for being the father of one Christopher Murray Grieve, who used the pen name, Hugh MacDiarmid. You can see that the yearly rateable value for the property was £12, and that the landlady was a widow called Mary Sorbie who lived in George Street.

So that the ladies are not left out of things, we've also included the Valuation Roll entry for the family of the artist, Anne Redpath. If you look at the line in the entry for 44 Meigle Street in Galashiels, you'll see that Thomas Redpath, Anne's father and a pattern weaver, lived at this address. Just by looking at the neighbours of the Redpaths, you can see that almost the entire street is employed in the textiles industry.

N.B. when viewing these large images on the website, just click on the image to enlarge it even further.

Neil Munro John Grieve Anne Redpath

Neil Munro

John Grieve - father of Hugh MacDiarmid

Thomas Redpath - father of Anne Redpath


'Tee names' - community nicknames for people in NE Scotland
A splendid and quirky feature of the 1895 Valuation Rolls is the 'tee names' of people who lived in north-east Scotland, and also some locations in Fife, Argyll and Gairloch (though it was mainly NE Scotland).

tee names'Tee names' are community nicknames, so researchers who are looking for forbears from NE Scotland might stumble upon their ancestors' nicknames. Further, by discovering the 'tee name' of an ancestor, you might also learn something about a character trait (or physical characteristic) of that ancestor. To give you a better idea about 'tee names', we've included a VR entry for Buckie in the Parish of Rathven, which contains some wonderful examples of these nicknames.

Given that Neil Munro originally hailed from Inveraray in Argyllshire, we've also been musing on the possibility that 'Para Handy' (captain of 'The Vital Spark') might be a 'tee name'.

So far, 'Costie Stone' and 'Smacker' are our favourite 'tee names'! If you find the 'tee name' of one of your ancestors, then please give us a shout.

Finding 'missing' ancestors in the 1895 Valuation Rolls
In our May newsletter, we asked people to contact us if they suspect that the 1895 VRs might contain a family ancestor who had disappeared off the radar. A BIG thank you to everyone who contacted us! We were overwhelmed by your messages (we received over 500 messages!), so apologies if we missed anyone out when we sent out the thank you 'replies'. We're planning to highlight some examples of 'found' ancestors in the 1895 VRs in future newsletters.

Summary – castles, palaces, prisons, estates, country houses, tenements…
So whether you're a genealogy researcher or a social, economic, local or property historian, the 1895 Valuation Rolls will be a rich resource for historical research. The 1895 Rolls will also complement the 1915 and 1905 VRs, which were launched on ScotlandsPeople in March 2012 and January 2013. Taken together, the 1895, 1905 and 1915 VRs offer researchers an excellent set of records for learning about the owning and renting of property by Scotland's people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

To start searching and browsing these new records, visit the ScotlandsPeople website.

All the Best,
The ScotlandsPeople Team




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