We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. By continuing to use the site you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more.
Register now or login



From Ae to Zetland: Scotland in the Ordnance Survey Name Books

A free exhibition about these fascinating records of Scottish places and people is marking the completion of a big project to put all the Name Books on the ScotlandsPlaces website. It opens on Friday 6 December 2013, when the last books will become available online.

Starting on the Isle of Lewis in the 1840s, the Ordnance surveyors took in Ae in Dumfriesshire during the 1850s, covered the rest of the mainland and the islands from the 1850s to 1870s, and finally reached Zetland (Shetland) in 1877-78. The Name Books include all the names of man-made and natural features that are shown on the first Ordnance Survey maps of Scotland. They also list the ‘authorities’ who informed them of spellings and meanings, which provides a potential source for family historians.

The notes sometimes provide unexpected snippets of family lore, as the example (number 1, below) from the parish of Old Deer in Aberdeenshire shows. The mother of William Cock of Upper Crichie, then living with her son, recalled the final destruction of a stone circle in 1805. This was Isabella Cock, who died at Upper Crichie aged 85 in 1872. She probably witnessed the removal of the ancient stones as a young woman. The example from the Isle of Mull (number 2, below) shows information about the farm and house of Knock, and the name of some of the inhabitants, including Kenneth Boyd, a shepherd.

The free exhibition runs at NRS, Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh from 6 December 2013 until 31 January 2014.

Examples

old deer

1. Ordnance Survey Name Book - example from the parish of Old Deer in Aberdeenshire
N.B. When viewing the large image of this record, just click on the image to enlarge it further.

mull

2. Ordnance Survey Name Book - example from the Isle of Mull, County of Argyll
N.B. When viewing the large image of this record, just click on the image to enlarge it further.

© Crown copyright: Genealogy, family history and family tree information.

A partnership between the National Records of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon enabled by DC Thomson Family History.

NRS logo image      Lyon Coat of Arms image      DCTFH logo image      Facebook Page      Twitter Page