Hearth Tax

Hearth tax rolls date from the 1690s and contain useful information about the number of households (with hearths) in each county in Scotland.

Images of heath tax rolls can now be accessed online via the ScotlandsPlaces website.

Hearth tax rolls vary in content and style. Some rolls merely summarise the number of hearths assessed in each parish or landed estate without giving the place names or the names of inhabitants. Others list the names of householders in each parish or estate without specifying the precise places they lived in or list the communities without listing many individual inhabitants. In a minority of cases the lists are subdivided by estate but also link named individuals to places.

This short introductory tutorial will show you examples of the five main formats of hearth tax rolls. In addition, it will allow you to get some practice in testing your handwriting skills of hearth tax records. For more information about the hearth tax and the records created during its collection see our introductory page.

List of places (Arran)
List of people and place (Maybole)
Summary of hearths (Kildrummy)
List of people (Lanark)
List of paupers (Inverness-shire)
Practice Section