Sunday, 9 March 2014

ScotlandsPlaces - new records update

ScotlandsPlaces ( has added three new collections to its site, as follows:

Inhabited House Tax 1778-1798 - from the site:

Duties on inhabited houses were first imposed in 1778. The resulting tax schedules (E326/3/1-65), drawn up by the Exchequer, were bound by counties, with royal burghs included under their respective counties. An exception is the burgh schedules for 1786-87 and 1789-90, which were found several years after the above arrangement was made and which have been bound in alphabetical order for each year (E326/63-64). The schedules for 1793-94, 1795-96 and 1796-97 are entirely wanting, except for the 1793-94 schedules for Inverness-shire and Inverness burgh (vol. 21). After 1798 this duty was incorporated in the comprehensive Assessed Taxes Schedules.

RCAHMS Inventories 1909-1992 - from the site:

Initially, RCAHMS recorded all buildings and monuments of note until the year 1707. This was later updated to 1805. The findings were published in a series of inventories. Changes in what constitutes a construction "of note", plus developments in how the public could access this information, led to the abandonment of the inventories after publication of the last Argyll volume in 1992. Consequently, only approximately half of Scotland was covered by this method.

Alexander Curle 1908-1913 (diaries) - from the site:

Alexander Curle was the RCAHMS secretary between 1908 and 1913. Little did Alexander Curle realise as he penned the words 'Having started on my course of inspection of the ancient monuments of Scotland I have deemed it advisable to keep a journal wherein I may record my various experiences and adventures as such may from time to time befall me', that his 'Private journal of a wandering Antiquary' would be treasured today as one of the initial items in the RCAHMS collections. Please note that the 1st Curle diary which covers 1913 to 1953 will be added in the coming months.

I note also that the first eight volumes of Aberdeen burgh records have been added to the site. Some blurb on this also:

The first eight volumes of Aberdeen burgh registers, which cover the period 1398 – 1511, are included in the UK Register of Important Documentary Heritage, part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. The 5,238 pages of the first eight volumes represent the earliest and most complete body of surviving records of any Scottish town. Alongside the Exchequer Rolls and the Register of the Great Seal held by the National Records of Scotland, these records are the only surviving near-continuous record for Scotland in the fifteenth century which give an unrivalled insight into the political and social life of the Scottish medieval town. Aberdeen's medieval city council functioned both as a policy making unit and as a legal court and usually met twice a week. The early council records contain not only documents of detailed council discussions of policy, but also of the council's more routine concerns, such as legal decisions in hundreds of disputes between citizens, either at the instigation of individuals or the council's own officials.

Full details on these are at


My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, which commences May 14th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.


  1. "Inhabited House Tax 1778-1798" sounded really interesting... However, "Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors" points out (as I'm sure you knew!) that "only the better off were taxed. A house had to have at least 7 windows, or a rent of at least £5 yearly before it was liable for tax."

    This limit seems to apply to Window Tax and similar taxes, as well...

    Putting the jokes about peasant ancestors to one side, this does illustrate an issue about ScotlandsPlaces - although £15 for 3 months access seems very reasonable, it seems to me that if you have absolutely no idea whether any of your relatives will appear, then there is a high risk of paying out £15 for zero return. So why would I?


  2. You can access the transcriptions on ScotlandsPlaces for free, you just need a subscription to view the original images.

    Admittedly, not everything is yet transcribed and the quality of some transcriptions is variable, but for at least some records you can see whether a particular individual is listed before paying for a subscription.

  3. Good points, Kirsty. Brucefuimus, I agree pay-per-view might be a good option, but still reckon it is worth it if you make that a priority for the 3 months - heavens to Betsy, you can pay almost that for a single BMD record from some countries. I found lots, some unexpected, most gave me good lead. And if you have time there is lotsa good stuff to browse. Damn shame I didn't download them effectively . . . I'll be on it again. Buzzy G.