From tenements to palaces - these records offer a fascinating snapshot of Scotland during the Edwardian era and are a major new genealogy resource
Over 2 million names of Scots included in the property records for 1905 are being released today online for the first time via ScotlandsPeople, the official government family history website. The new records, known as the Valuation Rolls and comprising over 2.4 million indexed names and over 74,000 digital images, cover every kind of building, structure or property in Scotland which were assessed as having a rateable value.
The Rolls also reveal much about the changing social fabric of Scotland at this time – such as the growth in women owning property and running businesses, the rise in sports and recreation clubs, the development of music halls and theatres, and the expansion of railway hotels. As the Rolls include details about rents and the value of property, they will also help researchers to learn more about the cost of living during this period.
Fully-searchable by name and address, the records list the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property - so genealogists, historians and other researchers can now discover fresh insights into their ancestors’ lives through viewing these new records. As the 1905 Rolls appear between census years, they will be invaluable for genealogists who are trying to fill in gaps about their ancestors.
People from all social classes are included in the 1905 Valuation Rolls - from well-known land and property owners, to the tenants of Scotland’s tenements. Some of the famous Scots whose property situation appears in the records are AJ Balfour, Keir Hardie, Sir Hugh Munro, Lady Gordon Cathcart, Lord Armitstead and Donald Stewart (head gamekeeper to Queen Victoria).
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:
“ScotlandsPeople is a wonderful gateway to Scotland’s wealth of archives that tell the story of our nation and its people. I welcome this latest addition to their digital resources, which can be enjoyed by the people of Scotland, and people of Scottish descent everywhere.”
Audrey Robertson, Acting Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:
"The latest release of details about property owners and tenants in 1905 will be very useful for people researching the history of their family, or of their house or local area. The rolls can be searched alongside other records in ScotlandsPeople, and may help locate people who cannot be found in other sources.”
Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of brightsolid, the company that enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland, said:
“The publication of the 1905 Valuation Rolls on ScotlandsPeople is another important piece of the jigsaw for helping people to trace their Scottish ancestry. As well as appealing to people’s fascination with property, these new records will complement the 1911 Census records that were published on ScotlandsPeople in 2011.”
The Valuation Rolls will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), and at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh. These new online records will be interesting both to people in Scotland and to the Scottish diaspora across the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the rest of the world.