Land rolls of 1895 made public in online trove

Glasgow's Necropolis is among the sites and people on the rolls. Picture: Robert Perry
Glasgow's Necropolis is among the sites and people on the rolls. Picture: Robert Perry
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THE lives of more than two million Scots from the late Victorian age are illuminated in a treasure trove of newly-published records.

Famous names and wealthy proprietors mingle with humble tenants in property valuation rolls from 1895, released online today. The records of Scottish buildings and their owners give an insight into society at the time and are a valuable resource for historians and genealogists, researchers said.

They include more than two million names and 75,000 digital images of every kind of property in Scotland that was assessed as having a rateable value.

Well-known Scots who appear in the rolls include author Neil Munro, creator of the Para Handy tales; grocery millionaire Sir Thomas Lipton, now famous for Lipton’s Tea; and painter Anne Redpath.

Among the entries, researchers at the National Records of Scotland found reference to the opening of Scotland’s first crematorium in Glasgow’s Western Cemetery or Necropolis in 1895. The roll also reveals the names, job titles and yearly rent of staff at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, lists officers stationed at Edinburgh Castle and details staff who worked at prisons from Peterhead to Perth.

Researchers also found numerous examples of tee-names, which were widely used in communities in the North-east and elsewhere to distinguish between people of the same name.

The rolls were released on ScotlandsPeople, the government’s family history website.

Tim Ellis, registrar general and keeper of the Records of Scotland, said: “The release of the valuation rolls for 1895 will prove invaluable for family and local history research.”

The rolls can be accessed at or at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh.