Monday, January 28, 2013

3 reasons to use Scottish Valuation Rolls

Until 1855, works carried out for the benefit of the public, for example, repair of the roads, removal of refuse and soil heaps, care for the sick and relief for the unemployed poor were carried out sporadically.

Initially these works were funded by the landowners, by the Crown, and public benefactors; as towns and cities grew in the 19th century, increasingly by levying a tax on householders.

However, with no standard system for determining the rate of the tax, its frequency, or penalties for non-payment; collection was often erratic, people refused to pay, could not be found to pay, could not afford to pay; in most years, the authorities had to scale down the works or relief offered to match the sums collected.

The most used valuation rolls are lists of properties, their owners, and occupiers produced for the purposes of taxation between 1855 and 1989 by assessors in council areas.

The Lands Valuation (Scotland) Act 1854 established a system of Assessors’ offices in each county and royal burgh in Scotland. Until the abolition of counties and burghs in 1975, these Assessors produced annual valuation rolls, listing properties whose actual or theoretical annual rental value was above a statutory minimum.         

Why use Valuation Rolls in your research ?
Well, mainly for 3 reasons:
  1. to put some flesh on the bones of your family history
  2. to help with finding people in the censuses
  3. to check information in the census
The rolls include the address of the property, its description (cottage, dwelling house, shop, workshop, etc), the owner's name, the name of the tenant, and, in most cases, the name of the occupier, the annual rental value.

Scotland's People have announced the availability of Valuation Rolls for 1905. This adds to their collection for 1915.

The 1895 valuation rolls are expected to be released later in the year.

Alternatively, come to our conference on 11 May at Galashiels and search the rolls there on Scotland's People's stand.

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