Maps and Plans

Discover the maps, surveys and plans which show the city of Glasgow and west of Scotland counties like Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Ayrshire, throughout the centuries.

What do I need to know before I start?

Try to find out:

  • which area your ancestor lived or worked in

  • when your ancestor lived or worked there

​​​

What records can I find in The Mitchell: Special Collections and Glasgow City Archives?

Maps are useful for researching family history because they are visual sources which may give you information about the:

  • layout of an area around the time your ancestors lived there

  • nearest employers to your ancestors

  • nearest school or church to your ancestors

     

You should begin with the Ordnance Survey (OS) maps in Special Collections. The maps show public buildings such as schools, churches and halls as well as the outlines of many residential and commercial properties. There are several editions of OS maps at various scales produced for Lanarkshire and its surrounding areas throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries:

  • 1860

  • 1896

  • 1913

  • c.1934

  • later dates in the twentieth century at different scales

     

For other OS maps relating to Lanarkshire and its surrounding areas, please visit Glasgow City Archives.  

 

Special Collections holds Post Office maps of Glasgow during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Other street maps and plans of Glasgow are held which show the development of the city from the nineteenth century to date. 

 

In addition, Glasgow City Archives holds various administrative maps including those showing the poor law districts, sasine divisions, Church of Scotland churches and schools within the city.  Other types of administrative maps include those which show:

  • burghs annexed to the city

  • church parishes

  • civil parishes

     

The City Archives also holds many feuing, rental and estate plans for certain areas within Glasgow and its surrounding environs. Feuing was the term used in Scots law to describe the process of selling a piece of land. Feuing and renting plans can show the boundaries of the property being sold or rented. These plans can be found in the records of the Town Clerk (ref: D-TC13) and solicitors as well as in Family and Estate Records. Estate plans, which can give the names of tenants and show the location of their home, are often found in the collections of landed families, such as

  • Maxwells of Pollok (ref: T-PM)

  • Blythswood Estate (ref: TD234)

 

Estate plans are also found in the records of solicitors. For example, Glasgow City Archives holds the papers of A. .J. & A. Graham (ref: T-AG), among others. 

 

Additionally, Glasgow City Archives holds some surveys, feuing and rental plans for other areas in the west of Scotland including Argyllshire, Ayrshire, Buteshire, Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. 

 

The collections of the City Archives also include maps and plans of areas which were previously part of Glasgow, such as Rutherglen (ref: RU11). 

 

You can search for particular maps, plans and surveys by checking the manual card index available in the archives searchroom. 

 

Architectural Plans

 

If you are interested in learning more about the buildings in which your ancestors lived, you may like to search Glasgow City Archives’ collection of architectural plans. We hold plans for Glasgow (1885-2006) as well as plans for the annexed burghs:

  • Govan (1870-1912)

  • Hillhead (1873-1891)

  • Maryhill (1876)

  • Partick (1873-1912)

  • Pollokshaws (1893-1912)

  • Pollokshields East (1880-1887)

     

Our collections include plans for Rutherglen (1872-1975). Additionally, we also hold a selection of building plans for the parts of other counties which became part of Glasgow, principally Lanarkshire (1930-1975) but also a small number for Dunbartonshire (1900-1938) and Renfrewshire (1919-1925) . ​

What records can I see online?

You can access digitised copies of various maps on the National Library of Scotland (NLS) website.

What other resources will help me find information?

Books

Charles Masters, Essential maps for family historians (2009).

John Moore, The maps of Glasgow: a history and cartobibliography to 1865 (1996).

Glasgow City Archives leaflet on Architectural Plans provides some helpful information on the City Archive holdings and how to access them.

 

Websites

ScotlandsPlaces can help you to find where a particular place is located.