Valuation Rolls

How to find your ancestors in valuations rolls for property in towns and county areas in Glasgow and the west of Scotland over 300 years.

What do I need to know before I start? 

Try to find out: 

  • name

  • address (required)

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

In 1855 a new system of valuation began in Scotland, which introduced annual rolls for the tax on property in every burgh and county in Scotland. These include rateable commercial and domestic property. Rates on domestic property ceased in 1988 with the introduction of the council tax.

 

The valuation rolls give the names of the proprietor and tenants. Tenants' occupations were normally given until 1918, and were recorded less consistently thereafter until they disappeared in about 1957/1958.

 

The City Archives holds the annual valuation for:  

  • Argyll, 1872, 1881 – 1902, 1960, 1975, 1981, 1988

  • Ayr, 1976, 1981, 1988

  • Bute, 1926 – 1975

  • Dunbartonshire, 1872 – 1873,  1893-2012

  • Glasgow, 1855-1912 (samples only, though good for burghs such as Govan, Pollokshaws etc.), 1913/1914-1987/88

  • Rutherglen, 1863-64, 1914-15, 1929/30-1971/72 (Glasgow from 1975)

  • Lanarkshire, 1855 – 1872, 1894 – 1895, 1975 - 1990

  • Renfrewshire, 1907– 1984

 

Special Collections holds valuation rolls from 1953/54 to 2010.

 

Registrars

 

A selection of valuation rolls for all of Scotland have been digitally imaged. This is part of an on-going programme. Copies of these images, together with a full index, are one of the many resources available as part of the ScotlandsPeople network which you can access in the Registrars on payment of a daily fee. Currently available are: 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1920.

 

Early Valuation Rolls 

 

The City Archives has a number of earlier valuation rolls, variously called assessment, cess, or stent rolls, for towns and country areas.

  

These include County valuations for the following areas: 

  • Argyllshire, 1751 

  • Ayrshire, 1705-1975

  • Buteshire, 1771

  • Dunbartonshire, c.1779, 1811-1825, 1872-1873, 1840

  • Lanarkshire, 1722, 1738, 1747-1872, 1837, 1894-1895

  • Renfrewshire, 1654, 1735, 1746

 

The County valuations can be sporadic. They were not regularly produced and they vary in format. Some only have values, others only proprietors. By the 18th century you will normally find estate names. They become most useful for the family historian in the mid-18th century when they become more elaborate, giving estate name, owner, and (sometimes) the tenant or occupier. 

 

In the Burghs, the stent rolls are a chance survival. The City Archives has:

  • stent roll, Glasgow, 1697

  • none for 18th century

  • 1000 rolls for individual wards providing a very incomplete coverage from 1802 to 1911

  • cholera rate book, 1832, database (original is in Special Collections)

  • Rutherglen, 17th to 18th century

What records can I see online?

A small selection of the valuation rolls for Scotland are available online on ScotlandsPeople for the payment of a fee. Discounted vouchers for this website can be purchased in person at Special Collections.

​What records can I find elsewhere?

The National Records of Scotland holds many early valuation rolls, dating from the mid-17th century, as well copies of the annual valuation lists for all of Scotland from 1855.

What other resources will help me find me information?

Websites

The Glasgow Story has the 1913/1914 Valuation Roll for Glasgow.

Images of the valuation rolls for 1905, 1915 and 1920 can be purchased on the ScotlandsPeople​ website. Discounted vouchers for this website can be purchased in person at Special Collections.

 

Books

Loretta Timperley, A Directory of Scottish Landownership in 1770 (Scottish Record Society, 1976)