27 September 2014

Launch of Scottish Valuation Rolls 1875- free Index Search for 2014

Announced on ScotlandsPeople 

-- and you can search the index for FREE until Dec. 31st!

Among the hundreds of thousands of Victorian Scots who can be found in the latest year of Valuation Rolls to be released on ScotlandsPeople are two of the most celebrated sportsmen of the era, the golfers Old Tom Morris and his eldest son Young Tom.
Valuation rolls for 1875 covering the whole of Scotland have become available, enabling searches for property owners, tenants and occupiers across Scotland from 1875 to 1920, and often revealing valuable information about the inter-census years. The latest addition comprises over 900,000 index entries and almost 72,000 digital images taken from 141 volumes of Valuation Rolls.
All the Rolls are fully searchable by name and address, and researchers can investigate people living, working and playing all over Scotland – from country estates to city tenements, castles to crofts, and factories to golf courses. Researchers at the National Records of Scotland were particularly interested to spot 17 golf clubs and societies around Scotland – from Ayrshire to Aberdeen – plus three Golf Inns.
Tom Morris father and son were not only renowned professional golfers, but Old Tom was also a sought-after maker of golf clubs and balls at his shop in St Andrews, where he was helped by his sons. His family was also prospering. Young Tom was already a successful professional player, having won the Open three times by the age of nineteen, and was newly-married. In early 1875 his daughter Elizabeth also married, but the year turned out to be the family’s ‘annus horribilis’, when tragic personal loss followed professional success.
Using the newly-available Valuation Rolls, and records of births, deaths, marriages and wills that are already on ScotlandsPeople, archivists at the National Records of Scotland have pieced together the sad tale of Old Tom and his family. ‘Old Tom Morris’s Terrible Year’, a special display at the National Records of Scotland, enables visitors to learn more about this remarkable story of repeated family loss and extraordinary resilience as Old Tom outlived all his children and their spouses.Old Tom continued his business and designed many golf courses in Scotland and beyond. When this elder statesman of Scottish golf died in 1908 at the age of 86, as the result of an accidental fall in the New Golf Club in St Andrews, only his grandchildren, Elizabeth’s children, survived him.
Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:“The Morrises helped Scotland’s golfing reputation to grow across the world, and we are using the outstanding historical resources of the National Records of Scotland to mark the Ryder Cup with a tribute to two remarkable Scottish sportsmen. The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1875 enables people worldwide to take a virtual peek into addresses throughout Scotland between 1841 and 1920 on the ScotlandsPeople website. This is part of the commitment of the National Records of Scotland to provide access to the key records that researchers want.”
The Valuation Rolls can be searched along with statutory registers, old parish registers, Catholic registers, census records, wills and testaments and coats of arms on the ScotlandsPeople website, at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.