Researching your ancestors from Great Britain and Ireland

A guide to researching your ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, using resources at State Library Victoria.



Valuation rolls

Valuation rolls were compiled for collecting local taxes and for recording property ownership through Scotland. They were updated annually from 1855 onwards. The rolls are divided into:

  • 1855-1989 valuation roll.
    These rolls record name and designation of the owner of a property,. tenant, occupier and annual rateable value. The valuation rolls for 1855-56 to 1957-1958 have been digitised but at this stage can only be viewed at the National Records of Scotland (NRS). Valuation rolls for the years 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930 and 1940 have also been digitised and can be accessed on the Scotlands People database (content is pay per view).
  • Council tax and other types of valuation record 1989-present.
    The National Records of Scotland (NRS) holds copies of the registers for those who paid 'Poll Tax' between 1989 and 1993 and Council tax valuation lists, 1993 onwards.
  • Pre-1855 valuation and other tax rolls.
    Before 1855, only a very few records of such taxes survive. There were several poll and hearth taxes levied at the end of the 17th century and from 1667 onwards there was a land tax. The surviving records of this land tax are held at the National Records of Scotland (NRS). Details on the type of taxes levied can be found on the NRS Taxation records website. Many of these records have been digitised and can be accessed on the ScotlandsPlaces website (content is pay per view).

For further information please go to the National Records of Scotland, Valuation Rolls website.

Estate records

Until the middle of the 19th century most Scots lived in the countryside, rather than in towns. If your ancestors worked the land, owned or rented property, the surviving records of landed estates may provide useful sources.

For information on locating Estate records please go to the National Records of Scotland, Estate records website.

Further information