Saturday, 10 October 2009

New Perth records on Ancestry

Hi folks,

I'm currently in Crete, but that's no excuse to stop the news!

As mentioned on this blog in the past, some Scottish records for Perth are being indexed through Ancestry's World Archive Project. I've been informed by reader Tunji Lees that some of those are now online, and that these are:

-Tax & Rent Records Perth, Scotland (pre-1855)
-Valuation Registers Perth, Scotland (1857-1899)
-Perth, Scotland, Survey of Inhabitants (1766 & 1773)

I'm not in a position just now to verify these, though the 1766 and 1773 records are the censuses for Perth that were recently digitised by Ancestry, along with the valuation rolls. The 1802 militia act survey for Perth has also been digitised and indexed, and an example was shown on this blog a few weeks past, so not sure if these are available yet, and school registers for Perth are also being indexed. Will see what I can dig up when I get back next week!

UPDATE 16 OCT 09: OK folks, had a time to look now that I am back, and the records are not in fact online yet. They have been added to the schedule of records to be indexed through the World Archives Project and are as follows:

Tax & Rent Records Perth, Scotland

The County Cess and Valuation Rolls were compiled prior to 1855 for the purpose of tax collection. The tax applied only to land owners and not tenants. The Perth Burgh and Stent Rolls list the county inhabitants who were required to pay taxes within the burgh. All the rolls contain names, which are normally followed by occupations, of either the proprietor only or the tenant and the proprietor together. The fields to be keyed are: Proprietor Name, Tenant Name, Parish, Year, and Call Number. There are two form types from which to choose in order to key the fields: Tax Roll and Book Cover/ Title Page. A third form type is Index which is needed to separate out any index images but from which nothing is being keyed.

The project difficulty is set at Advanced because of the legibility and condition of the records. Most are legible and in good condition, but on quite a few images many names are written per page. A link for handwriting helps is included in the project instructions.

Example images at

Valuation Registers Perth, Scotland

The Valuation rolls describe the property, name the proprietors and tenants, and contain the annual rental value. Up until 1884 tenants with leases less than one year and a low rental value were omitted. This project spans the years 1857-1899.

The clear images and machine-produced records allow for easy keying. The project difficulty level is set as Average due to the number of records per image.

Example images at

I can't see anything on the site about the Perth 1766 and 1773 censuses, but have no doubt that these are also underway, as I saw them actually being digitised at the A. K. Bell Library in Perth two years ago. The 1802 Militia Act and the Perth school registers have not yet been made available, but are completely indexed now. I suspect there will be a big release rather than them being dripped out a collection at a time, so I guess we'll just have to wait a while longer!

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Anonymous said...

I'm from Perth so I'm very interested in these new additions. How the heck do I access and search them though? I have an Ancestry sub but can't seem to find these records. :-(

Chris Paton said...

Hi Joe,

Sorry for the delay in coming back to you, I've been on holiday and am only back.

I have now had a chance to look into this properly - in fact the records are not online yet, but are being indexed, along the lines of other Perth collections I have already commented on. I have updated the initial post with further on this.

Just to add, Ancestry was at the A K Bell for three months in 2007, and digitised an absolute tonne of stuff, so when this does come online, you'll be in for some very special treats! The only other county Ancestry has also had a major involvement in up here in Scotland is Fife, where they relocated after doing Perth - hence why newspaper indexes for Perth and Fife are already online. As soon as I find any more, I'll shout it out loud - my own lot come from Perth, so I'll be first in the queue!