Scotland Land and Property

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Land records can help you determine where and when your family lived in a specific place. Sometimes these records will be based on inheritance, and such records will often mention two or more generations of a family. In Scotland the land system had feudal roots in which the crown owned all of the land.
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[[Image:Cottage, Pitmedden Garden - geograph.org.uk - 507812.jpg|thumb|right|350x250px]]
  
In general, there are three types of Scottish land records:
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Land records can help you determine where and when your family lived in a specific place. Sometimes these records will be based on inheritance, and such records will often mention two or more generations of a family. In Scotland the land system had feudal roots in which the crown owned all of the land.
  
* [[Service of Heirs or Retours]]
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=== Jurisdictions  ===
* [[Sasines]]
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* [[Deeds]]
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The general register usually contains land transactions that involved more than one burgh or county. They also recorded land transactions that affected Scottish interests in other countries, such as Nova Scotia.
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Many courts were involved in actions regarding land. Some of the most important courts were:
* The particular register usually contains land transactions that involved a single county or burgh (city).
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*Chancery Courts
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*Court of Session
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*Sheriff Courts
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*Burgh Courts
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*Commissary Courts
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*Regality Courts
  
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===  ===
  
=== Register of Deeds ===
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=== Property-related Records  ===
  
The Register of Deeds is another type of land record. In the strictest sense of the word, the register of deeds was used to preserve any legal, written agreement. In addition to land transactions, you will find marriage contracts, contracts of partnership, contracts of sale, bonds, and so forth.
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In general, there are four types of Scottish land and property records, explained in the following articles:
  
If a land transaction was recorded with a deed, you should also find a reference to the transaction in Sasine records.
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*[[Service of Heirs or Retours|Service of Heirs or Retours]]
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*[[Sasines|Sasines]]
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*[[Deeds|Deeds]]
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*[[Scotland Estate Records|Estate Records]]<br>
  
Before 1532, deeds are scattered through the Notarial Protocol books. In 1532 when the Court of Session was established, the deeds were recorded in the session and the register was called ''Acta’ Dominorum Concilii et Sessionis''. In 1542 it was changed to the Acts and Decreets, which covers up to the year 1581.
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=== Valuation Rolls  ===
  
The actual ''Register of Deeds'' begins in 1554, but deed transactions were not regularly recorded until 1661. The 1554 register was kept in three series.
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Taxes were determined by the value of the land. These records are called 'valuation rolls' and exist sporadically before 1855. The book entitled "Directory of Landownership in Scotland circa 1770" is based in part on the valuation rolls for that year. The FHL has only a few of these records and most are listed in the NAS online catalog with the reference of VR. To learn more about these records go to [http://www.nas.gov.uk/guides/valuationRolls.asp http://www.nas.gov.uk/guides/valuationRolls.asp]<br>
  
The first series goes from 1554 to 1660 and is indexed from 1555 to 1595. The Family History Library has minute books (brief extracts of originals) that begin on 1542 and go to 1660. You can use these extracts instead of indexes.
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=== Ultimus Haeres  ===
  
The second series, from 1661 to 1811, has three sections: Durie, Dalrymple, and Mackenzie. (These are the names of the officer that kept the registers.) You will need to search all three sections.
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If a person died 'intestate' (without leaving a document for probate) and had no known heirs, the Crown was the 'last heir' or 'ultimus haeres.' There is no succession to or through the mother for either heritable or moveable property. If the deceased has only relatives on his mother's side of the family, including half-brothers and sisters, they could not directly inherit. However, relatives could '''petition''' the Crown to inherit a portion of an estate. Location of these petitions are handled as follows:
  
The Scottish Record Office has the original records and available indexes. The Family History Library has:
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*Grants of petitions for moveable property before 1834 were recorded under the Privy Seal. Indexes survive in various forms including minute books.&nbsp;
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*Grants of petitions for heritable property before 1834 are sporadic and unindexed.  
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*Records since 1834 are more consistent and complete and are indexed by the name of the deceased.
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*The petitions are part of the collection of the Exchequer (NAS online catalogue reference E).
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*The Family History Library does not have the petitions on microfilm.<br>
  
* Printed indexes from 1661 to 1696 (36 volumes).
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=== For More Information  ===
* Copies of manuscript indexes from 1770 to 1811, granters (grantors) only.
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* Minute books from 1661 to 1770 for the Mackenzie section and from 1661 to 1772 for Durie and Dalrymple.
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The third series is from 1812 onward. Manuscript indexes are available for the whole period. The indexes, the original records, and minute books are available at the Scottish Record Office. The Family History Library has indexes from 1812 to 1851 on microfilm.
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For more information about sasine, service of heir, deeds, and other Scottish land and property records, see the following website and books:
  
To find deed records at the Family History Library, look in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under SCOTLAND, LAND AND PROPERTY. The following book also lists film numbers:
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[http://www.nas.gov.uk/ National Archives of Scotland] Look at the "Guides to Records".  
  
''Sasines, Services of Heirs, and Deeds Register''. (FHL book 941 R2ss; fiche 6054478.)
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Dobson, David. ''Scottish-American Heirs 1683-1883.'' Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1990. (Family History Library {{FHL|941 D2d|disp=book 941 D2d}}.)  
  
You will also find deeds recorded in sheriff courts, commissary courts, and burgh records. Many of these have been deposited in the Scottish Record Office. Most are not indexed, so you will have to search them year by year.
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''Encyclopedia of the Laws of Scotland.'' 16 vols and 2 supps. Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Green &amp; Son, Limited, 1926. (Family History Library {{FHL|941 P36e|disp=book 941 P36e}}.)
  
=== For More Information ===
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Gibb, Andrew Dewar. ''Students’ Glossary of Scottish Legal Terms.'' Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Green &amp; Son, Ltd., 1946. (Family History Library {{FHL|138057|title-id|disp=book 941 P36g}}.)
  
For more information about sasine, service of heir, deeds, and other Scottish land and property records, see the following books:
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Gouldesbrough, Peter. ''Formulary of Old Scots Legal Documents.'' Vol. 36. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Stair Society, 1985. (Family History Library {{FHL|437197|title-id|disp=book 941 B4st v.36}}.)
  
Dobson, David. ''Scottish-American Heirs 1683-1883.'' Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1990. (FHL book 941 D2d.)
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''An Introductory Survey of the Sources and Literature of Scots Law.'' Vol. 1. The Stair Society. Edinburgh, Scotland: Robert Maclehose &amp; Co., Ltd. for The Stair Society, 1936. (Family History Library{{FHL|248949|title-id|disp=book 941 B4st; film 1426033}}.)  
  
''Encyclopedia of the Laws of Scotland.'' 16 vols and 2 supps. Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Green &amp; Son, Limited, 1926. (FHL book 941 P36e.)
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Sinclair, Cecil. ''Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Scottish Record Office.'' Edinburgh, Scotland: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1990. (Family History Library {{FHL|941 D27s|disp=book 941 D27s}}.)  
  
Gibb, Andrew Dewar. ''Students’ Glossary of Scottish Legal Terms.'' Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Green &amp; Son, Ltd., 1946. (FHL book 941 P36g.)
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{{Template:Pros-Scot}}
  
Gouldesbrough, Peter. ''Formulary of Old Scots Legal Documents.'' Vol. 36. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Stair Society, 1985. (FHL book 941 B4st v.36.)
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{{Place|Scotland}}
  
''An Introductory Survey of the Sources and Literature of Scots Law.'' Vol. 1. The Stair Society. Edinburgh, Scotland: Robert Maclehose &amp; Co., Ltd. for The Stair Society, 1936. (FHL book 941 B4st; film 1426033.)
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{{featured article}}
  
Sinclair, Cecil. ''Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Scottish Record Office.'' Edinburgh, Scotland: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1990. (FHL book 941 D27s.)
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[[Category:Scotland|Land and Property]]

Revision as of 21:49, 19 December 2012

Cottage, Pitmedden Garden - geograph.org.uk - 507812.jpg

Land records can help you determine where and when your family lived in a specific place. Sometimes these records will be based on inheritance, and such records will often mention two or more generations of a family. In Scotland the land system had feudal roots in which the crown owned all of the land.

Contents

Jurisdictions

Many courts were involved in actions regarding land. Some of the most important courts were:

  • Chancery Courts
  • Court of Session
  • Sheriff Courts
  • Burgh Courts
  • Commissary Courts
  • Regality Courts

Property-related Records

In general, there are four types of Scottish land and property records, explained in the following articles:

Valuation Rolls

Taxes were determined by the value of the land. These records are called 'valuation rolls' and exist sporadically before 1855. The book entitled "Directory of Landownership in Scotland circa 1770" is based in part on the valuation rolls for that year. The FHL has only a few of these records and most are listed in the NAS online catalog with the reference of VR. To learn more about these records go to http://www.nas.gov.uk/guides/valuationRolls.asp

Ultimus Haeres

If a person died 'intestate' (without leaving a document for probate) and had no known heirs, the Crown was the 'last heir' or 'ultimus haeres.' There is no succession to or through the mother for either heritable or moveable property. If the deceased has only relatives on his mother's side of the family, including half-brothers and sisters, they could not directly inherit. However, relatives could petition the Crown to inherit a portion of an estate. Location of these petitions are handled as follows:

  • Grants of petitions for moveable property before 1834 were recorded under the Privy Seal. Indexes survive in various forms including minute books. 
  • Grants of petitions for heritable property before 1834 are sporadic and unindexed.
  • Records since 1834 are more consistent and complete and are indexed by the name of the deceased.
  • The petitions are part of the collection of the Exchequer (NAS online catalogue reference E).
  • The Family History Library does not have the petitions on microfilm.

For More Information

For more information about sasine, service of heir, deeds, and other Scottish land and property records, see the following website and books:

National Archives of Scotland Look at the "Guides to Records".

Dobson, David. Scottish-American Heirs 1683-1883. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1990. (Family History Library book 941 D2d.)

Encyclopedia of the Laws of Scotland. 16 vols and 2 supps. Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Green & Son, Limited, 1926. (Family History Library book 941 P36e.)

Gibb, Andrew Dewar. Students’ Glossary of Scottish Legal Terms. Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Green & Son, Ltd., 1946. (Family History Library book 941 P36g.)

Gouldesbrough, Peter. Formulary of Old Scots Legal Documents. Vol. 36. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Stair Society, 1985. (Family History Library book 941 B4st v.36.)

An Introductory Survey of the Sources and Literature of Scots Law. Vol. 1. The Stair Society. Edinburgh, Scotland: Robert Maclehose & Co., Ltd. for The Stair Society, 1936. (Family History Librarybook 941 B4st; film 1426033.)

Sinclair, Cecil. Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Scottish Record Office. Edinburgh, Scotland: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1990. (Family History Library book 941 D27s.)