In 1855 a uniform system of property valuation was established in Scotland and its records give the names of proprietors and occupiers along with the rateable value of each property. The rolls were produced annually and include every property for which there was a rateable value.
The valuation rolls are extremely useful for pinpointing the year an event happened, such as the date a property was built, the date the occupier changed, or the date a property was deleted from the roll. From 1990 the valuation rolls only list business addresses as rating of domestic properties was abolished with the introduction of Council Tax, and valuations for this purpose being fixed.
The physical volumes of valuation rolls can be large, and we may have to limit the amount we produce as a result. This is to protect not only the volumes from wear and tear, but also to protect our staff! All the valuation rolls we hold are at our Old Aberdeen House office.
A fee is charged to those using these records for commercial, business or legal purposes (this includes finding out the length of tenancy for house purchasing) and for staff searches. Please see our Table of Fees for further information.
Please note that the National Records of Scotland have made indexes and images of valuation rolls for 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930, 1935 and 1940 are available to search on Scotland's People.
Information in the Valuation Rolls
The rolls are set out by parish or ward, and then by street. Depending on the roll, the streets may or may not be listed in alphabetical order, which can make them difficult to find. Some of the larger Aberdeen Burgh valuation rolls have been indexed by street. If you are looking for a person, and only know the parish they were residing in, using the valuation rolls to locate them can therefore be time consuming.
Note also that the valuation rolls do not list everyone who was resident in a property, only the head tenant. This means if a family or individual was lodging with someone else, they may well not appear in the valuation roll at all. The roll was usually taken in May (Whitsunday) and lasted until the following year, so the information contained within also depends on when in the year an event took place.
The full covering dates of the records we hold are:
|Aberdeen City*||1855 - date|
1859/60, 1864/65, 1869/70, 1874/75, 1879/80 - 1901/02, 1903/04 - 1974/75
|Banff County*||1877/78, 1891/92 - 1974/75
*The burghs of Cullen and Banff are only included after 1919/20*
|Kincardine County*||1862/63, 1869/70, 1873/74, 1878/78, 1881/82 - 1974/75
*Inverbervie burgh is only included after 1930/31*
|Moray County*||1902/03 - 1974/75|
|Grampian Region*||1975 - date|
|Peterculter Parish||1855/56, 1871/72, 1886/87, 1893/94 - 1911/12, 1913/14 - 1926/27|
|Skene Parish||1855/56 - 1861/62|
|Inverurie Burgh||1864/65 - 1869/70, 1871/72 - 1931/32|
|Fraserburgh Burgh||1865/65 - 1869/70, 1871/72 - 1931/32|
|Elgin Burgh*||1899/1900, 1920/21 - 1972/73|
|Forres Burgh*||1920/21, 1930/31 - 1971/72|
* are the property of Grampian Valuation Joint Board, and not of Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives.
Complete sets from 1855 are held by the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, and are being made available through their Virtual Volumes system.