Monday, 2 April 2012

A Sense of Community

As mentioned in an earlier psot, On March 28, the 1915 Valuation Rolls for Scotland were made public through the Scotlands People website. These were assessment records that were taken on an annual basis. They list the heads of each household , a brief description of what is on the property in terms of buildings out outbuildings, and occupation of the tenants and proprietors of each property. If a property was valued at a rate of less than £4, then they were not listed in the valuation rolls. I found the  Valuation Roll for Forrestfield, Shotts which lists my grandfather, Harry Crawford. He is listed as a tenant of a house and shed, valued at £4.10. He very nearly didn't make it into the Valuation Rolls! I guess that shed helped put him on the registers and has helped me to track him after the 1911 census!

The rolls also show an interesting view of life during the early part of WWI. And they give a sense of the community. As you can see here, Harry lived down the road from the school which lists the proprietor of the land as a Major William B Rankin of 3 Coates Crescent in Edinburgh. The water, drainage and electric were the responsibility of the Shotts School Board which had apparently leased the land from Major Rankin for the purposes of building a school in Forrestfield. Directly next to Harry, heading towards the school, is a home owned by the Lothians Quarry Company of Lower Gilmore Place. The home is unoccupied. Further along the road and to the other side of Harry, two doors down, is a Smithy shop. Thomas Dewar was the Smithy at the time. Next to the Smithy is an Inn & Grocery owned by Jessie McKerrscher. Jessie is listed as being a widow. The Grocer shop and Inn have been assessed has having an annual rental value of only £19 for the buildings but £25 for the value of the land. Next to the Inn are open grassy fields followed by the Old Toll House and the larger farm cottage and farm land. The farm and land have been valued at £28 for the year.

Really studying a document helps to provide some of the social history for our ancetor's lives.

Happy Searching!

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