Scotlandâ€™s wealthier residents during the 17th and 18th century have had their taxÂ records laid bare by the ScotlandsPlaces project, with handwritten records nowÂ transcribed and available online.
Over 3000 volunteers from across the globe have been working since last autumn toÂ transcribe over 181,000 pages of historic archives dating from 1645-1880. There are more than one million records originally written in Scots, Gaelic, EnglishÂ and Latin, covering land taxation, taxes on clocks and watches, windows and farmÂ horses, and Ordnance Survey â€˜Name Booksâ€™, which formed the first official record ofÂ Scotland places and place names.
The transcriptions of these records have now been added to a treasure trove ofÂ historical information on the Scotlandâ€™s Places website, www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk,Â which brings together records from three of Scotlandâ€™s national archives: the RoyalÂ Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), theÂ National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the National Library of Scotland (NLS).
Andrew Nicoll, ScotlandsPlaces Outreach Officer said, “Now that these archives have been digitised, you can sit at your desk at home in Glasgow, in a library in Stonehaven or in a cafe in Melbourne and get closer to family or a place in Scotland instantly.
â€œPrior to 1811 there was no income tax, so items that were considered luxury goodsÂ were taxed instead. This ranged from clocks and watches to pet dogs and servants.
â€œWe appealed for thousands of volunteers last year to crowdsource the transcriptionÂ task and the result has been impressive. Their work has brought to life some ofÂ Scotlandâ€™s most famous figures figures, as well as the ordinary man and woman in theÂ street.â€
The records are available to view online at www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk