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Hearth Tax (Scotland) (Tax)

Nature of Source

List of people liable to pay a tax on each hearth or fireplace in a building at a rate of 14 shillings Scots on every hearth. The records are arranged by county and parish. Although the tax was abolished in England, King William III (William II in Scotland) persisted with the tax in Scotland.

Not all counties show the taxpayer's names and the poor were exempt from the tax. Some records only show the total amount of hearths and do not record individuals. In the remoter parts of Scotland the tax proved difficult to collect and some are completely missing. They are arranged by county and parish and therefore finding an individual can be difficult.

Other Scotland Resources
Census Returns
Clan & Tartan Records
County & Local Histories
Court Records
Directories, Trade, Professional, Telephone & Street
Electoral Registers or Burgess Rolls
Emigration Records
Heraldic Coats of Arms & Seals
Kirk/Church Sessions
Land Tax Assessments & Returns
Maps & Gazetteers
Militia Lists
Monumental/Memorial Inscriptions
Newspapers, magazines & journals
Old Parish Registers-Baptisms (OPRs)
Old Parish Registers-Burials (OPRs)
Old Parish Registers-Marriages & Proclamations (OPRs)
Passenger Lists
Pedigrees and Family Histories
Poor Law Records
Registers of Deeds (Books of Council and Session)
Retours of Services of Heirs
Sasines, Registers of
Statistical Accounts of Scotland
Statutory Registration-Birth
Statutory Registration-Death
Statutory Registration-Marriage
Surname Origins and Distribution
Valuation Rolls & Stent Rolls
Wills/Testaments and Inheritance

Where Found

ScotlandsPeople Centre (The ScotlandsPeople Centre is the official government resource for family history research. Holdings include hearth tax lists 1691-1695 held in series E69. ScotlandsPeople Centre is a partnership between the National Records of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon. The National Records of Scotland was created on 1 April 2011 by the amalgamation of the National Archives of Scotland and General Register Office for Scotland)  
County Record Offices

Period Covered

1691 - 1695

Genealogical Value

Assessments and returns showing names of householders and their addresses. Look for other family members listed in the vicinity. Number of hearths per household.

Further References

Hearth Tax Related
 
Chapman, Colin. Pre 1841 Census and Population Listings in the British Isles: Lochin Publishing, 2002 Buy Now on Amazon
Gibson, Jeremy. The Hearth Tax, Other Later Stuart Tax Lists, and the Association Oath Rolls: FFHS, 1996 Buy Now on Amazon
Family History Guides  
Adolph, Anthony. Tracing Your Scottish Family History: Collins, 2008 Buy Now on Amazon
Bigwood, Rosemary: The Scottish Family Tree Detective: Tracing Your Ancestors in Scotland: Manchester University Press, 2007  Buy Now on Amazon
Clarke, T. Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: The Official Guide: Birlinn, 2012  Buy Now on Amazon
Cory, Kathleen B. Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Durie, Bruce. Scottish Genealogy: The History Press, 2012  Buy Now on Amazon
Durie, Bruce. Documents for Genealogy & Local History: The History Press, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Hamilton-Edwards, Gerald. In Search of Scottish Ancestry: Phillimore, 1983  Buy Now on Amazon
Holton, Graham & Winch, Jack. Discover Your Scottish Ancestry: Internet and Traditional Resources: Edinburgh University Press, 2009 (Preview available from Google Books)
 Buy Now on Amazon
James, Alwyn. Scottish Roots: From Gravestone to Website: The Step-By-Step Guide to Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: Luath Press, 2005 Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Tracing your Scottish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen & Sword, 2009  
Paton, Chris. Researching Scottish Family History: The Family History Partnership, 2010  Buy Now on Amazon
Stewart, Alan. My Ancestor was Scottish: Society of Genealogists, 2012  Buy Now on Amazon
Tovey, Helen. My Scottish Ancestry: Lomond Books, 2011  Buy Now on Amazon
Other  
Concise Scots Dictionary: Edinburgh University Press, 1999 (Preview available from Google Books) Buy Now on Amazon
Lynch, Michael. Oxford Companion to Scottish History: OUP Oxford, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon
Moffat, Alistair & Wilson, James. The Scots: A Genetic Journey: Birlinn, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon
Scots Dictionary: Collins, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
Richards, Eric. The Highland Clearances: Birlinn, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Timperley, Loretta R, (ed). A Directory of Land Ownership in Scotland c 1770: Scottish Record Society, 1976 Buy Now on Amazon
Torrance, Richard D. Scottish Trades, Professions, Vital Documents & Directories: Scottish Association of Family History Societies, 1998 Buy Now on Amazon

Websites

www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/guides/taxation-records (National Records of Scotland: Research Guides: Taxation Records)
www.knapdalepeople.com/hearthtax.htm (The Hearth Tax of Scotland, 1694)
www.sog.org.uk/events/pdf/2011-Show-Handouts/Land.pdf (Land Records in Scotland by Dr Bruce Durie)  
www.dsl.ac.uk (The Dictionary of the Scots Language: Electronic editions of the Older Scottish Tongue [DOST] and the Scottish National Dictionary [SND])
www.scotsdictionaries.org.uk (Scottish Language Dictionaries: The nation's resource for the Scots language)
www.scots-online.org/dictionary (Translate from Scots to English)

Online Databases

www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk (ScotlandsPlaces: Hearth tax records 1691-1695. The site provides access to digitised images taken from printed hearth tax books. See website for county covereage)
www.maybole.org/history/archives/hearthtax1691.htm (The Hearth Tax For Ayrshire 1691)
www.ayrshireroots.com/Genealogy/Records/Hearth%20Tax/Hearth%20Tax%20.htm (The 1691 Hearth Tax Rolls for Ayrshire)

Some local family history societies have produced transcribed lists for their area.

CD Roms

Scottish Genealogy Society (Transcribed lists of returns for a number of parishes)