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Published gazetteers and atlases

Historical gazetteers and atlases provide a wealth of information about the history of a place and it's evolution including information on early Scottish place names, parishes, and the organisation of the country at that time. Maps and diagrams provide invaluable information on boundary areas.

When a boundary line is drawn between places it can have a huge impact on the everyday life of the people who live there. These lines can affect how much local tax must be paid, who provides local services, which school children go to and where, and who owns what. Consequently boundaries are often disputed and have to be redrawn. For the historian, the boundaries between parishes, burghs and counties are important in determining where to find information about those places. Changes to boundary lines are therefore an issue. There were many changes to parish boundaries in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1889 many parish and county boundaries, based on an out-of-date pattern of landownership, had to be revised to meet the needs of local government. More boundary changes were made in 1900 and 1929. On this site you can read how the widespread boundary changes in 1889 affected towns, villages and individual houses in Scotland.

  1. An Atlas of Scottish History to 1707

    An Atlas of Scottish History to 1707 provides a wealth of information about Scotland's history from the Roman's and Vikings onwards. With information on early Scottish place names, parish churches, acts passed during rule, Sheriffdoms, baronies, lordships, earldoms, overseas trade, linguistics, maps, diagrams, and more, the atlas pulls together information and resources to paint a picture of early Scotland. This atlas has been produced under the imprint of the Scottish Medievalists and the Department of Geography of the University of Edinburgh. It replaces the earlier work, An Historical Atlas of Scotland c.400 - c.1600 which was published in 1975 by the Scottish Medievalists and which went out of print some years ago.
  2. Hay Shennan, County and Parish Boundaries, 1892

    Discover the pages of the book "Boundaries of Counties and Parishes in Scotland as Settled By the Boundary Commissioners Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889." This book was published by William Green and Sons in Edinburgh, 1892. Here researchers can locate information on the boundary changes that took places in Scotland in 1889. Such changes effected the boundaries of counties, parishes, and burghs.