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 In 1889 many parish and county boundaries, based on an out-of-date pattern of landownership, had to be revised to meet the needs of local government.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.