Type details for Scottish Parish

Type:Scottish Parish
Number of units in system: 956
Geographical Level: 11 (Parish)
ADL Feature Type:countries, 4th order divisions
May be part of: Scottish Burgh/District , Scottish Poor Law Combination , Scottish County
Possible status values: City Ward (ScoWard)

Full Description:

Scotland has been divided into parishes since early medieval times, but there have been many boundary changes, amalgamations, changes of name and abolitions. It is important to distinguish between civil parishes and ecclesiastical parishes. Initially parishes were areas of land, whose inhabitants were compelled to pay a proportion of their produce or income (in Scotland called teinds) to support the Church. These were ecclesiastical parishes. By the seventeenth century the crown divided the country into burghs and sheriffdoms (or counties) and into parishes for the purposes of taxation. Between 1845 and 1860 elected parochial boards were formed in most parishes. These were known as civil parishes. The boundaries of many civil parishes and ecclesiastical parishes diverged after 1845. The civil parish was a unit of local government between 1845 and 1975. Many classes of historical record are arranged by parish, including valuation rolls, tax records, church records, poor relief records and education records. It is important, therefore, to know which parish(es) a place was in and which county (or counties) a parish was in. Many civil parish boundaries changed between 1845 and 1975, especially around 1891-1900, when the Boundary Commission rationalised parish and county boundaries. The SCAN Gazetteer attempts to take these changes into account. Boundary changes can explain why a place might appear in the records in one parish for a while, and then, apparently, disappear. ((c) The Scottish Archives Network Ltd. All rights reserved 2000)