Monthly Archives: December 2014

Valuation Roll search leads to a puzzle

ScotlandsPeople are making searches of the Valuation Rolls free for a limited time. You have to pay 2 credits to view an actual image of a page of the rolls, but it’s free to search and see the search results, which are reasonably detailed. And very useful the Valuation Rolls can be.

But searching the newly released 1925 rolls gave me a surprise. My great grandfather William Fraser was a long-time tenant of Mosside Croft near Hatton in Aberdeenshire – as was his father and grandfather before him. In 1920 the Valuation Roll lists him as a tenant of John Bruce of Yonderton. However, in 1925 William Fraser is listed as the proprietor of the croft and house Moss-side.

Why, when and how did William Fraser become a proprietor instead of a tenant? The owner of Yonderton had changed from John Bruce to Robert Reid between 1920 and 1925, and a search of the records came up with a death for a John Bruce registered in Cruden in 1921. Wills and testaments on ScotlandsPeople go up to 1925, and John’s Bruce’s Inventory was there. His assets included “heritage sold prior to deceased’s death” of House & Farm of Yonderton to Robert Reid for £6,000 plus several purchases of crofts to what were most likely their tenants, including “Wm. Fraser purchase price of house and croft, Upper Mossend £60.” It’s rental value was £6 so William Fraser paid ten years’ rent in order to own the croft outright.

Thus my great grandfather actually owned Mosside Croft from 1925 onwards. I do know that the croft was lived in, at the time of my great-grandfather’s death in 1946, by his step-granddaughter Helen Rennie and her husband Allan Thomson, who had married in 1944. So it looks as if Mosside was passed onto the people who lived with him and looked after him in his old age. Nice to know it went to someone deserving.

I’m back again!

My blog has not been getting my attention lately – the reason is called “life intervenes”. But Christmas is now here, there’s still a bit of snow on the ground from Boxing Day, and life is a lot quieter than it has been of late. So one of my New Year resolutions will be to get back into family history and adding things to my blog.

There are a few comments I need to reply to, so a big thank you to everyone who has left a message. I do reply, eventually, but unless you tick the (small) box asking to receive an email when a reply to you comment is posted you may never know – unless, of course, you revisit the blog page where you left your comment. So if you haven’t seen a reply to a comment you’ve left, just let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction.

In my absence the blog is still getting a lot of visitors, and I do hope most of them find something useful and/or interesting. The average is around 100 visits a week. Yesterday 26 people visited, and between them viewed 71 items, which is gratifying. Most of yesterday’s visitors were from the UK with a few from Australia. I do wonder, though, who it was from Brunei who viewed 6 different pages!