The tax records of many of Scotland’s residents during the 17th and 18th centuries have been transcribed and made available online - with a little help from one resident of Bute.
Reeni Kennedy-Boyle of Ardbeg was one of more than three thousand volunteers across the globe who helped transcribe more than 181,000 pages of historic archives from between 1645 and 1800 for the Scotland’s Places website.
There are more than one million records originally written in Scots, Gaelic, English and Latin, covering land taxation, taxes on clocks and watches, windows and farm horses, and Ordnance Survey ‘Name Books’, which formed the first official record of Scotland places and place names.
Reeni’s work involved transcription of handwritten records for the Parish of Kingarth on the Farm Horse Tax for 1797-98.
“There were 384 horses recorded,” Reeni said. “158 were liable, 226 were not liable and the total tax due was £15 16s.
“Lots of the surnames are still prevalent on the island today like Currie and McKirdy.”
Andrew Nicoll, Scotland’s Places outreach officer, said: ”Now that these archives have been digitised, you can sit at your desk at home in Glasgow, in a library in Stonehaven or in a cafe in Melbourne and get closer to family or a place in Scotland instantly.
“We appealed for thousands of volunteers last year to crowdsource the transcription task and the result has been impressive. Their work has brought to life some of Scotland’s most famous figures figures, as well as the ordinary man and woman in the street.”