There ARE Valuation Rolls for Islay for the period you are
looking for. You will find them on the Scotland's People
website. You have to register to search them, but you only have
to pay to obtain a scan of an original record. To find the ones
for Bowmore, select Argyll County the parish Killarow and
Kilmeny. You can search by surname (not forgetting variations in
spelling) or by place, but place is a bit tricky because it
includes the property type before the town name, so I don't think
you can just group everything for Bowmore together, as place would
include House Bowmore, House and Garden Bowmore, House and Croft
Bowmore etc. The records start in 1855 and are then given every
ten years, so you may have most success looking at 1885.
While not answering my question quite the way I
would have liked, you have certainly provided some excellent
information. I truly appreciate that.
-------- Original message --------
Date: 2021-01-11 02:15 (GMT-08:00)
Subject: Re: [Islay] Valuation Rolls
I can't answer your question about valuation rolls. All I can
say is that I haven't come across anything like them for the
towns and villages, though there are lists that hint at some
sort of valuation for farm tenancies. There is a book of
tenancies that includes the towns and villages as well as the
farms for 1828 called the Black Book of Islay which you can find
with a simple web search, but that is very vague on locations,
certainly not giving street numbers.
Even today, street numbering on Islay can be very haphazard,
with evidence of two or even three attempts at numbering systems
overlaid on each other. The earliest system was based on feu
numbers. I think that is feu as in feudal, though I have seen
one suggestion that feu is related to fee. You could try this
reference, but it left me more confused than enlightened: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feu_(land_tenure)
Feu numbers are still very much in evidence in street numbering
in Port Charlotte, and I suspect that may also be the case in
Port Ellen and Bowmore. The system usually involved numbers
going up one side of a street then back down the other side,
then going round the corner into another street, up one side of
it and back down the other side, then turning the corner of the
first street and carrying on until the next street and so on.
This is particularly evident in Port Charlotte and to some
extent in Port Ellen where numbers on Frederick Crescent dive
off up Lennox Street then back down the other side before
continuing along the next stretch of Frederick Crescent.
I suspect, though I don't know for sure, that the same thing
may have happened in Bowmore, with feu numbers starting in the
Square, then going out and back on Shore Street, then up one
block on the east side of Main Street, then out and back on
Jamieson Street, then up the next block of Main Street to the
top, then back along the west side to Flora Street, out and back
along that street then possibly carrying on along the west side
of Main Street. I am deducing that from very fragmentary
indications, and I suspect that when a stretch of numbers fell
out of use and a number was required for another property, a
number may have been brought into use based on other numbers
nearby with no regard for any specific logical numbering scheme.
Even today, street numbers on Shore Street are erratic and
fragmentary. In the Royal Mail online postcode finder, only six
numbers are given for properties on Shore Sreet (10, 17, 20, 23,
24 and 26), and all other properties are referenced by name. A
few more appear on the most detailed map I can find (attached),
(12, 18 and 25A), and in some cases it is possible to fill in
the blanks, but some look pretty random, like 23 being opposite
24, 25A and 26.
I have it in mind to try to piece the feu numbering system
together from documents in the Islay Estate Papers in the
Mitchell Library, Glasgow, but that is not going to happen until
I have completed other projects.
On 11/01/2021 03:51, Glynn Currie
There don't seem to be any Valuation
Rolls published for Islay. Is this correct?
My grandmother, Flora McDiarmid, was born on Shore Street in
Bowmore, Islay, Argyle, in 1883. Of course there are no house
numbers given for that time period.
Her father, Archibald McDiarmid, is listed as living on Shore
Street, Bowmore, in the period census. It seems likely this
would refer to the same house.
I would like to identify the building if I can. That way I could
use Google Earth to get a look at it. I wonder if anyone can
suggest an approach to identifying this building.