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Sasines 02What are Sasines?

Sasines are legal documents which record the transfer of land or building ownership from one person to another. We hold Abridgements of Sasines and certain Sasine Minute Books for the Highland counties of Inverness-Shire, Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland, Nairn, Caithness and Argyll. We also hold the Sasines for Inverness burgh.

What dates do they cover?

Abridgements date from 1781-1970 for most Highland counties and the Sasines for Inverness burgh date from 1602-1869.

What can I use them for?

  • to trace the history of a building
  • to learn when a certain person or family bought a house or a piece of land
  • to discover the value of a building or piece of land when it was sold
  • to track who inherited property

What will they tell me?

  • details of the person selling the land or building
  • the purchaser’s name
  • some information about the property and the sale price

Sasines will not give information about who lived at a certain house in a certain year.

Will there definitely be useful information in there?

If you’re researching the history of a building in the Highlands the Abridgments or Sasines will certainly hold useful information. If you’re trying to trace an ancestor, relevant information is less guaranteed. Prior to the 20th Century it was very uncommon for people in Scotland to own their own houses or land. Consequently, a large percentage of Sasines relate to a very small proportion of the population.

Do I need to know anything first?

Any information you can provide about a building’s location and/or previous owners will speed up the process of locating it.

Are there any viewing restrictions?


Can I request photocopies or take photographs?

Yes. Charges may apply.

Where can I find out what you hold?

Follow the links below for more information.