Barvas source list

Unless otherwise stated, the following archive collections are held in Stornoway and made accessible through the archive service currently based at Stornoway Library.  From autumn 2015, the archive service will be based in the new Museum & Archive at the Lews Castle site.  

This guide is not exhaustive and it’s worth checking our online catalogue for further resources. 




Barvas Parish Council (1884-1930) (ref. RC5/4)

Established in 1845, Parishes (or Parochial Boards as they started out) were responsible for raising and administering poor relief and gradually took on other duties such as graveyards, footpaths and water supply.  Parish Councils were abolished in 1930.

  • Minutes 1884-1930; applications for parochial relief 1914-1930; general registers of the poor 1884-1930

Lewis Public Assistance Joint Committee (1930-1975) (ref. RC5/5)

The Committee took on many of the role of the former Parish Councils with regard to aiding the poor from 1930.

  • Applications for relief 1930-1948; transitional payments 1937-1975

Lewis District Committee (1890-1930) (ref. RC2/1)

The District Committee was established in 1890, undertaking functions on behalf of Ross & Cromarty County Council.  This included roads, bridges, amenities and nursing that fell outwith the Parish Council’s remit.  The Committee was abolished in 1930.

  • Minutes 1890-1930

Lewis District Council (1930-1974) (ref. RC6)

Lewis District Council was established in 1930 to serve as local agents for Ross & Cromarty County Council.  Responsibilities included public health, nursing, housing, roads, harbours, water supply and drainage but excluded police and education.  It was abolished in 1975 with its powers transferring to the newly formed Comhairle nan Eilean.

  • Minutes 1930-1974; abstract of accounts 1956-1972; account books 1915-1969; cash books 1949-1974; Lewis District Council cash book 1960-1963; scroll cash books 1956-1970; postage book 1951-1958; parish of Barvas valuation roll 1948-1949; parishes of Stornoway, Barvas, Lochs and Uig valuation rolls 1958-1959

Lewis Combination Poorhouse / Coulregrein House (1893-1970) (ref RC5/6)

The poorhouse was situated on the outskirts of Stornoway and was originally operated jointly by the four parishes of Lewis.

  • Minute books 1893-1970; letter books 1914-1933; cash books 1953-1968; visiting committee reports 1926-1962; garden records 1941-1967



NB:      Records containing personal data are generally closed to public access for 100 years.  Please ask for further information. 

Barvas School Board (1873-1919) (ref. RC4/3)

Barvas School Board was established in 1873 to manage schooling in the area.  It was responsible for building and maintaining schools, staffing and curriculum matters as dictated by the government.  Its powers transferred to Lewis District Education Sub-Committee in 1919.

  • Minutes 1873-1919

Lewis District Education Sub-Committee (1919-1975) (ref. RC4/1)

The committee was formed in 1919 by the amalgamation of the various school boards on Lewis.  Its powers passed to Comhairle nan Eilean in 1975.

  • Minutes 1919-1975

Records of individual schools:


  • Admission registers 1889-2012; log books 1904-1988


  • Admission registers 1907-2007; log books 1878-2005


  • Admission registers 1878-2012; log books 1878-2004; attendance registers 1971-1995


  • Held by Comann Eachdraidh Nis: Admission registers 1937-2008; log books 1896-1986; simplified summaries 1990-2003; attendance registers 1991-2003; certificates of attendance 1948-1967


  • Attendance registers 1976-1995


  • Admission registers 1879-1999; log books 1900-1993; daily attendance registers 1888-1889; school magazine 1959-1970; mark books 1971-1994; records of teachers 1943-1955; financial records 1966-1975; school handbooks 1993; class lists 1926-1942; examination records 1926-1970; Further Education Classes 1980-1981; circulars to Head Teachers 1973-1984; returns to the Scottish Education Department 1934-1958. 
  • Further records for Lionel School are held by Comunn Eachdraidh Nis


  • Admission register 1926-1965; log books 1892-1965



Barvas rent ledgers (1854-1920)

These were maintained by the Lewis estate factors and cover properties from Bragar to Ness.

  • Ledgers 1854-1920

Macaulay Rhodesia Trust (1952-1961) (ref. GD9)

Set up under the Will of Murdo Macaulay, a crofter’s son from Ness who emigrated to Rhodesia, the trust supported and still supports Lewis applicants in establishing businesses, undertaking study and in helping local causes.

  • Minutes and papers 1952-1961

Dr Norman Morrison, zoologist and photographer (1890s-2013) (ref. GD13)

Norman Morrison was born in Shawbost in 1869 and went on to a police career in Glasgow and Argyll. He had a keen interest in eels and adders publishing several works.  His collection includes many photographs of Shawbost and Bragar families.

  • Qualifications & awards 1912-1925; correspondence 1911; transcripts 1920s-1940s; published works 1920-1941; cuttings 1927-1950; photographs and negatives c1900-1970s; Shawbost commemorations 1989-2013



Barvas and Brue Historical Society http://www.barvasandbrue.com

Comunn Eachdraidh Bharabhais agus Bhrù hold photographs, archives and artefacts.  They have no public building but more information can be found on their website.

Ness Historical Society, Cross School. North Dell  http://www.cenonline.org

Comunn Eachdraidh Nis has a registered public museum and archive in the former Cross School and covers the area from Balantrushal to the Port of Ness.  They hold an extensive archive relating to genealogy, local businesses and organisations.

West Side Historical Society, Shawbost  http://www.ceats.org.uk

Comann Eachdraidh an Toabh Siar is base in the Old School Centre in Shawbost where is has a museum and its archive collections of photographs and croft histories.

Hebridean Connections www.hebrideanconnections.com

An ever-growing searchable database of genealogy, archive images and stories from the historical societies of the Outer Hebrides. 

National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh  www.nrsscotland.gov.uk

As well as government records they hold the Mackenzie of Seaforth papers relating to Lewis from 1610-1844 and notably the Presbytery records for Lewis. 

Highland Archives, Bught Road, Inverness http://www.highlandarchives.org.uk

The archive centre in Inverness holds many records relating to Lewis, notably the records of Ross & Cromarty County Council (1890-1975) and its predecessors.  

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