Stornoway Source List


Records made accessible through Tasglann nan Eilean Siar.

Unless otherwise stated, the following archive collections are stored in Stornoway.  Subject to their physical condition making them suitable to travel, they may be made accessible through the Comhairle’s library and museum service across the islands.  Full catalogues are available on request.



            1          Local Government Records

            2          Schools

            3          Deposited records

            4          Other sources



Stornoway Parish Council

Established in 1845, Parishes (or Parochial Boards as they started out) were responsible for raising and administering poor relief.  Stornoway Parish Council was abolished in 1930 with its powers transferring to Lewis District Council.


Minute Books 1845-1923

Stornoway Parish Council minute book/Lewis Public Assistance Joint Committee minute book/Lewis Public Assistance Joint Committee minute book 1930-1943 (closed for 75 years)

Landward Committee minute book 1895-1930

Assessment Rolls 1905-1927

General Registers of the Poor 1849-1930

Applications for parochial relief 1889-1930

Unadmitted and unascertained cases of settlement 1855-1927

Children’s separate register 1910-1914 (closed until 2014)

Children’s separate register 1913-1929 (closed until 2029)


Stornoway Town Council/Burgh of Stornoway


Police Commissioners of the Burgh of Stornoway scroll minute book 1864-1882

Police Commissioners of the Burgh of Stornoway no 1-4 1863-1901

Town council of the Burgh of Stornoway minute books no 5-37 1901-1975

Indexes to minutes of the Town Council of the Burgh of Stornoway Vols 21-34, 36 1941-1968, 1971-1972

Burgh/Town Clerk Letter Books 1864-1929

Press Cuttings 1950’s

Society of Town Clerks of Scotland newsletters, circulars, memoranda etc 1953-1968

Declaration de fideli administraione offci by Town Councillors 1874-1974

Register of Statutory disclosures and notices by members of the Council 1939-1974

Treasurers Letter Book 1895-1906

Abstract of Accounts 1901-1975

Assessment ledgers 1864-1922

Combined cash and receipts book 1953-1974

General assessment account books 1912-1922

Council Cash Books 1922-1972

Treasurers/Chamberlain’s cash books 1894-1973

Treasurers Housing Cash Book 1927-1946 (closed for 75 years if personal data is included)

Milk distributing depot cash book 1923-1928

Town Hall lets cash book 1929-1948

Rent ledger 1904-1935 (75 year closure if personal data is included)

Loan ledger 1903-1941 (closed for 75 years if personal data is included)

Housing ledger 1927-1952 (closed for 75 years if personal data is included)

Loan ledger for housing 1931-1941 (  “           “           “           “)

Loan ledger 1941-1947 (“       “           “           “)

Common good fund account books 1929-1962

Common good cash book 1929-1952

Assessment rolls 1904-1973

Roads Record minutes 1890-1900

Stornoway Highway Ledger 1892-1922

Water ledger 1892-1899

Sewer Ledger 1899-1922

Stornoway Municipal buildings ledger 1898-1922

Public health minutes 1875-1900

Burgh clerks letter book 1874-1903

Public health ledger 1913-1922

Dean of Guild Court Records Minute book 1947-1965

Index to register of plans and book of plans of the Burgh of Stornoway 1893-1934

Burgh of Stornoway record of plans 1893-1934

Register of plans 1935-1964

File of forms of application for planning permission 1930-1947

Register of new housing provided under housing (Scotland) Act 1930 1931-1937 (75 year closure if personal data is included)

Register of new houses provided by local authority 1935-1937

Register of new houses 1937-1957

Register of new houses retained for temporary accommodation 1956-1957

Housing register 1928-1967 (75 years closure)

Register of rents of dwellings, improved with assistance 1953-1969 (75 years closure)

Register of bonds 1872-1969

Minute Book from Coulregrein House 1938-1970 (check for personal data)

Index of minutes from meetings in Coulregrein House 1948-1970

List of inmates and staff (was interleaved into the dietary classification book of Lewis Combination Poor House) October 1967

Dun Berisay Minutes and Agenda 1961-1970

Police Court Register of Cases 1957-1979

Stornoway Public Library Committee Minute Books 1906-1917

Library Ledgers 1905-1949

Cash Book 1943-1947

Contributions to fund for reconstruction of municipal and public library buildings 1927-1939


Lewis District Committee

The District Committee was established in 1890, undertaking functions on behalf of Inverness-shire County Council.  Its main responsibilities included roads and bridges and various local amenities that fell outwith the Parish Council’s remit.  The Committee was abolished in 1930.


Minutes 1890-1930

Trustees of the Stornoway District of Roads minute book 1866-1890

Trustees of Stornoway District of Roads letter book 1884-1901

Valuation Rolls for Lewis District1899-1921

Parish of Stornoway Valuation Rolls 1921-1973

Parish and Burgh of Stornoway Valuation Roll 1938-1948

Parishes of Stornoway, Barvas, Loch and Uig Valuation Rolls 1958-1960


Lewis District Council

Lewis District Council was established in 1930 to serve as local agents for Ross and 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 1930-1935

Abstract of accounts 1956-1972

Account books 1915-1969

Cash Book 1949-1974

Lewis District Council Cash Book 1960-1963

Lewis Nursing Service Petrol Cash Book 1968-1971

Assessment cash books (District rate) 1944-1950

Scroll cash Book 1959-1970

Postage Book 1951-1958

Surveyor’s Cash Book 1926-1940

Wardbook 1971-1973

Plant for roads book 1922-1937

Order Books 1962-1971

Account books 1954-1957

Cash Book for Social Work 1961-1968

Postage Book 1968-1971

Lewis planning sub committee misc papers 1959-1968


Poor Law Records

75 year closure on all

Applications for relief 1930-1948

Record of applications for transitional payments 1935


Lewis Combination Poorhouse, Stornoway

Although situated in Stornoway, the poorhouse covered the parished of Uig, Lochs, Barvas and Stornoway.


Minute books 1893-1970

Admission Register 1897-1968 (75 years closure)

Discharge Register 1897-1968 (75 year closure)

Register of punishments 1900-1911 (75 year closure)

Sick roll 1900-1955 (75 year closure)

Diet Classification Book 1925-1934 (100 year closure)

Garden Crop Rotation book 1941-1967 includes petty expenditure accounts 1930-1933

Letter books 1914-1933

Cash books 1953-1968

Visiting Committee Reports 1926-1962

Garden Records 1941-1967



Sandwick is a Council owned and maintained cemetery:


Sandwick:                   Minute Books 1883-1955, Burial Cash Book 1884-1915


Gress:                         Records kept by cemetery clerk


Tolsta:                         Records kept by cemetery clerk


Aignish:                       Records kept by cemetery clerk


2          SCHOOLS


NB:      Log books are closed to public access for 35 years; admission registers for 100 years from the last entry in the volume



Stornoway School Board / Lewis School Management Committee

Established in 1872 and function in various guises until 1975, the functions of the School Boards were absorbed into the Education Department of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in 1975.


No early records of the school boards appear to have survived.  Post 1975 records are held by the Comhairle.  The following individual school records are held:


Sandwickhill:               Records kept at Sandwickhill School

Admission register 1923-1960 (open 2061)

                                    Admission register 1953-1992 (open 2093)

                                    Log books 1926-1991

                                    Certificate of attendance 1970-1989


Aird:                             Records not held


Back:                           Records not held


Bayble:                        Records not held


Knock:                         Records not held


Laxdale:                      Log book 1880-1906


Nicolson Institute:        Records not held


Tolsta:                         Records held by Tolsta Historical Society


Tong:                           Log books 1879-1943


Record of the Trustees of Nicolson Institute school minute book 1870-1888

Stornoway School Board minute books 1-9 1873-1919

Lewis School Management Committee minute books 1919-1937 kept in Stornoway Library

Lewis Education District Sub Committee minute book 1948-1973 (potential 75 year closure if personal data is involved)

Exemption register 1908-1968 (75 year closure)

Education administration schemes 1929-1950

Deed of selection by R and A Nicolson in favour of Mackay’s school 1868

Correspondence relating to transfer of Nicolson Institution to Stornoway School Board 1873-1881

Papers relating to transfer of Nicolson Institution to Stornoway School Board 1883-1901

Endowments to Nicolson Institute by the Nicolson brother’s. Correspondence, reports etc 1899-1914

Nicolson brother’s trusts. Itemised accounts of law agents 1907-1914

Stornoway School Board report on the provision of technical education 1906

Correspondence Stornoway School Board and Scottish Education

Department regarding extension to Francis Street School 1907-1908

Correspondence Stornoway School Board and Scottish Education

Department on building and tech school 1908-1912

Letters from Public Works Loan Board 1912

Documents relating to the building of new technical school 1907-1912

Deeds and papers re: loans from Public works Loan Commissioners for school buildings 1876-1908

Correspondence relating to dispute over awarding a prize at Nicolson Institute 1894

Montreal Trust Co – endowment to public library. Duplicate cheques and correspondence 1941-1943

Newspaper cuttings on local authority educational matters 1922-1942

Stornoway School Board Investment documents 1916-1934

List of boarders in Elizabeth Haldane boy’s hostel and Louise Carnegie girls hostel 1920’s

Invoice for prize books and medals for Nicolson Institute 1925-1934

Supply of coal to schools – tenders and correspondence 1929-1932

Fire insurance policies for schools 1877-1910

Documents relating to building of extension of schools and teachers houses 1875-1911

Miscellaneous School Board papers 1883-1919




J L Robertson was the senior Chief Inspector of Schools for Scotland. He was educated at the General Assembly School in Stornoway. He was vital in the development of education in Scotland.


            Minute books 1930-1974 (check for personal data)

Registers of beneficiaries’ Vol 1-2 1937-1975(Check for personal data)

General register: dead and transferred 1931-1970 (Check for personal data)

Applications for benefit 1931-1975 (closed for 75 years)

Re-applications for benefit (closed for 75 years)

Indexed record of applications previous to start of register in June 1931 1931

Forms of enquiry to applicants 1957-1965

Cash Book 1928-1933

JL Robertson complimentary dinner papers relating to the event 1911

Dr JL Robertson bequest. Minutes and other documents


Lewis Coffee House Company minute book 1878-1911

Lewis Coffee House Company treasurer’s ledger 1878-1902

Lewis Literacy and Debating Society Minute book 1901-1909

Stornoway Water Company minute 1848-1872

Stornoway Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association minute book 1871-1878


4          OTHER SOURCES

There are many collections of useful archives held in private or voluntary group hands relating to the Stornoway area.  There is no statutory right of access to these records but many custodians are willing to aid researchers. The following organisations may well be worth contacting for help with your research.  Further details can be found at http://www.tasglann.org.uk


Stornoway Historical Society

Stornoway Historical Society have a fantastic team of members who have a vast knowledge of old Stornoway and its history. They hold talks throughout the year on various topics and have a wealth of information to share. They produce publications which are full of interesting articles and contributions www.stornowayhistoricalsociety.org.uk


Museum nan Eilean

The Museum in Stornoway is also worth a visit or an enquiry.


            Local churches

Church records can be a useful resource for researchers.  Where they survive they are still held by the churches


Leave a comment