(definition from Lochaber Archive ) Sasines (pronounced say-zin or sayzins if it is plural) are legal documents which record the transfer of land or building ownership from one person to another. They are useful if you are interested in the history of a particular house or area of land or who inherited or purchased a particular house or area of land. They provide details, amongst other information, of the current owner of the land or property, the person who has purchased or inherited it and some information about the building or land which is changing ownership. Helpfully, some Sasines also have accompanying Indexes of Places and Names making the transactions slightly easier to find!

Sasines can have some use in family history research provided that the person or family owned the property they resided at. A valuation roll (which was discussed in our first post) may help to confirm who owned a particular property so using the two types of records together could help with your research. However, a Sasine’s use may be limited in this line, especially prior to the 20th Century, as the majority of the population would not have owned their own property or land in Scotland. It would only provide details for the section of the population who were in a position to buy and sell land or property.

a pdf guide to researching the sasines

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