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Scottish Marriages and Death Transcripts
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Go to bottom of page for link to the next page. Page 2. I discovered in my archives from research conducted years ago pages of photocopied Sasines for Clackmannan; typewritten summaries as had been filmed by the LDS.  I always found these somewhat confusing to read so below is further information.  I have began typing these up and hope they will be of help to someone.  This will take me sometime to complete. 

“What is a sasine and what information does it contain?

An instrument of sasine (pronounced 'say-zin') is a legal document that records the transfer of ownership (usually a sale or an inheritance) of a piece of land or of a building. It will normally detail the names of the new and previous owners and will give a basic description of the property transferred. There will usually be an indication of the price paid for the property. Sasines can also give you information about family history, particularly where an individual is passing land to another family member, or where the family designation is revealed (e.g. 'John Campbell of X'). Sometimes information given in one sasine will give you clues as to earlier titles in the chain and so lead you back to the earlier history of the ownership of a building or piece of land. 

Understanding a sasine

The basic structure of a sasine is straightforward. It will begin with the date, and thereafter sets out the principal parties (usually with the grantee/buyer named first), the type of transaction, including the land involved, the precise time that it took place, and the names of the witnesses. Sasines before the early 20th century are normally handwritten, however. While Victorian copperplate handwriting is simple to read, the handwriting of the 17th and early 18th centuries can be much more difficult. Practice, as always, makes it easier. Nor does it help that for many years the clerks paid for the blank sasine volumes out of their wages and so had a vested interest in cramming as much handwriting onto each page as possible. A more serious obstacle is that many sasines, even down to the late 18th century, are in Latin. Again these follow a standard form. A Latin dictionary together with the styles and translations of sasines given in Peter Gouldesborough, 'A Formulary of Old Scots Legal Documents' (Stair Society, Edinburgh, 1985) pp. 108-111, will allow most readers to understand what is going on.

Sasines for urban property

The 66 royal burghs generally kept their own individual registers of sasines. These are all now in the NAS, under the catalogue reference B. The only exceptions are the Glasgow registers and the Aberdeen and Dundee pre-1809 registers. These three groups are now kept in the city archives of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, respectively.” Source


“Of course, these are just the summaries. Do note the classification numbers they allot to each sasine. If you are in Scotland or visit, you can see the original handwritten volumes of the entire transcribed document, and that can be a wealth of detail (although you need to muddle through a lot of legaleze)” Source Marjorie Jodoin.


a right entitling a person (called a "liferenter") to use and enjoy another's property for life, providing this was done without wasting it; the liferent might be a sum of money paid yearly, or the income from a piece of land.

either the symbolic act of giving legal possession of a piece of heritable property, or the instrument by which such an act was proved to have happened. The origin of the term is the same as that for the word 'seize' - meaning to take possession of (in Scottish documents it is generally rendered 'seis'). Hence, for example in an abridgement of sasine, someone who became the owner of a property (by succession, gift, purchase or whatever) is recorded as being 'seised' of that property. see symbols.


service of heirs

the process by which an heir acquired the right to an estate.  It started with the brieve ordering an inquest to determine who was next heir to the estate, followed by the retour of the inquest stating the heir's right to succeed followed by his entry, (his formal acceptance by the superior of the estate).  It was called a "special service" when the heir's ancestor had been formerly infeft in the estate, that is, had had full legal possession of it by virtue of a sasine; if the heir's ancestor was not infeft, then the process was called a "general service".  Until the process of serving the heir had been gone through, he would be the apparent heir; see also heirs



the giving of sasines was a ceremony deriving from a time when few people were literate and it was thus highly symbolic so that anyone could see and recognise what was going on.   The grantee's baillie would meet the granter's baillie on the ground of the lands being granted, with several witnesses and a notary, present the grantee's title to the lands (his charter and precept of sasine from the granter) and ask that sasine by given; these would be passed to the notary who would read them to the witnesses, and then the granter's baillie would give sasine by presenting the grantee's baillie with a symbol appropriate to what was being granted, so that the witnesses could understand that ownership had been formally transferred.  The most common symbols were earth and stone used for the giving of sasine in lands' if what was granted was an annual rent from lands, these would be passed over together with "a penny money".  If sasine was given in fishings the symbols were a net and coble; if in the patronage of a church, a psalm book and the church keys, if in a mill, the clap and happer of the mill, if in teinds, a sheaf of corn, if a jurisdiction, the court book, if property in a burgh, a hasp and staple, and combinations of these might be used.   Finally, if lands were resigned to a superior, the symbol passed over were the staff and baton.  After all this was done, the notary would go away and write it all up in the form of an instrume



a lease; in Scotland it had to be a formal written contract between landlord and tenant laying down the period of the lease and the payments to be made for it



one who holds lands (generally for a fixed term) by a lease or tack

in legal terms, a landholding, usually (but not always) a piece of land which is build upon. A more modern, architectural meaning of 'tenement' is a type of domestic building, divided into separate dwellings (flats), each of which is separately rented or owned. This type of building became very common in industrial towns of Scotland in the late nineteenth century. “ Source acc 3/9/2009



(500) William NUCCLE sen.[senior], Mercant [merchant],
Alloa, Scised [seised--put in possession of], June 16 1789
in a Tenement in Kirk Street, Alloa – on disp.
[disposition or legal statement] By Margaret
BACHOP & William MCDOUGAL, shoemaker, Alloa,
 her  husband, Dec 11, 1788                 P.R. 30.338

(503) Thomas HUTTON, tenant, Balgownie, Scised,[seised
or put in possession of] Aug 3 1789 – in
 tenements in Alloa – in security of ₤50
[property is collateral for loan of L50] – on Bond
& Disp [bond and disposition or contract] by
William Hutton in Alloa, Jul 27, 1789                P.R. 30.372
“This one illustrates a title history. You need to
separate out the various documents by date and map the
relationships to make sense of it. It's also a good bet that
additional sasines may be found for each of the mentioned
documents (but not always if they weren't filed

(507) David WYLLIE, Shoemaker, clackmannan, as heir to
David WYLIE, weaver there, his father, Scised,[seised
or put in possession of] Aug 24 1789 - in a Tenement in
Clackmannan - on Disp. [disposition or legal statement] by Alison
DONALDSON, daughter of Alexander DONALDSON, Weaver,
Stenhouse Mills, near Edinburgh to the said David WYLLIE
sen.[senior],” [the Donaldsons acknowledge the Wyllie's
rights as tenants or holders of the property in Clackmannan]
Jun 21 1764:”  & Ret. Gen. Serv. [return of general service --
acknowledgement of heirs] Jul 23 1780: & Christian
INGLIS, his spouse, Scised,[seised or put in possession of]
cod. die.[codicil to will] in liferent of said subject,
propriis manibus [I'm not sure] of the said David WYLLIE
jun.[junior] [If I understand correctly, Inglis has a
liferent right to live in the property, even if her husband
(DWyllie Jr.) dies.)                               P.R. 30.400



(500) William NUCCLE sen.[senior], Mercant [merchant],
Alloa, Scised [seised--put in possession of], June 16 1789
in a Tenement in Kirk Street, Alloa – on disp.
[disposition or legal statement] By Margaret
BACHOP & William MCDOUGAL, shoemaker, Alloa,
 her  husband, Dec 11, 1788                 P.R. 30.338


(501 Jun 9 1789

 The Kirk Session of Dollar, Scised, June 17, 1789 – in a Tenement at the head of Candle Street, Alloa:-in security of £100,  Bond by George MILL, Brewer, Alloa, to James MILL, Brewer there, Dec 18 1771;-on Disp.  Assig. By him, Dec 11 1778 

P.R. 30.342


(504)  Sept 2, 1789

Charles VERTUE, Merchant, Alloa, scised, aug 18 1789-in part of an inclosure called the Wards, par. Alloa; - in security of£200 :-on Bond by Henry DEMPSTER, Mason, Alloa Aug 7 1789  

P.R. 30.388


(505) Sept 16 1789

Henry JAFFRAY, Merchant, Stirling, scised, aug 29 1789 – in Tenement & piece of yuard adjoining in Alloa, and pice of ground near the Coal Bridge of Alloa, par. Alloa; - redeemable on payment of £230 – on disp. By Adam Primrose at Kersehill, Aug 28 1789

P. R. 30.398


(506) Sept 21 1789

John BURN, Writer, Stirling, Scised, Sept 17 1789 – in Powis or Powhouse, & Teinds, par . Logie; - in security and relief of £2780. 5s; - on Bond and Disp, by James MAYNE of Powis Logie, Sept 10 1789

G.R. 471.196


(508) Sept 22 1789

William HUTTON, Merchant, Alloa, Scised, Aug 28 1789-in a Tenement near the head of Candle Street, Alloa;-on Disp. by Andrew, John, Janet, Helen, Margaret, & Betty ALLAN, children of Andrew ALLAN, Smith, Alloa, Apr. 27. Jun 9 1789

P.R. 30.401


(509) Sept 23 1780

Mathew ROSS, Advocate, Scised, Sept 21 1789-in parts of Banks or Dollar & Mills, including a piece of ground called Bagyetts; & Tenements at Dollar, par. Dollar – Brewsterlands of Campbell, with the Wheatlands of Vernaul called Deminy or Drummy, lop.? Campbell;-in security of £1000- on Bond by John, Duke of argyle, Sept 4 1789. Vide PERTH

G.R. 471.215


(510) Sept 26 1789

James NIMMO, Farmer, Blackgrange, Scised, Sept 25 1789- in tenements in alloa:-in security of £70:-on Bond by William MILLER, Drover, Alloa, Sept 22 1789

P.R. 30.410


(511) Oct 5 14789

James TOD,  Portioner, Mains of Dollar, as heir to George TOD, Portioner there, his father, Scised. Sept 11 1789-in part of Over & Nether Mains in Dollar, par. Dollar;- on Pr. Cl. Con. By the Commissioner of John, Duke of Argyle, Sept 9 1789


G.R. 471.264


(512) Oct  8 1789

Alexander AIKMAN, Baxter, Clackmannan, as heir to William AIKMAN, Maltman there, his father, Scised, aug 26 1789 – in pieces of ground on the south side of Clackmannan, par, Clackmannan – on Pr. Cl. Con. By sir thomas Dundas of Kerse, June 12 1789 P.R. 30.419


(513) Oct 16 1789

John TOWER, mERCHANT, cAUSEYHEAD, scised in liferent, Oct 13 1789 – in tenement and pieces of groundt at Causeyhead & Teinds, par. Logie – on disp. By himself, Oct 13 1789 – and Jean CHRISTIE, his spouse, Scised, cod. Die, in liferent of part of said subjects- - & in said subjects, - in security of a restrictable liferent annuity of £15, propriis manibus of the said John TOWER.   P.R.  30.422



(514) Oct 27 1789

John BEANNY, Brewer, Clackmannan and Helen SMITH, his spouse – and John BEANNY, their son, Scised, in liferent and fee respectively, Oct 21 1789 – in a tenement in Alloa; - on disp. By Barbara & Janet KIRK, daughters of James KIRK, Merchant, Allow May 221789.  P.R. 30.427


(515) Oct 27 1789

James MAYNE, late Capt, of the 27 Reg. of foot, as heir to Edward MAYNE of Powis Logie, his father, Scised Oct 24 01789 – in Powis on Powhouse, & Yeinds, par. Logie; - on Pr, Chan, Oct 6 1789 ( Vide PERTH) P.R. 30.428


(516) Oct 27 1789

The Trustees for the Creditors of Thomas PRIMROSE, Malster, Alloa, Scised, aug 29 1789 – in a tenement and piece of ground, being parts of Capon Croft, Alloa – on Disp. By said Thomas PRIMROSE, Jul 1 1788. P.R. 30.431


(517) Oct 29 1789

John SPALDING, Weaver, alloa, Scised Sept 9 1789 – in tenements in the Coalgate, Alloa; - under burden of £6 each, to Janet, Christian, Ann & George SPALDING, and £10 to Mary SPALDING, children of George SPALDING, Weaver, Alloa; - on disp. & Setllemtnt by the said George SPALDING Mar 28 1772 – and Catharine DUNCANSON his spouse, Scised, cod. Die, in liferent of said subjects, probiis manibus of the said John SPALDING.  P.R.30.433


(518) Nov 3 1789

William GLEN, Merhcant, Forganhall, & Henry JAFFRAY, Merchant, Stirling, Scised, Sept 7 1780 (1789?)sic – in tenements in Alloa – in security of £300 – on Bond & Dos[. By Charles WATSON, Merchant, Alloa, and the Trustee on his Seq. Estate, June 30 1789.  P.R. 30.447


(519) Nov 6 1789

Patrick MALONE, Soapboiler, Alloa, Scised, Nov 4 1789 – in a Tenement in Alloa – under burden of £55 – on disp. By John HALL, son of John HALL, Excise Officer, Old Kirkpatrick, Mary CHRISTIE, spouse of the said Patrick MALONE, & Elizabeth and Helen CHRISTIE children of Thomas CHRISTIE, Farmer, Crosshill, May 17 1786. P.R. 30.456


(520) Nov 20 1789

James MAYNE, Capt. Late 57 Reg. of Foot, as heir to Edward MAYNE of Powis Logie, his father, Scised, Oct 24 1789 in Powis or Powhouse, par, Logie – on Pr. Chan. Oct 6 1789 (Vide PERTH) G.R. 472.286


(521) Dec 21789

Andrew THOMSON, son of James THOMSON, Mason, Edinburgh, as heir to William MEIKLEJOHN, Flesher, Horsehead of Bath, his grandfather, Scised, Nov 26 179 in a Tenement on the south side of the Common way, Clackmannan – on Pr. Cl. Con. By Sir Thomas Dundas of Kerse,  Oct 27 1789.  P.R. 30.475


(522) Dec 9 1789James DRYSDALE in Piper Pool of Wester Saline, Scised Nov 11 1789 – in part of the Wards near the Shore of Alloa, par. Alloa – in security of £(2)?00 On Bond by Henry DEMPSTER, Mason, Alloa, Nov 11 1789.  P.R. 30.487