Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Scottish Weights and Measures

Until the middle of the 19th century a wide diversity of weights and measures were used in Scotland. Standardization took place from 1661 onwards, and in 1824 an act of parliament imposed the English versions of Imperial measures and defined the proportions of older measures to Imperial measures.

Image of the 1649 valuation roll for Ancrum parish showing the use of old Scots measures
(for a full transcript see the foot of the page).

When researching Scottish historical records from medieval times until the late 19th century, the following should be borne in mind:

• Scottish measures (such as the mile, pound, gallon, pint, and ounce) were different from English and other European measures of similar or identical names from early medieval times until the mid-19th century
• There were local variations in measures even after the standardization of Scottish measures in 1661, 1707 and 1824

For more information about specific weights and measures and the development of Scottish weights and measures click on one of the following:

• Background and further reading
• Distance and Area
• Dry and Liquid Capacity
• Weight

What was . . .
• an acre
• a boll
• a chain
• a chalder
• a chopin
• a drap or drop
• an ell
• a fall or fa
• a firlot
• a foot
• a forpet
• a furlong
• a gallon
• a gill
• an inch
• a joug or jug
• a lippie
• a mutchkin
• an ounce
• a peck
• a pint
• a pound
• a rood
• a stone

What was meant by the ferd corn or the third corn?

Transcript of image
Ancrum par[ish]
Sum[m]a of the bolls of beir and meill in this parroche is ane hundreth fourescoir auchteine bolls pryce foirsaid is ane thousand tua hundreth fourescoir sevintein punds four schillings Mair threttie sevin bolls quheit at aucht pund the boll is twa hundrethe . . .

Source Scottish Archives. For link go to the rhs

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