The two following tables provide basic information about the major administrative regions of Scotland. There are different systems of administration in the UK, and the administrative units bear different names: county, region, and district. In addition, large-scale reorganisations of local authorities occurred in the early and mid 1970s, resulting in new counties, the "disappearance" of old counties, adjustments to county boundaries, and so on. For many family history purposes, it is the "old" administrative regions which are relevant. However, a knowledge of the present arrangements is also needed, so that the records you need can be found.
Also, these are administrative regions, whereas for many purposes the old counties continue to have an existence, at least in the minds of people who disagreed with the changes.
The tables include the following information:
- full name of region;
- a recognised abbreviation of the full name;
- the Chapman County Code (CCC). This is a unique three-letter code identifying the region, and used extensively by family historians when recording and exchanging place information:
- the administrative centre of the modern region;
- notes, shown as 1 2 3 etc.
Following legislation passed in 1972, and the report of the Local Government Boundaries Commission, new county names and boundaries came into effect in Scotland from May 1975.
Table 1: Counties (before May 1975)
County CCC Aberdeenshire ABD Angus 1 ANS Argyllshire 2 ARL Ayrshire AYR Banffshire BAN Berwickshire BEW Bute 3 BUT Caithness CAI Clackmannanshire CLK Dunbartonshire DNB Dumfries-shire DFS East Lothian ELN Fife FIF Inverness-shire 4 INV Kincardineshire KCD Kinross-shire KRS Kirkcudbrightshire KKD Lanarkshire LKS Midlothian MLN Morayshire MOR Nairn NAI Orkney 5 OKI Peebles-shire PEE Perth PER Renfrewshire RFW Ross and Cromarty 6 ROC Roxburghshire ROX Selkirkshire SEL Shetland 7 SHI Stirlingshire STI Sutherland SUT West Lothian WLN Wigtownshire WIG
Table 2: Regions (after May 1975)
Region CCC Administrative Centre Borders BOR Newton St. Boswells Central CEN Stirling Dumfries and Galloway DGY Dumfries Fife FIF Glenrothes Grampian GMP Aberdeen Highland 8 HLD Inverness Lothian LTN Edinburgh Orkney OKI Kirkwall Shetland 7 SHI Lerwick Strathclyde 9 STD Glasgow Tayside TAY Dundee Western Isles 10 WIS Stornoway
1 An old name for Angus is "Forfarshire".
2 Includes islands: Islay, Jura and Mull.
3 Consists of islands Arran and Bute.
4 Includes islands: Lewis (part), North Uist, South Uist, and Skye.
5 Also "Orkney Isles", or "Orkney Islands", but not "The Orkneys".
6 Includes part of the island of Lewis.
7 Also "Shetland Isles", or "Shetland Islands", but not "The Shetlands". Originally known as "Zetland".
8 Includes the island of Skye.
9 Includes islands: Arran, Bute, Islay, Jura and Mull.10 Includes islands: Lewis, North Uist and South Uist.