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23 September 2014
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Scottish Roots - Searching for your family history in Scotland

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Feature
A catalogue of new developments and ideas. Each month we'll feature a different area of research. This month:

Military Service Records:

One of the most fascinating ways of researching your family history is through the military records of your antecedents. Not only can this be a great way of finding out the details of your forebears’ lives but might also bring to light some great stories of heroism, or you may find your ancestor was present at a major historical event. You never know, a member of your family could have been at Waterloo or Trafalgar!

Records of Scottish soldiers, sailors and airmen who served in the British armed forces up to the early 1920s are held by the Public Records Office. The Public Records Office is the national archive of the UK and makes public the records of central government. their website can be found at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/.

A soldier’s service record can be a very valuable tool for the genealogist as it can tell you his name, age and place of birth, his trade prior to joining up, the date he joined the Army, any promotions he received, his regiment, where he served and his date of discharge.

Sadly many of the ordinary servicemen’s records were destroyed by German bombing during the Second World War and those that survived, known as the ‘burnt documents’, were badly damaged by fire and water. Luckily all the officers’ records escaped the explosion. The PRO is currently in the process of putting all these documents onto microfilm to make them available to the public. This project should be finished this summer.

Another useful body when searching for family members who served in the armed forces is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The Commission is in charge of keeping records of any member of Commonwealth forces who died during either the First or Second World War and will help you find the final resting place of your deceased relative. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website containing a searchable database of 1.7 million names can be found at www.cwgc.org



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Getting Started
Further Steps
Initial Sources
Digging Deeper
Feature
Histories
Webguide


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