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17 October 2014
Scottish Roots - Searching for your family history in Scotland

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BBC History - Family History
With an abundance of features, and tips, linking to the BBC TV series "Who Do You Think You Are?", the site features a useful tool called Bloodlines. It has heaps of information and tips for embarking on a family history quest.

What's in a Name? Your Link to the Past
Surnames can reveal much about your family history, but they can also be a minefield of misinformation. Expert advice from the BBC's Family History website.

Tracing Your Roots - BBC Radio 4
Radio 4's genealogy series helps 'put the branches on your family tree'. Includes personal stories, links to previous programmes and a guide to outside sources.

A nationwide history features site which focuses on specific topics, including immigration and emigration.
Although this site is still live, please note it is kept as an archive and no longer actively maintained.

Official Bodies and Main Sources

Scotland's People
The official government source of genealogical data for Scotland in association with the General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon. One of the world’s largest resources of genealogical information, the Scotland's People database is full of vital information to assist in your family history quest.

The site provides a fully searchable index of Scottish births from 1553-1905, marriages from 1553 to 1930 and deaths from 1855 to 1955. In addition, indexed census data is available from 1861 to 1901. The 1851 and 1841 censuses will be added shortly. You can search the census from your computer at home for a charge, so it's best to use the facility armed with some details from your research. The material can be searched for an entry fee at the General Register Office for Scotland. You can also search the index to Scottish wills and testaments from 1513 to 1901 free of charge using this website. This material can also be searched at the National Archives of Scotland.

Scottish Archive Network
The Scottish Archive Network website provides a portal which allows you to search the electronic catalogues of more than 50 Scottish archives - over 20,000 collections of historical records. Partners involved in the project include the National Archives of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, Scottish Screen Archive, and many others like the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre and the Royal College of Nursing Archives.

Scots Origins
A source of genealogical data for Scotland.

Scottish Genealogy Society
The aims of the Society are to promote research into Scottish family history and to undertake the collection, exchange and publication of material relating to genealogy.

National Library
The biggest library in Scotland. A collection of 700 maps has just been added to their amazing website. They include around 300 maps of Scotland from 1560 to 1769 and about 400 military maps and plans from the Jacobite period

The National Archives
The government's central public records office for England and Wales at Kew. Everything from military records to censuses, wills, births, deaths and marriages, to the Domesday Book.

Public Libaries Online
A comprehensive portal listing all of the public libraries alphabetically.

Scottish Cultural Resource Network
A massive database of images and information. The Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network (SCRAN) is the history and culture site "which lets you learn directly by accessing images, movies, sounds and virtual reality".

Local Guides

The Scottish Association of Family History Societies
The Scottish Association of Family History Societies has a list of Scottish, English and Overseas societies.

The Federation of Family History Societies
UK-wide federation of genealogy societies.

Ancestral Scotland
A site containing useful hints, features, ancestral and surname searches, which links into the Scotlandspeople database.

Other Recommended Sites

Burke’s Peerage

Burke's Peerage & Gentry contains the full, accurately researched lineages of over 650 titled and landed families in Scotland. Controversially, they have just included Scottish Clan Chiefs in the list for the first time in 176 years. Note: there is a charge for full access.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
A useful resource for the beginner to the more advanced researcher.

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Unless otherwise stated images copyright © SCRAN.

Getting Started
Further Steps
Initial Sources
Digging Deeper

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