International Genealogy

Online Resources for Researching Your Scottish Ancestors

Online Resources for Researching Your Scottish Ancestors

Are you starting to research your Scottish ancestors? Or, maybe you’ve been trying to research them for a while and just haven’t found any good sources. There is good news! There are actually several really excellent resources for researching your Scottish ancestors right here on the Internet. You don’t have to take a trip to Scotland or spend lots of time sending letters back and forth across the sea to Scottish vital records offices and archives (and maybe finding there aren’t any records there on your ancestor anyway).

You can do a large portion of your Scottish genealogy research without leaving your computer. While you may eventually need to take a trip there in person or hire a genealogist in Scotland to do the work for you, these online resources for Scottish genealogy will get you off to an excellent start.

  1. ScotlandsFamily.com

This is a Scottish genealogy portal that provides you with links to online resources for Scottish genealogy. The beauty of this site is that all of the links you need are all in one place, so you don’t have to go hunting all over the Internet for the individual sites.

Sites are grouped according to what types of information they provide. You will find links to resources for Scottish genealogy grouped by:

  • Births and baptisms
  • Marriages
  • Deaths and burials
  • Census records
  • Directories and lists
  • Poorhouse records
  • Ship passenger lists
  • Maps of Scotland
  • Books on Scottish history and genealogy
  1. ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk

This is an excellent resource for Scottish genealogy, and it is run by the government of Scotland itself, so you know the records there are superb. You can do surname searches on the site for free. You can also browse indexes of records for free if you register for the site. While there is no membership fee, you do have to pay to look at the records (which you should do, as there is often important information in the records themselves that aren’t in the indexes).

You buy credits in the amount you choose, and these credits get you a view of one record per credit. The payment is made in British pounds, but don’t be concerned with that if you’re in another country. Your credit card will make the monetary conversion for you automatically.

Some of the records you will find on this site include:

  • Wills and probate records
  • Census records
  • Births and baptisms
  • Marriages
  • Deaths and burials
  • Valuation rolls
  • Soldiers’ wills
  • Coats of arms
  1. ScottishDocuments.com

This website has a full index of wills ranging from the year 1500 to 1901. The index is free to search, and costs only 5 pounds to download the image of the will you want to read.

  1. FamilySearch.org

This website, run by the Jesus Christ Church of Latter-Day Saints (also known as the Mormons) is totally free to use and has one of the largest collections of genealogical records to be found anywhere in the world. Many of their records are from Scotland. You will find not only Scottish census records here, but also scanned images of Scottish parish records and Scottish family trees submitted by LDS members and other users of the website.

  1. Edina.AC.UK/Statacc

If you know which parish your ancestors lived in back in Scotland, this will be a very fascinating site for you. This site contains a free collection of detailed descriptions of the various parishes in Scotland. Published between 1790 and 1840, these descriptions provide a unique insight into the daily life your ancestors may have lived there during this time period and will give you a better idea of who your ancestors were and the places they lived. It is a beautiful adjunct to any Scottish genealogy research project.

  1. Nationalarchives.gov.uk

This site contains a collection of discharge papers for Scottish soldiers who were released from their military duty between 1760 and 1913. Searching the index is free. You can then order hard copies of the records for 10 pounds each, and they will be mailed to you via regular postal mail. This is a superb site to use if you are looking for information on your Scottish ancestors who served in the military during the time period covered by the website.

Researching your Scottish ancestors can be a challenge, but it is also a fun one if you know where to look. If you are not familiar with the records available in Scotland, it might be frustrating at first when you begin your search. The more you get into it, though, the more you will discover, the more you will learn about what is available for genealogists in Scotland, and the more fun you will have doing this very rewarding genealogy detective work. Start looking at these resources today and see what you find. You may discover things about your ancestors you never knew, as well as uncover new avenues of research to take you further into your Scottish family tree.

 



Will Moneymaker

Will founded Ancestral Findings back in 1995. He has been involved in genealogy research for over 20 years. The thrill of the hunt, the adventure, and the excitement begin when he started investigating the meaning of his last name. Why I Love Genealogy (And You Should, Too!)