My Ancestor Was Scottish : A Guide to Sources for Family Historians
A comprehensive and indispensible guide to tracing Scottish ancestry, this book will help you get to grips with the differences and nuances of researching in Scotland, from civil registration and census returns, to parish registers and wills.
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This handy paperback of 120 pages provides an excellent and up to date guide to the wealth of Scottish family history resources that are now available from a distance. As befits a member of its user group, Alan Stewart starts with an excellent guide to the ScotlandsPeople website, including a concise tabulation of the differences between the English and Scottish registers of births, marriages, deaths and wills, and useful reproductions of the images available. From his own experience, he illustrates the colourful detail that sometimes emerges in Scottish wills.
His detailed guide to church registers, valuation rolls and the various names lists available online is thoroughly informative, and mentions many of the oddities. But he could usefully have provided more name equivalents, like Jane and Jean. The chapters on Scottish maps, newspapers, 'statistical accounts' and military records pay proper attention to these vital follow-on resources, and those on clan history and Scottish legal records provide a useful introduction to their obscurities.
Perhaps reasonably for a volume published by the Society of Genealogists, its library is given as much space as all of the family history societies of Scotland, but these and other specialist societies are not ignored. It is not until the author comes to the re-titled National Archives of Scotland, to regional archives and to local history that he runs out of space, and the reader needs to turn to more specialist guides. But this is not to criticise this excellent booklet: it deals first with the resources that ought to be consulted first, and it shares Alan Stewart's thorough knowledge of these resources.
Friends of The National Archives.