If you have Scottish ancestry and aren’t sure where to start, or if you’ve hit a brick wall, our professional genealogists can help!
Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry
Scotland is one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom, along with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The country is organized into counties, parishes, towns, villages and hamlets. The parish boundaries are generally the same as the county boundaries, which is helpful to know when looking for church records. However, it is also important to note that the county boundaries as they are today were defined in 1974, so you’ll want to use older maps and gazetteers to determine where your ancestors lived prior to that time. The good news is that from about the 1500s up to 1974 the boundaries and names of places in Scotland didn’t change very drastically. This consistency is great when it comes to Scottish genealogy research.
Records for Scottish Genealogy Research
As with most other countries, civil registration and church records are generally the most useful for learning more about your Scottish ancestry. Church records began as early as the 1500s, and civil registration began in 1855. The quantity and quality of information contained in each record varies depending on the time period, the location, and the type of record that it is, so it is useful to search for all records pertaining to each family, not just your direct ancestor.
One great resource for tracing Scottish ancestry is the ScotlandsPeople website. This per-use fee based site can get expensive quick if you don’t have enough information to narrow down results or aren’t sure what you are looking for, but when used efficiently it can be extremely helpful in extending family lines.
Our Team of Professional Genealogists Can Help
If you have Scottish ancestry and aren’t sure where to start your research, or if you have hit a brick wall, we can help! The experts on our team have experience with putting together all available clues, determining the jurisdiction where records are kept, and locating records for you. Between subscription-based websites, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and onsite agents right in Scotland, we use the most efficient avenues possible to extend your Scottish ancestry as far as possible.