Author Topic: Where to start with Scottish Research?  (Read 63986 times)

Offline Boongie Pam

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Where to start with Scottish Research?
« on: Sunday 12 December 04 00:42 GMT (UK) »
So you are just starting out with your family history or you've just found one of your sassenach great grandfathers was actually a tartan-wearing, whisky-drinking, haggis farmer?

Where do you start trying to find records?

Registered Births, Marriages and Deaths

In England and Wales statutory registration of BMD started in 1837 but in Scotland it did not become law until 1855.  The General Register Office of Scotland (GROS) holds all registrations. It can be visited if you can get to Edinburgh, see here www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/famrec/index.html

To visit and research at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk costs 15 for the day and you get access to all the statutory certs (i.e. ALL the information not just the indexing), OPR indexed images and census.  They do, however, offer a research service, details at the above website. For those of you not able to get to Edinburgh, contact your local Registry Office to see what research facilities are available.

Older certs are available to view and download online from the ScotlandsPeople website.  You'll hear a lot about this site www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk This is a pay-per-view site and reasonably priced until you realise how addictive it is!

You can register for free and to start a session costs 7 which equals 30 credits, these last for one year.  You don't lose the credits you've bought if these expire but you have to buy another batch to re-activate them (you then have another year to use them).

To view your search results costs 1 credit (23.3p). If you get lucky and find the cert you want, it will then cost 5 credits to view (1.17).  The information will be much the same as the English/Welsh certificates with a couple of additions. The next post lists what is on a Scottish Birth/Marriage/Death certificate.

You can check here www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&413 for the availability of records to view on line on ScotlandsPeople and those which have to be ordered as they fall outside of the period where they can be viewed on line. The cost of ordering extracts of BMD certificates is 12 and these can be ordered on line on ScotlandsPeople.

Old Parish Register Records (OPRs)

ScotlandsPeople have indexed all the parish records available and they are searchable from their site www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk  The cost of searching and viewing images is the same as above.

The keeping of the records was down to the local parish, there was no pre-printed formats or prescribed methods.  This means the information over time and parishes is variable, and that's when it exists!  In general you will get a father's name, often a mother's name including maiden name (notably, a number of parishes only lists father) occasionally a residence and or occupation.

This link www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk/research/list-of-oprs.html will show you what year coverage there is for different parishes. They are grouped by county and each county will give you the parish file numbers.

I've noticed in the parishes I'm interested in, the IGI has only a patchy coverage of what is available.  So definitely try to get a film through a local LDS centre.  There are many Family and Local History Centres (FHS & LHS) around Scotland who are tremendously helpful and may have indexed - it is worth googling to find them or some will be in the county boards here.

Memorial Inscriptions

I'm not aware of any combined databases for Scottish graves, please post here if I'm wrong.  This is definitely an area where the FHS are active as is The Scottish Genealogy Society. www.scotsgenealogy.com/  More and more transcriptions come on the market each year.

Wills

ScotlandsPeople now have the front end access to Scottish Wills, currently up to 1925.  Probate in Scotland is based on Scottish Law, which I am definitely not an expert on.  But it does mean there are less wills in Scotland.  Searching is free on ScotlandsPeople and you get enough info to be sure it's yours if you know what you are looking for.

The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) in Edinburgh have digitised the wills and they can be viewed free online whilst visiting there and printed (check their site for current costs, but they are reasonable). For wills after 1925, see here www.nas.gov.uk/guides/wills.asp  

Census

The census in Scotland is exactly the same as in England and Wales - same dates.  So where can it be found?  Well, it is kept centrally in Edinburgh at the GROS, regional libraries have it too, on film.  And, you guessed it, ScotlandsPeople have a pay per view access for 1841 to 1911.  The LDS have transcribed the 1881 census, available on CD.  Try your local library also as many will have local history reference sections.

It is worth seeing if your local Family History Society has indexed the 1841 or 1851 which seem to be the most popular years indexed.  1841 is being focused on by http://freecen.rootsweb.com/ (check coverage on the site, with content/years being added on all the time).  Finally, Ancestry has published indexes for 1841 to 1901 (available only by subscription). However, original images of the census are only available through ScotlandsPeople.

UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
~~~~~~~~~~~

Dumfrieshire: Fallen, Fallon, Carruthers, Scott, Farish, Aitchison, Green, Ryecroft, Thomson, Stewart
Midlothian: Linn/d, Aitken, Martin
North Wales: Robins(on), Hughes, Parry, Jones
Cumberland: Lowther, Young, Steward, Miller
Somerset: Palmer, Cork, Greedy, Clothier

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Offline Boongie Pam

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The contents of a scottish cert.
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 12 December 04 00:43 GMT (UK) »
ScotlandsPeople now have a comprehensive help guide detailing what is on the records www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?r=554&408, a summary of regular statutory certs is below.


Birth - Guide here www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&402
Child's forenames
Sex
Date, Place, Time of birth
Mother's full and maiden name
Father's full nameand occupation if married to the mother
Date and place of parents' marriage
Name, address and relationship to child of the person who registered the birth.

Marriage - Guide here www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&403
Date & Place of Marriage
Whether by banns, licence or certificate
Name and age of bride and groom
Occupations of bride and groom
Marital status of bride and groom
Current address of bride and groom
Names and occupations of the fathers of the bride and groom
Mother's maiden name of the bride and groom
For regular marriage - name of officiating minister (or registrar from 1940)
For irregular marriages - date of conviction (to 1939), decree of declarator or sherriff's warrant
Names of witnesses

Death - Guide here www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&404
Full name of deceased
Marital status
Spouse's name
Sex
Date & Place of death
Given age
Cause of death
Occupation (or name and occupation of husband if the deceased was a married or widowed woman)
Father's name and rank or profession
Mother's name and maiden name
Name, address and family relationship (if any) of the person who reported the death.


Register of Corrections (REC)
The general rule is that once made, a register entry remains unchanged. However, the Registrar General maintains a Register of Corrections in which amendments to the other registers can be entered. Some changes are possible:

  • An error of fact in any register entry may be corrected.
  • A birth entry where the parents subsequently marry may be cancelled and replaced.
  • A marriage entry may be cancelled if a court declares the marriage was void.

There are some cases in which an entry is made in the Register of Corrections and a marginal note beside the original entry gives a reference to this. These include cases where:

  • A court has made an order of parentage.
  • The subject of the entry has changed his/her name.
  • Further information about a death has become available.
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
~~~~~~~~~~~

Dumfrieshire: Fallen, Fallon, Carruthers, Scott, Farish, Aitchison, Green, Ryecroft, Thomson, Stewart
Midlothian: Linn/d, Aitken, Martin
North Wales: Robins(on), Hughes, Parry, Jones
Cumberland: Lowther, Young, Steward, Miller
Somerset: Palmer, Cork, Greedy, Clothier

Online intermittently!

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Offline Boongie Pam

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What can I find in the old parish records?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 17 June 06 16:43 BST (UK) »
I thought I'd post a note specifically on Scottish Old Parish Registers (OPR) records.

As per the 1st post on this thread, the parish records are variable as there was no prescribed format given to the clerics or writers. The records were kept on a voluntary basis. I'm sure many users of Rootschat have their own experience of records they have used through libraries, family history societies or the LDS.

I can recount some of my experiences here to illustrate some expectations.

NOTE: These are all pre-1855 when statutory registration was brought into law.

Baptisms

The fullest baptismal records I have experienced will include...

Father's name
Mother's maiden name
Occupation of father
Residence
Witnesses

Examples would be...

3rd June 1792- Mary Atchison lawful daughter of Andrew Achison mariner and Margaret Hill in Newbie

3rd Febry 1847 - Tabitha lawful daughter of James Carruthers mariner and Isabella Taylor born 3rd February baptised 21st March 1847

These records will be listed in ink script in large books in various states of disrepair.

Additional notes here on OPR birth and baptism entries www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&405, including a link to an image example from a register.

To give you an idea of the variation in styles, the above entries are transcribed as found the date will be in a margin then one sentence as above. 

Another "gem" worth considering if your family moved to another parish, baptisms may have been noted in their original parish if they were well known or respected.

An example from my family, from the Annan parish records...

Francis Carruthers lawful son of Francis Carruthers master of the Miss Douglas sailing vessel of Carlisle and Elizabeth Harrison in Bowness was born 3rd and baptised 18th August 1819 by Revd William H Moncreiff minsr of Annan.

[Francis Carruthers lived and worked in Bowness, Cumberland later retiring to Liscard, Cheshire - yet the minister from Annan baptised his children]

Bearing in mind that these are the fuller entries, so you may be further disappointed if you happen to be caught in the parish of a less than rigorous recorder...

www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,159564.0.html This link illustrates that when a date range is given as "coverage" of the extant records it does not mean they are complete within that range.

I would definitely recommend tracking down the films from libraries or LDS Family History Centres and viewing the records for yourself.

Before you order anything check what information you are likely to get - ask us.  Post to a specific county board and there will be an expert somewhere!

Marriages

Very similar to English entires in the Scottish records. But again, no prescribed format.

The fuller records will contain in descending order of likelihood...

Bride's name
Groom's name
Residence
Occupation
Father of the bride &/or groom

Most commonly it is the bare minimum (in my experience).

Again, some examples here...

10th June 1806 - George Ferguson mariner and Jean Caruthers daughter of Frances Caruthers in lawfully married.

And at the other end of the scale...

10th Sept 1816 - William Matthews and Mary Farish

Additional notes here on OPR bann and marriage entries www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&406, including a link to an image example from a register.

Burials

Death or burial records are rare in Scotland.  That's not to say non-existant.  You will occasionally find a list of MORTCLOTH DUES these were dues payable for the use of the public pall (death cloth) at a funeral.

In Kirknewton parish for example there is a financial records of mortcloth and coffin payments.  This list includes who made the payment and what for - this is often a clue to when a spouse or relative died.  It is worth trying to see the Kirk Sessions records as these payments can be listed there rather than in the baptismal or marriage books.

Additional notes here on OPR deaths and burials www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&1353



As you will be aware, statutory registration became law in Scotland 1 January 1855 under the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1854. Under this act, all parishes were required to deposit their records with the General Register of Scotland, c.3500 books were deposited.

You will find that just prior to 1855, for a few years before the baptismal records become a lot fuller (by volume - not information), people believed that statutory registration would mean cost. You are more likely to find groups of children listed from the same family at about this time as families either came in for a 'job lot' baptism or to ensure the names were "in the book".

The birth, marriage and burial records are not the only records available. Kirk Sessions (which are mostly kept at the NAS) often contain the naughties! Illegitimacies, fornication, irregular marriages etc - a fascinating read and the topic of another post!

Are OPR available in my county? See below.
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
~~~~~~~~~~~

Dumfrieshire: Fallen, Fallon, Carruthers, Scott, Farish, Aitchison, Green, Ryecroft, Thomson, Stewart
Midlothian: Linn/d, Aitken, Martin
North Wales: Robins(on), Hughes, Parry, Jones
Cumberland: Lowther, Young, Steward, Miller
Somerset: Palmer, Cork, Greedy, Clothier

Online intermittently!

Offline Boongie Pam

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Are Old Parish Records available in my county?
« Reply #3 on: Monday 17 July 06 18:48 BST (UK) »
If you scroll down the page linked here...

www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk/research/list-of-oprs.html

And go to the list of counties it will tell you if there are burial lists included in the films.

For example...

Go to Fife...
www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk/pdf/list-of-oprs-399to459.pdf

And the first parish Abbotshall has the following info:-

399/5 B - M - D 1750-1806
399/6 B - M - D 1806-1843
399/7 B - M - D 1818-1850
399/8 B - M - D 1851-1860

This shows that sub films 399 (for Abbotshall) parts 5-8 have burials listed.

But Baptism and Marriage records started earlier.

As described above burials have the least coverage so definitely check out the coverage to avoid disappointment.

It's a good way of checking if you are on a non starter before you order the film.  Films are often held in Local or Family History Centres, LDS centres, local libraries etc.  The LDS is probably the most useful if you don't live in Scotland.

See here for finding centres...
https://familysearch.org/locations?PAGE=library_fhc_find.asp

Hope this helps,
Pam
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
~~~~~~~~~~~

Dumfrieshire: Fallen, Fallon, Carruthers, Scott, Farish, Aitchison, Green, Ryecroft, Thomson, Stewart
Midlothian: Linn/d, Aitken, Martin
North Wales: Robins(on), Hughes, Parry, Jones
Cumberland: Lowther, Young, Steward, Miller
Somerset: Palmer, Cork, Greedy, Clothier

Online intermittently!

Offline ibi

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Re: Where to start with Scottish Research?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 10 January 07 17:20 GMT (UK) »
Hi Pam

There is a Scottish NBI (National Burial Index) project, similar  to that in England, organised by the Scottish Association of FHSs (SAFHS), based on extracting and indexing all the death/burial info from the OPRs (and kirk session records?) but it is taking some time, and the progress is very patchy, as the FHSs involved are allocating the project very different priorities, - see the SAFHS website at  http://www.safhs.org.uk/ for news on progress on this and other SAFHS sponsored/led projects.

Fife FHS has already published a CD, - the death records are particularly good for the parishes in the "Kingdom", - and I seem to recall seeing mention in the Glasgow & West of Scotland FHS journal that some material for Argyll has been published. (Added later: and I seem to recall hearing a few weeks ago that Lanarkshire FHS had just or were just about to publish some material.)

There's also an SAFHS led project to list all the burial places in Scotland (but not the "residents"), - check for progress on the SAFHS website at http://www.safhs.org.uk/ .....

A parallel National Archives of Scotland project in conjunction with SCAN and the Genealogical Society of Utah has resulted recently in the completion of the project to digitise the the kirk session records in NAS's series CH2 and CH3, - basically the records of the Established Church of Scotland and all the secession churches who eventually came back into the "Auld Kirk" in 1929, and including presbytery and synods.

These digitised images can already be viewed at Register House, the home of National Archives of Scotland, at the east end of Princes Street in Embra, just behind the statue of "the man on the horse" (Wellington!).

Eventually these images will come on line, but there are major problems regarding the indexing, - and this after a pilot indexing project, - that are going to take some time to sort out.

ibi

Offline Falkyrn

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Re: Where to start with Scottish Research?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 02 February 07 12:06 GMT (UK) »
Interchangeable names

http://www.whatsinaname.net/

In Scotland many names are interchangeable often in ways which may confuse the non-scot (or even the modern scot).

e.g.  Peter & Patrick, Daniel & Donald, Agnes & Nancy , Jane Jean Janet & Jessie
Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh

Offline bcowan

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Re: Where to start with Scottish Research?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 22 February 07 22:41 GMT (UK) »
All the resources noted earlier in this thread are all excellent starting points.  I've outlined a few 'alternative' techniques that help uncover some of the many thousands of personal sites that may be of interest.  Have a look at the link below:

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,164730.msg772714.html#msg772714

regards,

Bill



Offline janglaschu

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Re: Where to start with Scottish Research?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 14 August 07 09:42 BST (UK) »
N.B. images of Old Parochial Records are now available to view on Scotland's People; also the Register of Corrected entries.

Credits purchased now last for 90 days. Now one year. See additonal help notes here www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?393
Suffolk, England Benstead, Boldero, Boldy, Boyns, Boynes, Collins, Cooper, Elliott, Fletcher, Laflin, Laws, Lankester, Markham, Marshall, Orriss, Steward, Taylor, Thimblethorpe
Scotland Barclay, Campbell, Finlay, Freeland, Grove, Hay, Horn, Laird, McDonald, McKay, Milne, Mills, Peebles, Robertson, Shearer, Stewart, Strang, Thomson

Offline ibi

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Re: Where to start with Scottish Research?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 14 September 07 00:55 BST (UK) »
N.B. images of Old Parochial Records are now available to view on Scotland's People; also the Register of Corrected entries.

Credits purchased now last for 90 days.

Note that somewhere around 2 to 10% of the links to the RCE images aren't there, - this is the case on the DIGROS system at New Register House, and not any fault of the ScotlandsPeople provider, ScotlandonLine !

The reason for such a wide range of figures is that the ScotlandsPeople UserGroup "test drive" of the RCE images produced a wide range of defective links.

Note also that an RCE annotation only means that there is an RCE link to a record on the register page involved (3 for births and deaths, 2 for marriages) and not necessarily that the RCE link refers to your record, - in other words it could link to the other record (marriages) or other records (births and deaths).

ibi