Thursday, 18 February 2010

Researching Scottish Family History - coming very soon!

I've just received word that my book Researching Scottish Family History is now at the printers, and should hopefully be ready in time to go on sale at Who Do You Think You Are? Live event next weekend in London.

Published by the Family History Partnership, which aims to provide family history books at an affordable price, the book will cost £7.95 - yes only £7.95! - and provides an introduction to all areas of Scottish research, with information both on traditional and internet based resources.

So what exactly does it cover? Well here's a quick summary:

Chapter 1 – Working from the known to the unknown
Getting started, talking to the family, recording the information, including the best tools for the job, whether on paper, through software or via an online family tree programme.

Chapter 2 – Knowing where to look
A guide to all the major institutions where you may find yourself researching, including a detailed guide to the ScotlandsPeople Centre, the National Archives of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, regional archives, family history societies, Scottish Genealogy Society, LDS centres, the London based Society of Genealogists, TNA, and more.

Chapter 3 – Scottish Statutory records
A detailed guide to the contents of Scottish statutory records, including BMDs, and more recent sources such as civil partnerships registers, the Book of Scottish Connections, overseas records and more.

Chapter 4 – Scottish Parish Records
The established OPRs, dissenting/nonconformist records and Roman Catholic research, and kirk session records. Also Scottish Judaism, Sikhism and Islamic research.

Chapter 5 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
How the Mormons can help (and short background to the theology driving their fantastic efforts), searching the IGI (using different websites and techniques for Scottish research), local family history centres, the Record Search Pilot site and more.

Chapter 6 – Scottish Censuses and Substitutes
Detailed guide on census listings (including the 1939 National Register), online and offline sources, census substitutes such as electoral rolls, directories and more.

Chapter 7 – Scottish wills, inventories and confirmations
Scottish probate - unleashed! Nothing like the English system...!

Chapter 8 – Where we Lived
Place research - maps, gazetters, Statistical Accounts, land transfers, charters, sasines, estate records, taxes, Registers of Scotland, the works.

Chapter 9 – Earning a Crust
Military research, the Church, occupations, burgh records, crofters, miners, police sources, and lots more.

Chapter 10 – DNA
The basics of the science, but more importantly how it can help with your research - and just as importantly, where it cannot.

Chapter 11 – Heraldry and Tartans
The work of the Court of the Lord Lyon, the basics of heraldry, and the tartan industry.

Chapter 12 – Other Sources
Where to begin?! Newspapers, books, photos, emigration sources, locating and using poor relief records, hospital records, genograms, discussion forums, and much more.

The book also has appendices listing county archive contact details and Scottish family history societies. Throughout there are also tips and special subject 'box-outs' on key areas of Scottish history that impact on family history research (the history of the Kirk, the Jacobites, etc).

I had a lot of help pulling it all together, and there are many people to acknowledge for their kind help. I've explained how they have contributed in the book, but here's a quick roll call to say a very public thank you - Terry Walsh, Bob Boyd, Pete Wadley, Audrey Wyper, Dee Williams, Ashley Beamer, Robin Urquhart, Bruce Gorie, Elizabeth A. Roads (Carrick Pursuivant of Arms), Alison Spring, Debbie Kennett and Alasdair MacDonald. And also my wife Claire and kids Calum and Jamie! Sincere thanks to all, and also to those who helped with permissions for images used.

Once the book is officially on sale, I'll come back with further details on how to obtain it! In the meantime, do check out the other publications from Family History Partnership at - those Gibson guides are worth their weight in gold!

Scotland's Greatest Story


Anonymous said...

Great News Chris. I wish you all the best for your book.

Chris Paton said...