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Genealogy

The National Records of Scotland is a great place to start your family history search because it offers links to databases containing birth, marriage, divorce, death, property, military, and parish records, to name a few.

The Scottish Archive Network’s digital archives have proven a valuable resource for researchers looking to narrow down their searches by local archive. It also provides a virtual vault with historical photos, lists of passports, court and emigration records, and more.

The Scottish Genealogy Society is a unique source for the budding genealogist in that it provides in-person assistance upon request. The Society operates a physical library in Edinburgh, but it is temporarily closed. However, volunteers are still available to answer inquiries and provide photocopies of records (some are free, some are not). On the website, one can download the Black Book, which is a list of deaths by county, as well as documents relating to previous educational seminars.

Scottish Indexes is a kind of one-stop-shop for genealogical records and for online seminars and conferences. Researchers can narrow down their query by record set, including mental health rolls, sasine records, paternity indexes, criminal histories, and more. They also have Flickr archives and a bookshop where you can view a variety of photos, publications, and written records. Their databases are frequently updated, which is noted on their website.

ScotlandsPlaces is a geography-based archive offering a variety of genealogical records such as name books, tax rolls, maps, photographs, drawings, archaeological records, and publications. Users can also search by some large cities where necessary.

Registers of Scotland is your source for some of the largest record databases in the world (its Register of Sasines contains records dating back to 1617). It also contains registers for crofting, sites of special scientific interest, seals, crown grants, and more.

ScotlandsPeople contains a huge database with options for searching via surname, forename, place, birth, death, social history, local history, and house and building history. It has a photo archive as well. Many records can be accessed for free, some require a small payment.