Our Scotland genealogists research on location. They will find and analyze the best records available to further your family history research.
Over the centuries, Scotland has become established as a nation of record-keepers. Fortunately, many of the records kept over the centuries have survived to the present day and offer excellent opportunities to successfully conduct Scottish genealogical research.
Our genealogists in Scotland have many years of experience and are available to research on location in archives and libraries across Scotland, including:
- Edinburgh Central Library
Hundreds of books on Scottish history, genealogy and culture, Edinburgh newspapers, photographs taken by the first photographic club in the world, and Edinburgh electoral rolls (1832-present)
- Edinburgh City Archives
Records of the City of Edinburgh Council and its predecessors from 1400s. Includes local and family history collections focusing on Edinburgh and the surrounding area consisting of church, school, police, army and trade incorporation records
- Edinburgh University Archive
University records dating back to the 1500s
- Glasgow City Archives and the Mitchell Library
Poor law, school, police, church, family, council, business and shipbuilding records covering Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Includes historical Glasgow newspapers, voters rolls and directories
- Lothian Health Services Archives
Records of hospitals, patients, doctors and nurses in the Lothian Health Board area, including the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, which opened in 1729
- National Library of Scotland (NLS)
Legal deposit library and one of the major research libraries in Europe. Contains over 15 million printed items, including Scottish newspapers, magazines, manuscripts, maps, millions of rare and out-of-print books, family and estate papers, trade and craft records, and over 2 million maps dating back to 1300s.
- National Records of Scotland (NRS)
National and local government records, church records (both Kirk Session records of the Established Church and records and registers of various other churches), wills & testaments (1513-2001), court and criminal records, valuation rolls and tax records, records of property transactions (sasines), landed estates, family histories, businesses documents
- Registers of Scotland
Compiles and maintains Scotland property records and other legal documents
- Scotland’s People Centre
Birth, marriage & death records (1855-present), census returns (1841-1911), parish registers (1553-1854), wills and testaments (1513-1901), Coats of Arms (1627-1911), and other miscellaneous records
- Scottish Catholic Archives
Contains over 800 years of parish records and history on the church. Includes letters of Mary, Queen of Scots; baptismal records for individuals; and manuscripts and papers
- Scottish Genealogy Society Library
Books, journals and manuscripts relating to Scottish family history and the Scots worldwide. Includes indexes and publications produced by family history societies throughout Scotland and monumental (gravestone) inscriptions (largest in Scotland), many of which are unpublished and not available elsewhere
National Library of Scotland (NLS) (Edinburgh, Scotland)
The National Library of Scotland (NLS) has many genealogical records, including almost 2 million books, Scottish newspapers, manuscripts, maps, music, and papers.
National Records of Scotland (NRS) (Edinburgh, Scotland)
The National Records of Scotland (NRS) has many historical records created by businesses, landed estates, families, churches and other corporate bodies.
Registers of Scotland (ROS) (Edinburgh, Scotland)
The Registers of Scotland (ROS) has many genealogical records, and maintains Scotland’s property records as well as other legal documents.
Scotland’s People Centre (Edinburgh, Scotland)
This archive contains Birth, marriage, and death records (1855-present), Census returns (1841-1911), Parish registers (1553-1854), Wills and testaments (1513-1901) ,Coats of Arms (1627-1911), and Other miscellaneous records.
Scottish Genealogy Society Library and Family History Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland.
This archive contains books, journals and manuscripts relating to Scottish family histories and the Scots worldwide. It also maintains Indexes and publications produced by family history societies throughout Scotland and monumental (gravestone) inscriptions, many of which are unpublished and not available elsewhere.
Mitchell Library (Glasgow, Scotland)
The Family History at the Mitchell Library includes a range of resources documenting Glasgow’s history, which can be accessed in the archives search room of the library, including the early Glasgow printed books (before 1800s). Researchers can also access poor Law archives, church archives, census records, birth, marriage, and death records, old parish records, and 17th and 18th century printing and manuscripts.
Our professional researchers can do research projects of many sizes and for many budgets. We customize the amount of research provided according to your needs.
If you would like to learn how our genealogists can further your research, request a research quote.
Some of the major records sources that can be used for genealogy research in Scotland include:
- Civil birth, marriage, and death registrations from 1 January 1855
- Births and baptisms, banns and marriages, burials—church records mainly for the pre-1855 period. Most are old parish registers (OPRs) created by the established church. The very earliest go back to 1553, but many begin much later. Coverage and the content of records are spotty.
- Divorces since c1560
- Scottish census records, mainly 1841-1911
- Kirk Session records—the established Church (the Kirk) was responsible for moral matters (illegitimacy, drunkenness, disputes etc), poor relief (until 1845) and other matters in each parish. People can appear in these records for a variety of reasons
- Directories—from the second half of the 18th century, they list tradesmen, individuals, some (but not all) people living in the relevant town or county
- Emigration and Immigration records from 1600s, including passenger lists since before 1890
- Land and property records—Scotland has particularly good records including valuation rolls (owners, tenants and occupiers of property) from 1855-1989
- Wills and testaments (documents relating to the estate of a dead person) since 1513
- Military records since 1707
- Newspapers—local and national
- Taxes—various taxes with records for all or part of Scotland since 1600s