Trace Your Ancestors

If you are looking to trace your genealogy through records we have published, please be aware that while we are very willing to help, we are not primarily genealogists. Below is the advice we give to enquirers and some links to people better qualified than we, which you may find useful:

The place to go in the first instance is the ScotlandsPeople Centre of the National Records of Scotland, in Edinburgh. Most of the records in our publications are stored or listed there, and can be accessed through the ScotlandsPeople website,, whether or not you are based in Scotland. You will need to register and some of the documents require a small fee to download; others are free of charge.

After that, you could consider employing a researcher, e.g. someone from the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives, ASGRA, The website is run by Graham and Emma Maxwell, genealogists who have published indexes to a number of Scottish historical documents, and you can use their site to search your ancestry.

If you are having difficulty reading original documents, the members of ASGRA can help, while some institutes and local history societies offer courses in palaeography, e.g., or try the National Records of Scotland page at

The Scottish Genealogy Society has a helpful website; see