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Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors (Paperback)

A Guide for Family Historians - Second Edition

Family History World History > UK & Ireland > Scotland

By Ian Maxwell
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 40
ISBN: 9781783030088
Published: 11th February 2014
Last Released: 6th October 2022


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This fully revised second edition of Ian Maxwell's Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors is a lively and accessible introduction to Scotland's long, complex and fascinating story. It is aimed primarily at family historians who are eager to explore and understand the world in which their ancestors lived.

He guides readers through the wealth of material available to researchers in Scotland and abroad. He looks at every aspect of Scottish history and at all the relevant resources. As well as covering records held at the National Archives of Scotland, he examines closely the information held at local archives throughout the country. He also describes the extensive Scottish records that are now available on line.

His expert and up-to-date survey is a valuable handbook for anyone who is researching Scottish history because he explains how the archive material can be used and where it can be found. For family historians, it is essential reading as it puts their research into a historical perspective, giving them a better insight into the part their ancestors played in the past.

As featured in the Portadown Times. Scottish Memories Magazine and on the Celebrate Scotland website.

I have found that it takes a variety of resources to research family trees. Whereas Ancestry is a great tool, it does not always lead to correct information or exact paperwork needed to prove a lineage. This book is a great help and I recommend it for anyone seeking to not just collect the documents but for those seeking an understanding of the world our ancestors lived in. I appreciate that because when I’m gone I really hope I’m remembered more then just as a birth, marriage, and death certificate.

Read the full feature here

This Family Blog

The historical section provides a lively summary of the social history of Scotland, nicely illustrated from contemporary accounts and nineteenth- century line drawings. The chapters on Birth, Death and Marriage; Life in the Country; Life in the Towns; Clans and Kinship; Education; Working Life; Religion; The Military; and Migration and Emigration are informative and well-balanced.
A useful supplement to such resources and a high-level reminder of most of the invaluable but challenging accumulation of Scottish online resources.

The Friends of the National Archives

A great starting point for anyone who has an interest in their Scottish roots.

Scottish Field

About Ian Maxwell

Dr Ian Maxwell, a former record officer at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, is now a freelance writer and a leading expert on Irish genealogy. He conducts courses on genealogy throughout Northern Ireland and he is a regular speaker at genealogical conferences in Belfast and Dublin. He writes articles regularly for Family Tree and Who Do You Think You Are? magazines on Irish, Scottish and English social history and genealogy. His previous publications include Your Irish Ancestors, Everyday Life in Nineteenth Century Ireland and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors.

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