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Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors (ePub)

A Guide for Family Historians

Family History World History > UK & Ireland > Scotland

By Ian Maxwell
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
File Size: 1.8 MB (.epub)
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781844686780
Published: 15th October 2009


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Scotland's history has been influenced by many factors – the division between the Highlands and the Lowlands, the feudal system, the Reformation, the industrial revolution - that have shaped the country's past and impacted on the lives of its people. Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors is a lively and accessible introduction to this 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.

Ian Maxwell 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 survey will be essential reading for anyone who is researching Scottish history, for he explains how the archive material can be used and where it can be found.

This pioneering book breaks new ground in that it offers a detailed social history showing how the lives of our ancestors changed over the centuries and how this is reflected in the documentation that has survived. It will help family historians put their research in historical perspective, giving them a better insight into the part their ancestors played in the past.

This second edition of Maxwell’s book is a useful guide and an interesting read, with well-chosen examples and illustrations to inspire your own Scottish research

Family History Monthly, September 2011

This is an unusually-titled guide, in that it is actually a book offering a social history of Scotland, with a short thirty-page genealogical guide appended which appears to have been added as an afterthought.

Where the book works is in filling in some of the gaps as to the contemporary environments within which our ancestors lived. The OPR records show us, for example, how the church recorded the vital events of our lives, but how did it actually control and affect people's daily lives? Why did people migrate from Scotland, or join the military? Some useful chapters provide many of answers.

Unfortunately the genealogical advice is extremely out of date and in parts inaccurate. It describes, for example how to research statutory vital events in Edinburgh via a self-service microfiche system at the National Archives of Scotland, whereas the records have in fact been digitised and accessible on computers for several years, with the system described previously in operation at the General Register Office for Scotland and not the NAS.

A useful guide to help you understand your Scottish ancestors, but perhaps not the best starting point to help you trace them.

Discover My Past, Scotland

this is an excellent work with a fresh approach

Your Family Tree

an extremely useful book

Ancestors Magazine

The book includes chapters on clans, working life, the military, education, and life in towns, cities and the countryside. There is also an extensive research and sources section - this book is a must for anyone researching Scottish family history.

Practical Family History magazine

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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