Sunday, June 24, 2007

Scotland is Family History Friendly

Hello All -

I thought I would discuss how friendly Scotland is towards the family history and genealogical researcher. What I mean by this is how Scotland is very good about giving access and availability of their records to the general public for their own personal research.

I thought I would mention the construction of the new Scottish Family History Centre. It is not yet completed, but it looks like it might be fairly close. The last time I was in Edinburgh, construction was getting well underway (especially at the archives building). The front entrance is not accessable at this time at the archives building, but it can be entered into at the side of the building on the right-side if one was looking straight at the front of the archives building itself. So, don't worry if it looks like it is closed as it is not.

For those who are not aware of the SFHC, it is to be a one-stop research facility that basically connects the General Register Office, the Court of Lord Lyon, and the Scottish National Archives. There is a website discussing this project in more detail listed here:

This should be a great research facility once it is completed - having the availability of having all the major Scottish family history resources under one roof. This will help to create one of the best research facilities in the United Kingdom for genealogy.

Furthermore, there is the Scottish GRO online database - scotlandspeople.... This is probably the best thing that could have been done. It is a subscription based service giving page credits. Not only does this site give the indexes of birth, marriages, deaths, but it also gives an index to wills and estate documents, and the 1841-1901 censuses. Even better is that this website also gives the user the ability to download the actual documents themselves. I don't think that there is any other country that is doing this, but Scotland. I think that there are some steps for other countries to do this as well, but not too sure at this time. The only closest thing could be the Ancestry UK website, the various Origins websites, and the 1837 website (English/Welsh vital records).

It seems that Scotland really gets it when it comes to the family historian and genealogist. They have done so much to help those who want to research their Scottish ancestors - it is clear that they know and understand how there are so many Scottish immigrants from the past and even the present that want to trace their roots back to the "homeland." Many of us are greatly thankful for what the Scottish government has done to get this accomplished, and we hope for more in the future.

Until Next Time -
Carolyn of MGS