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Introduction to Genealogy Resources
By Jim Strachan, FSA Scot
June 2007

The Society often receives emails from various individuals from around the globe pertaining to their family’s lineage, and inquiring if the Society has information that can add to their research.

Although the Society has a genealogy database, it is not available to the general public for privacy reasons, and it largely consists of documented sources. In other words, for inclusion into the database, members must provide either copies of primary sources (i.e. birth and marriage certificates), or secondary sources (i.e. census information, etc.).  Although our database is extremely accurate, it is in fact quite small.

The first step in tracing your genealogy, is to read every article posted by the Society.  This information will provide a solid foundation for your research.

When at all possible, document your sources of genealogical information, whether it be a story from your Aunt Bessie, or from a birth certificate.  You will quickly find that some sources are far more accurate and reliable then others.

For individuals seeking to perform genealogy research themselves, we must warn that much of the information on the Internet has not been verified against primary or secondary genealogical documentation.  Subsequently, the IGI and other non-documented sources may be inaccurate.  Given this information, the Society makes the following recommendations for on-line research:

Personal Ancestral File
Provided by


General Register Office for Scotland
UK government agency.  Genealogy research; order certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates; and much more.


Scotlands People
The official government source for genealogical data for Scotland.
Free software and other downloads.  Claims to be the largest collection of free family history, family tree, and genealogy records in the world.


Scots Origin
Scots Origins features a Free IGI search, access to Origins Experts research of authentic Scottish records from 1700 to 1990, a Free Scottish Place search, and expert articles and discussion on Scottish history.


The Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives 

The Lord Lyon Court recommends this organization for genealogy research.

you can obtain contact information of genealogists located

throughout the world. HIGHLY recommend obtaining three different quotations prior to hiring a genealogist.



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