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Strictly, none of the following are “Primary Sources”, which would be the very original, hand-written, time-wearied document; but they are the sources most readily available to us; and with careful use, can lead back to the true primary sources.

FamilySearch.org - Family History and Genealogy Records

the LDS Church's Family Search Site - FREE – a gift to all.
http://www.familysearch.org/
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp

If you can get back with your own sources to 1875 ( re: Scotland) or earlier, then this site should be your main search tool to start with then go from there, investigate all areas in this website, and try everything; the scope of information is mind boggling. Read the help files, FAC’s, and suggestions on how to use the site.

IGI information on this site is a combination of actual records, and uploads from LDS members, and others. The detailed records displayed when clicking on a record from a search will indicate the record type in the lower portion of the screen.

Any records on Family Search which are in the Censuses and the US Social Security Death Index can be relied upon as being very likely to be accurate, ie to show what you would find on the original hand-written source.

Within the various “International Genealogical” records, check for the following:

“Messages:

Extracted birth or christening record for the locality listed in the record. The source records are usually arranged chronologically by the birth or christening date.”

These records will generally have a similar level of accuracy as the Censuses etc above.

BUT be very careful of information that has been uploaded by a LDS member or others, it sometimes may be inaccurate, misleading and someone’s wishful thinking. But I would also advise that any such items should not be dismissed as they can be quite factual – just double check to confirm the information elsewhere.

The origin of the infamous red herring analogy. -which abounds in some uploaded data:
http://www.fallacyfiles.org/redherrf.html

While there a lot of actual Scottish records here, they are not complete. The Old Parish Records (1553 to 1854, mainly the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and its antecedents) are somewhat close to what the Scotlands People site has, but the Statutory Records (1855 forward) are lacking.

ALL records from the Scottish government stop at 1875 and in some cases as early as 1865. Searches after this time will only retrieve LDS member uploads. You see the Scottish government stopped the transfer of this information when they realized they could make money selling it.

While the LDS records for Scotland do seem to be almost identical in quantity for the short 20 year SR period they do cover between 1855 and approximately 1875 it should be noted that it seems that they are NOT so in the OPR period (1500’s to 1854). There seems to be a non-uniform random lack in numbers of OPR records in the mid 1700 to early 1800 period. The numbers of missing records is not vast but does require the thorough searcher to also check the databases at ScotlandsPeople in order to be certain they have turned all possible stones.

The Census section headed “Census - 1881 British Census” does NOT include the Scottish section or (all-)Ireland section of that Census, although it does include those persons from those and other countries residing in England and Wales on that night.

So the person you seek may not appear in the Scottish section because he was down in England, so appearing in the English section. Conversely an English person may be missing from the English section because he was up in Scotland.

One example is Evan Tant working as a Butler in England, whilst his family are listed in the Scottish section as “Lant” and are all described as being “Farmer’s wife”, “Farmer’s daughter” and “Farmer’s son”.

You must remember there are no “real” death records here from the OPR period. Any death record here is a LDS Member upload, and may have been implied from the rental record of the mortcloth, not an actual record of the death in the modern sense.

The original LDS transcriptions omitted all “Death Records” of any variety, as these were not compatible with the LDS reasons for establishing the IGI. (See the LDS Web Site)

While using this site, don’t use the first screen (“All resources”) that comes up in the “Search for Ancestors” – go primarily to the IGI search where you can do much more advanced searching.

Plus always check out your surname with reports from the 80’s census areas in the UK, USA, and of course Canada. And – once you do find your ancestor(s) - always look at the household screen, not just the single person records, sometimes people live away from their original parents. Make note of marital status, and occupation for each member, including servants, boarders etc – these are frequently relatives.

 Oh and by the way the LDS Family Search site has FREE downloadable family tree software called PAF which is used by quite a few out there. Its’ handy for viewing the information in GEDCOM files that you can download after your searches. Further look at their info on their local Family Search Centers -they are in most major cities, look for the “Church of Latter Day Saints”, are free to use, and they will give you access to microfiche files not available on the internet as yet.

CALL AHEAD should you wish to visit an LDS center– you may have to book time and that applies to most major archives as well. Most centers usually have a small library where you will be able to learn much more about searching. The volunteer attendants can also lend useful advice. Films and other information they do not have on site, can be ordered for a very minimal fee which covers only their costs. Note that all usually have the UK 1881 Census CD’s available which do include Scotland on two disks – Highlands and Lowlands.

BUT these are not the conventional Highlands and Lowlands of everyday life. Roughly any place north of the Forth and Clyde estuaries are classified as Highlands, the rest Lowlands. Glasgow is actually split by the Clyde; but northern Glasgow is included on the Lowlands disk. If you encounter the first version of the disks, Sutherland at the north of Scotland was included in Sunderland down in England. They didnae ken whit th’r daein.

A handy 12 search tricks:

Trick one: make it a standard practice to download IGI files that were or could be used again. This can be done through the sites facility to download GEDCOM files, or you can simply highlight the data on the screen using your right mouse button, copy it, and then paste in into say a Word document (preferred way) or spreadsheet. The GEDCOMS, if downloaded, can be viewed with the LDS PAF software or one of the free viewers mentioned in the listings above, plus if they are your tree you can import the info into many different family tree software files and save some typing. Many of the higher end software packages will allow selective importing of GEDCOM information – this tool is quite handy to avoid deletion of the duplicated “mother & father” entries in a GEDCOM containing marriages and multiple children by only bringing in the marriage, birth and christening information then attaching the family manually yourself.

Trick two: Do a “backwards” search by typing in the parents’ names on the right and selecting births/christenings on the left. This will, if the information is there, show all children born to those parents’ names. Also try the father’s name alone, the mother’s name alone, or the full name of the father and only the first name of the mother (or vice versa) – this sometimes counteracts spelling mistakes in the IGI data base. You can get time selective with this…………….. but first read trick three…….

Trick three: avoiding error messages when you do a time selective search- without knowing a given name. You really don't need the first name to search for all “who-evers” born in a certain time period at the Family Search IGI search facility.

Go to the search area for IGI info only, and use a "*" (asterisk) for the first name, and then add your surname, event, etc.

It is not well documented at the site, but it will accept this (*) as a wildcard for both the given and surnames in the primary input boxes at the upper left and carry out the search. This little trick avoids getting the error message usually reported if your try a detailed search without a first name and reduces the usual overwhelming report of hundreds+ of names, (or worse - a system error), by allowing selective searches in time. This works best for given names in conjunction with a “backwards” search to find a child. NOTE: Using a wild card for surnames MUST be done on a short time frame most of the time or you will hang the system up, or get impossible to “get by” error messages – i.e. trim the time, and focus. This does not work for parent or spouse’s names – just leave the field empty.

Trick four -Note that if the system times out on search, reporting an error message – immediately do the same search again, it may pop up. (The LDS and some other systems temporarily save Search results to cater for this.)

Trick five: this one really minimizes missing data that is there, but is spelt strangely, or may reveal other alternates.

This trick involves seeing ALL marriages or births in a particular area within many years of time. The IGS data was typed into the system in batches, by parish (or locality) in chunks of time which may range from 10 years to 100 years. These batches may reach sizes of 5,000 entries or more. These batch numbers are displayed in the bottom left area of the IGI detail screen when viewing a single record – also shown is the date range of the batch. The area or parish involved will be that shown attributed to the record in the person’s details above.

Again – you go to the search area for IGI info only. Using a name you know is in your target area and time - do a search. (or use a common Scottish name such as Smith, Baker, Brown, Scott, Reid, Johnson, etc and do a time selective search with such in the your target county until your get acceptable results). Once the system has done the search and is displaying the list of names – pick a record whose detail shows that is a record taken from the actual parish records (do not pick one that was submitted by a LDS member, or from non-official source – this will be a batch of mixed records from here and there in time and place).

…..Okay so now you have a single record being displayed that has the place, the time period, and is taken from a real parish or government document. – so you double click on the batch number and the system will drop back to the IGI search screen with the batch number and Region already typed in for you. If you tell the system to do a search only on the batch number all authentic records for that area and time period will be available. Unfortunately you may have to step down a number of screens as the list is in “sorta” alphabetic order.

This can take a while – 200 entries per screen, - ie.-going to entry 4680 takes a while…. But keep your eyes open as you page down each screen so you may hit the “next” button – sometimes the entries may be mixed up a bit, with a section of “R’s” in with the “H’s or the like. This trick is involved but sometimes can bust through a wall.

Also take note that sometimes right at the back end of a batch there may be a short list of given name only entries that just might be who you’re looking for. Also keep an eye out as you step down for surname only entries.
One continuation of this is that by going up or down in the number a few end digits you will get the batch numbers for other similar events and time periods in the same locale. This takes a bit of experimenting, but you’ll see what I mean. Tip - christenings and births start with a “C” and marriages start with an “M” the trailing digits for the times periods for each event are “sometimes” the same.

OR – alternatively you can find a whack of the batch numbers here:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~hughwallis/IGIBatchNumbers.htm

I described the long way first in case this excellent site goes off line. You may find it saves time to copy and paste some of the lists into a local file for later quick reference.

Trick six – make use of the time selective searches & do them smartly – this avoids getting thousands of hits, missing hits, and speeds you up. Using birth dates calculated from reported ages on Census info should always be at minimum +-2 year search. Births of children can be minus 2 years to plus 30years from the actual marriage dates. Most people in Scotland married when they were between the ages of 18 and 35 – start with this, but some are different.

Trick seven (use this at IGI and everywhere else) – be very creative in surname spellings. Try imagining the worst, spidery, feint, hand-writing you have ever seen, some records are a lot worse. While we all know that names were quite frequently spelt phonetically in the past, it still remains that the handwriting of some Parish or government clerks was really bad and some documents are in bad shape to boot. This all leads to names being truncated or, characters misinterpreted, and the like by the transcribers. At least 5% of my tree was drawn from records that were miss spelt or just plain way out there.

Trick eight – Note that when searching for a marriage that the upper name on the upper left of the input screen is the primary variable, and does not have to be the male. If you are having difficulty finding the marriage of two individuals by typing in both names - try searching on each alone – maybe you’ll find what you are after. Or try the use of the wild card “*” in the primary variable given name box, with the surname. Or try this with a full primary and with just the surname of the secondary person, or just the secondary given name. Try the various mixes of bride and groom with all these combinations – these sometimes gets past spelling errors, or incorrect information you have acquired elsewhere. Be creative - the system will give you an error message if you’ve tried something it doesn’t like.
Note older records may not list the wife’s’ name or just her given name.

Trick nine – use your knowledge of nicknames to aid and speed your searches. The LDS site has most global nicknames programmed into its search engine but is weak on a few Scottish equals; one that stands out is the fact that it does not equate Jane, Janet, and Jessie.

Trick ten – It is wise to focus your search when you believe the person(s) should be listed in a particular county to reduce the number of hits. BUT, if you don’t find them - Use the widening search circle to expand and possibly find the file. You might have searched on “British Isles – Scotland – Peebles” and got nothing so – widen out to “British Isles – Scotland”, and then to all of the UK, and finally go to the “All Resources Screen” at the entry to LDS searches and give it a go without naming a country.

Trick eleven – I have throughout this opus warned about the immediate belief in, and use of LDS uploads with the possibility of them being misleading. But sometimes the information they contain may be useful and point you in the correct direction. BUT - Use them with caution and be wary of this avenue and confirm all such data elsewhere before adopting it and going down the path of chasing the wrong people back in time wasting weeks, months or years of effort. People have, sadly, done just this.

Trick twelve – If your surname is a common one that always produces hundreds of hits and you are sure of the parish – use all of the above tricks combined with Batch Numbers to narrow down your search as much as possible and thereby reduce the sifting.

Plus one such combined method of tactics retrieves all children born to a father or a mother of a specific surname without using given names for either parent, or anything at all for the child. This is very handy for finding a possible marriage of a female ancestor via finding children born to her – without at first knowing the fathers name.

Type the batch number for the parish in the appropriate box. Pick British Isles as the region. Type the parents surname in the appropriate box and press search – it’s that simple. This will not work without batch numbers being used.

It sometimes also brings up illegitimate births on mother surname only searches.

Too bad we can’t do this on the Scotlands People SR’s……………..

Remember that double clicking on the batch number in an IGI detail screen will drop you back to the search screen with the batch number and country already filled in so you are set to go.

Here are a few examples of some of the “odd” records that exist:

It took me a while to find this – it is supposed to be Wilhelmina.

JOHN MARCER

  Male

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marriages:

Spouse: WILLIAM_ MENNIE DICKIE

  Marriage:  26 MAR 1841   St. Quivox And Newton, Ayr, Scotland

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Messages:

 Extracted marriage record for locality listed in the record. The source records are usually arranged chronologically by the marriage date. 

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Source Information:

 Batch No.:  Dates:  Source Call No.:  Type:  Printout Call No.:  Type: 

M116128 1820 - 1854 1041406 Film 6901133 Film Sheet:

Here’s one where just the surname was entered, and where an “*” will not retrieve it:

RUCKBIE

Male

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Event(s):

 Birth: 

 Christening:  13 JUN 1690   Newlands, Peebles, Scotland

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Parents:

Father: PATRIK RUCKBIE

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Messages:

 Extracted birth or christening record for the locality listed in the record. The source records are usually arranged chronologically by the birth or christening date. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source Information:

 Batch No.:  Dates:  Source Call No.:  Type:  Printout Call No.:  Type: 

C117672 1677 - 1819 1067919, 0102265 Film 6901340 Film Sheet:

Ruickbie Shield

The Real Deal - where it’s not free:
But – it’s as complete as you’ll find on line – anywhere!

ScotlandsPeople - Connecting Generations
Scotland’s People – the pay government site
http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

But the Index to the Contents and the help/info are FREE! And after the 2005 updates this help area is a MUST READ. Go through every page in all areas.
http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php?area=content/about_this_site/whats_in_database

Eventually you will go here to get data to get past a “wall” or speed up the process. The IGI and other records are quite good but are not complete. I advise doing lots in other places and save the tough work to solve here. It’s not really all that expensive but one should be selective. (30 credits = 6 pounds = approx $15.00 Canadian). But understand this -To be successful in your search the wallet will have to be opened some where along the line. This site to me makes more sense for Canadian/Scottish searching than upping for the cost of yearly subscriptions to the big boy USA sites which only have portions of what is here, and are predominantly American databases, not Scottish or Canadian (which this article concerns itself with).

I would suggest that when you do use this site you do your searches first, and maximize the records shown by expanding dates to fill a complete page(s) of report(s). Ie – one entry on a one page report is just the same charge as 22 records on a one page report.

Also set up an Excel workbook with a sheet for births, a sheet for marriages, a sheet for deaths, a sheet for each census, and (if your adventurous) a combination sheet for all 4 of the others to be copied into (this last sheet takes a bit of time to set up and get all the column headings correct to accept data from the other three). Every time you do a search, bring up the “printer friendly view” of each page, highlight the hard data in it using your mouse, and then copy and paste it into the applicable sheet – this will become your “family data base” all set to go in proper columns - which now is storable, editable, expandable, and sort-able, etc. (will save hours of typing). When you paste this printer view into the Excel sheet only take the search parameters first and paste it in (always avoid the little sheet number box), then copy and paste the main data block over – you will note that the incoming material stays highlighted – at this time go to the top border of the EXCEL frame where the column headings are (i.e. A, B, …) and using your mouse adjust the column widths for each column to suit the size of the data by widening or shrinking – then go to the drop down menu and under “Format” select “Row” and “Autofit” - Finally add some border lines if you wish to make the matrix more readable. Should the printer view be multiple pages only highlight the actual data area (not the column headings – you already have them from the first sheet) and paste this added data directly under the initial paste job. (I know this sounded complex, but it’s not – you try telling someone how to tie their shoes in writing…)

Make sure that on every sheet you add a column to include the year only of the event – these you will be typing in – it makes sorting and math calculations simpler – sometimes the data pasted in looks like a number but its’ really a label with null value. I would further suggest in death’s sheet to add a column and have Excel calculate the birth date by subtracting the reported age from the date of death to approximate a birth date ( do same with census data).

The time saving power of this data base should not be underestimated - when combined with “smart” sorts it can save HOURS. (- A quick example – the report that you get on a census inquiry is name sorted – the data base you set up will allow a place sort – thereby putting all the families together, one after another, and if you do a two stage sort by age descending usually the mother & father will be right at the top of the list).

The combination page if multiple level sorted sort of puts all the information regarding a “given name” in one location saving you flipping back & forth through paperwork (– I‘ve had a few of my people show on the report with their birth, marriage, census info, then death in a nice, neat line by line section.)

It should be noted that once you properly register, and get your password that after your first payment - all your previous paid for images, and previous searches are available to you at any time thereafter whether or not your paid for time has expired, or even if you have no credits left – what you paid for is there for you forever (unless they change things).

Plus note that if your time has expired and you still have sufficient page credits left - you can use these credits to view images from previous searches. The only real restriction is that when your “paid for” credits have expired, you can no longer view NEW advanced searches in the “member” area. – But the “free” search is still available to all for free.

The June 2005 revision of this website added a new plus in that you can still perform searches after your time limit expires. You will get a report on numbers of hits but you can not view the results, but it allows a free test search before you buy more time. I believe this is a definite improvement as you can confirm a lot of data from IGI, including the LDS uploads - without spending a dime by use of EXACT: spelling, year, parish etc. as seen in the IGI or LDS uploaded record. (Remember this one.)

A quick note about searches – ALWAYS keep track of what you’ve done before to avoid paying to view the same search twice.

Another nice improvement of the new 2005 site is the “previously viewed images menu. It does save time down the road searching for an image in the many search lists you can accumulate. The site will allow deletion of previous searches, but I advise – don’t do that. I always delete my old wills stuff as the searches are always free.

Another thing you must realize is that on this site the search will be carried out exactly on how you spelled the names, no sound-a-likes here (like at IGI) – and don’t bother with their canned soundex type search – it is not that good and may return many useless hits– so come armed worth the variant spellings you wish to investigate. Read the help info in this regard as the 2005 update has made a LOT of options available here.

Note: Name searches allow wildcards (*?), this is described at the site. THIS IS A POWERFUL TOOL INVESTIGATE THE POSSIBLITIES. The ? is a wildcard for single characters, while the * is a wildcard for ANY number of characters. These may be placed anywhere in the name. It does not cost a dime to experiment with the use of this as the search costs nothing unless you view the results – so give it a whirl until you get the idea and what is produced. They can be used together as well if separated by at least one character.

Examples:

Ann? – would retrieve Ann, Anne, Anny…
Ann* - would retrieve Ann, Anne, Anny, Annette, Annett, Annie…
Sm?th – would retrieve Smith, Smyth….
De*nis – would retrieve Denis, Dennis……..
M*cDon?ld would retrieve McDonald, MacDonald, McDonuld, MacDonuld……….
Jan* would retrieve Jane, Jannet, Janet, Janette, Jannete……..
Jes* would retrive Jessie, Jessica, Jessy, Jess………
Wil* would retrieve William, Will, Willie, Willy, Wilhelmina………

But note the system will not take wildcards alone, and that you must have at least 2 “real” characters. Yet still it saves a mammoth amount of time and $.

Also get to know how the various searches work. The OPR searches give you all data – male & female. The SR searches are gender specific on marriages; you will have to do both. Also sometimes it is much quicker to do the searches using the “all” options on SR & OPR, then pick from there. And don’t forget that you can really refine your searches when you are confident of date ranges and locales to avoid paying for reports from all of Scotland, and across many years.

Even if you were a seasoned user of this site prior to June of 2005, it is well worthwhile reading how the “new” site works. It is now possible to do searches for all children born to certain parents by using the new “parent fields.” But do note that this will not capture spelling or transcription errors, and in the case of the OPR’s you may miss those entries where the mother was not documented. It is wise to occasionally review the help data as it appears that they are tweaking how the system works every now and then.

Eventually you will view records in TIFF format, save them ALL on your local hard drive and rename them to what they are by person-event-date etc – whatever makes sense to you. When you look at these records, transfer information to your “data-base” that is not shown on the search reports. ie. The person’s occupation, age, mother, father, actual date, witnesses and their relationship if noted, etc…….. This could pay off down the road.

Always read the full image you just paid for, sometimes the other 2 or 3 records on the page may contain useful information. (on one of my marriage images I found that the sister of the person I looked for was also listed there – they had a double ceremony that day, - several times a death register has had information on someone else I was interested in….the communities were small and the “vital statistic” events were few). Watch for notes in the margin areas of the record indicating various legal proceedings.

Always pay attention to the witnesses on a register, you may find relatives you did not know existed ( a son, a daughter, a niece…….), plus after a while you will find that some family names seem to pop up over and over, and they may be a tip to who others might be.

Here’s what is available at this site at time of this article :

Births & Christenings: OPRs 1553-1854 – index only
Births: SRs 1855-1904 - with images
Minor Records (Births) 1553-1904 – index only but coming
Deaths & Burials: OPRs 1553-1854 -nothing (and I see this being a long time off)
Deaths: SRs 1855-1954 Yes – with images
Minor Records (Deaths) 1855-1954 – index only
Marriages & Proclamations of Banns: OPRs 1553-1854 – index only
Marriages: SRs 1855-1929 – with images
Minor Records (Marriages) 1855-1929 – index only
RCE 1855-1954 - nothing
Census 1841 - nothing  - but promised
Census 1851 - nothing  - but promised
Census 1861 – with images
Census 1871 - with images
Census 1881 - index onlyYes No (but information transcribed)
Census 1891 – with images
Census 1901 – with images

Wills 1513-1901 - with images

Under the BDM records searching is possible by surname, qualified by the following factors:

Forename
Sex
Date/Year range
Age/Age range (deaths and censuses only)
Parish/District
County and other names depending on the entry (including spouse, father, mother and mother's maiden name)
Event

Under Wills the search parameters are bit more limited, but sufficient.

(On my personal wish list for this site – the ability to search for births, with also the mothers maiden name as a variable, with optional soundex on both)

Wills at Scotlands People:

About 5% of the population left Wills/Testaments; you may get lucky and find one here.
But the Free Search Index can be quite useful, frequently mentioning relatives, locations etc. It covers Labourers to Lairds, so your ancestors don’t have to be rich or well-connected to appear here.
Be wary, this site defaults to “Exact Spelling”, where-as most others require “Exact Spelling” to be selected.

When searching for wills you can cut down the number of surname hits by searching selectively on given name, location and date range. The site has a help item to aid you in which court or sheriff’s office is applicable to which county.

Should you find multiple entries for a person usually the earliest is the will with heir information. This is true 80% of the time -with the later documents being final inventories of assets not covered in the primary testament.

Tip - In the last update of the ScotlandsPeople website you can now view the Census header sheets for free, and download them if you so wish. Many times it is just a lead identifier sheet that is quite ugly, but the odd time they are the original handwritten descriptions by the census taker of what is in the pages that follow and can be of interest. Who knows – maybe your ancestor was one of the census workers…I found one of mine.


Some Save $ Tips for Scotland’s People:

With the searches being so spelling specific at this site you may receive hundreds of hits on a particular search – especially with common popular surnames. Use what you now to reduce the hits down to a manageable level before just doing “stab-in the dark” downloads of either the listings or the records. Make use of the date parameters, the gender parameters, the location parameters to center on the info that is applicable to your specific need within reasonable tolerances.

This next technique works well on SR records, since you don’t see the spouses’ name: Use what you know about a marriage to pinpoint the correct marriage by running a “wise” search (as mentioned above) on the female - then a corresponding “wise” search on the male. It will cost maybe a “credit a piece”. Pull up the “print version” of each and print them or paste them into a spreadsheet. By manual comparison on the two lists, or by sorted database techniques on the record number you may be able to find one male record that matches or sorts out beside one female record – BINGO……….

Think about it – a one page list costs 1 credit. An image costs 5 credits. Take a chance and do the extra 1 page credit, and avoid hopefully avoid the “lets try this one” a multitude of times at 5 credits a pop. Odds are when you do this you’ll download a bunch at 5 credits each before stumbling onto the one you really want.

I use this technique in the circumstances mentioned – it does save both time & lots of $.

I also used this same technique in the past for finding a FEMALE death record by searching on the maiden name, and then the married name(s) to produce at least two lists to cross reference. BUT -beginning in June of 2005 the site now aids you in doing this cross reference by simply filling in the maiden and married surnames. Married women are indexed under their maiden surname and any married surname(s). Enter the maiden surname, current married surname or previous married surname(s) to refine your search and the database will return the death of any woman bearing that particular combination of surnames. Note: Since the index cannot distinguish between the name-types, you may find e.g. searching for a married woman named Brown with maiden surname Smith that results appear for a married woman Smith with maiden surname Brown.

Note that age at death is not recorded in all indexes for deaths occurring between 1855 and 1865. If you wish your search to include those entries where age at death is unrecorded, check the "Unrecorded Ages" box. (This option only works if you specify an actual range. If you do not specify a range, unrecorded ages are returned by default).

Also pay attention when viewing a downloaded Census image. It’s not documented at the site, but if a family runs from one sheet to another the “viewer” may allow you to go back a page and view both, sometimes it will allow this so ya get the neighbours for free. This option to page forward and back (whether free or not) can also be used to narrow your hits by focusing on a person in the family whose birth date you know, and/or one who has an unusual first name.

Another thing I would mention concerning the 2005 update of this site is that they have programmed the site to recognize the boundary changes of parishes across time. Previous searches may have been limited to county lines. I can attest that it does make a substantial difference from personal experience – an old search of mine that I revisited concerning Innerleithen (formerly programmed as Peebles only) had grown substantially in size since it was now reporting hits from the Selkirk portion as well. I had to pay for the added pages, but it was worth it – a tip: check your old searches.

Regarding OPR death registers:

I have spent some time reviewing various microfilms and report that the majority of the entries concerning the passing of an individual may be of low value in the searching out of family lines.

The level of detail varies greatly from parish to parish and within each parish from time to time. The record can be simply the name of an individual and a date with no referencing ties, or be a name with statements such as “son of”, an occupation, with a residence name or place. I have never seen a record that identifies both parents of the deceased – but some might exist. Some include the mention of purchase of yards of cloth, a coffin…etc. I have never, as yet, seen an age at death documented. In some parishes sections of the registers are dedicated to local deaths, while in others they appear mixed in with the other business affairs– more to document revenue than to record the person’s vital statistics. In one parish examined, which GROS identifies as having recorded deaths, the only records I could find were those of infants who did not survive to be baptized.

Considering all of the above plus the record time gaps in all parishes it may unwise to count on this as a “sure fire” solution to a brick wall when they eventually do become available on line.

Tip – The extracts at ScotlandsPeople are not cheap even though a bargain compared to some other countries. A lot of money can be saved, plus possibly much can be learned by using the Index data from ScotlandsPeople and IGI to make up a “shopping list” of OPR records you wish to view at an LDS center. Just confirm that the films are available or order the film(s) and then go to the centre with your list of names and dates in hand and do quick look ups of the records. Once you get used to working with the films and viewer your can look up quite a few records (and transcribe them) in just a few hours time, and save hundreds of dollars. Should you transcribe the records (which I recommend) – type them as soon as possible thereafter while all is still fresh in your mind – this will give you an electronic copy for use in your family book, plus you might find that some of your work is confusing or needs confirmation by booking another appointment while the films are still resident in your locale (they do ship them out to other cities you know).

Tip – Should you view OPR microfilms – do take note of similar record formats in and around your targets’ to see if your record is consistent with the norm. An inconsistency may reveal a hidden fact (I uncovered an infant death this way as all other birth records in the time period had both birth and baptism dates, mine did not have a baptism date (only an obvious blank) and upon further examination, I did see lightly scrawled sideways in an adjacent column the word “died”). It is also valuable to note how spellings and depth of detail may vary by the writer of the records for future thoughts and investigations. Until I did this myself I had been puzzled by the way my family surname changed for a decade or so - then abruptly changed again – it was due totally to the record keeper assigned within this period – when he changed so did the spelling.

Lastly I again stress that it is well worth the time to read all the available help information at ScotlandsPeople. Go to every section, look at every link. It will be both educational and save you time and money as you go forward. This section was greatly improved and expanded in 2005, and it appears to be growing regularly.

GOT A LOUSY REGISTER THAT IS HARD TO READ?

Here’s a free 3 step image enhancement process that I’ve been messing with. It makes faded registers, or other washed out scanned text, just a bit easier to read. Although not magic or pretty, it sometimes is just enough to help decipher faded writing or scanned pencil logs. Back up any file before you do this to it under another name to retain an original untouched for comparison.

It uses these 3 free software packages, available on line:

B/Works
http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/bworks.htm

Kodak Easyshare free software:
http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=130&pq-locale=en_US

Free Digital Camera Enhancer
http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/enhancer.htm

The process is simple after you have the software.

1. Bring the tiff image into B/Works and using the “Heavy Contrast” option process the file and save it under another file name. It is now a jpeg of much larger size and is a true black and white image with little grey scale.

2. Load the Kodak software and bring in the black and white jpeg image by “adding it”. Then pick “fun effects” and then “colouring book”. This is basically an edge drawing algorithm which will trace lightly the edges of the characters thereby darkening and making them a bit bolder. Then accept this image and then save it under yet a new file name. The image will have grown larger again by some noise picked up in the tracing process around dots and scratches etc.

3. Now finally bring this black and white, edge-traced image into the DC-Enhancer with the controls set as follows:Auto balance at 50%, Colour at 50%, Midtones at 50%, Enh. Details at FULL BLAST, Denoiser at about 75%, and also select the “Mid-Details”. Then save the result as a new name. The file size will drop just a bit due to noise removal. Final file is about 15 times larger than the original as far as disk space goes.

That’s it – compare the final to the original – I believe you will see a bit of a difference and might just help.

I’ve messed with the Kodak “cartoon” setting as well, but it makes a bit more noise than the “colouring book”. But works similar might have some applications.

Further – on a few files it may be necessary to experiment with the various settings of the final DC-Enhance step to produce better results.
 

BOARDS and QUERIES:

GENFORUM:
You will have to register here, you will get some advertising – but good answers too.
This address is Scotland’s general board:
http://genforum.genealogy.com/scotland/
for Canada:
http://genforum.genealogy.com/canada/
 
Search Genealogy Records
ANCESTRY:
No registration is necessary here – unless you wish to see all the other neat stuff for free.
The advantage this site has is that it will allow attachments of text and graphic files
This address is Scotland’s general board:
http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec?htx=board&r=an&p=localities.britisles.scotland
For Canada:
http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/an/localities.northam.canada

(Note: that both Ancestry and Genforum have boards for all countries, and regions, plus surnames, occupations, military….etc. I have found that there is much more activity and a higher chance of getting an answer on the general boards for a country rather than on the county or parish levels)
Remember to use the Search facilities provided on those forums.

All countries:

http://www.cousinconnect.com/

RootsWeb -- The oldest and largest FREE genealogy site, supported by Ancestry.com
http://www.rootsweb.com/
This site is most of the same data as Ancestry, but I would suggest using Ancestry for posts.
But the family trees here are free to search and view - unlike exactly the same ones as at Ancestry - beats me why………?
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/

logo
This is a new chat/query board that is growing daily. It has many boards.
http://www.rootschat.com/

The Scottish Genealogy Society – a NEW board.

While still young it may eventually have value. Try it, I do.

http://www.yabbers.com/phpbb/index.php?mforum=scotsgen

Talking Scot is another newbie – but again worth a try – plus look around at other things

http://www.talkingscot.com/
http://www.talkingscot.com/forum/

Lookup dot com Scottish message board

http://www.lookupuk.com/newboards/list.php?action=search&boardID=6&page=19&q=

When putting up a query try to be as specific and accurate as possible, with sufficient data to help those interested in helping. Always review your message to make sure there are no typos in the dates. And always flag info as uncertain, when it is to save the reader searching for something or someone that may not exist.

Think -putting up a message that says: “I’m looking for a John Scot born?, somewhere in Scotland”, most times will reap few responses……………………..
i.e: What’s better:
1) Looking for John Scot born in Scotland sometime, was in Canada about 1857
Or
2) Looking for John Scot, born approx. 1830 +-2, Presbyterian, in Edinburgh, a blacksmith, parents = John & Mary, wife = Jane, children = John, Mary, Jane and William. Known associates = James Downie and Alexander Scott. Younger brother to James and George. He was in Scotland in 1851. Documented in Canada 1857. Preferred Chivas Regal straight up (sorry couldn’t resist).

Use number 2 as a model of an ideal query and supply what information you can to save everyone time, frustration and $.

Also note that both Genealogy dot com, and Ancestry dot com have surname boards worth looking at – you may find your surname……..and save a lot of hunting….

Useful information may also be gleaned from the “world tree” entries at Genforum and Rootsweb.

I strongly advise that you use a “pop-up” stopper at Ancestry, Rootsweb and Genforum – they are quite aggressive, and really are annoying, though harmless.

E-mail Address
Do NOT include your e-mail address in the main text of the message, this is making it available for spamming, spoofing and the dreaded “bots”, etc.

Genealogy sites such as Genforum have a special field for your e-mail address, which is then available in graphics format, which is much more difficult to capture for spamming etc. On a Genforum posting, click on the name at “Posted by:” to get that persons address, if available.

If you find a post of interest at a board, it is possible to see all posts submitted by that person. Clicking on there name will bring up their entire history, and enable you to read all they have put up, and the usual threads to answers given or the previous message. This can lead to finding a helpful hint or better.

NOTE- One last comment on use of Boards – PLEASE DON’T POST THE SAME QUERY AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS ON THE SAME WEBSITE ON THE SAME DAY– IT REALLY TICKS-OFF THE ADMINISTRATORS and WASTES OTHER PEOPLE’S TIME IN SPENDING THEIR VALUABLE TIME ON AN ANSWER FOR YOU – WHEN POSSIBLY SOMEONE ELSE HAS ALREADY ANSWERED IT AT ANOTHER LOCATION – be considerate to your unknown helpers.

Putting the same query on ANOTHER DIFFERENT website is considered OK by most – or give the query a chance to be answered and then post it elsewhere – at least a week or more later - on a different regional or Surname board within that address. This is both acceptable and advisable as few old (over 3 weeks) stale queries get an answer.

Do remember that the Administrators are knowledgeable time-generous volunteers and that a lot of the better answers may actually come from them. They DO have the power to deny you access, or ERASE your posts should you abuse the privileged use of their board and the systems.
NEVER FLAME! – Your posts and possibly your e-mail address will be deleted.

And – a class act is - to go back to your multiple queries that are relatively close in time and post that you’ve got your answer when you get one.

National Archives – court cases, divorces, trials, etc. – interesting – free- THIS IS A MUST VISIT
http://www.dswebhosting.info/nas/

NAS CALM OPAC is for locating information regarding trials and court actions. There is a good help file on the menu when you arrive there – take a moment to read the “ANY TEXT” blurb and perhaps the “DATE” section. These two will give what most of us need to know on searching for a specific surname or person, in a specific year or across a range of years.

For example if just the surname in the “any text” area retrieves thousands of hits, use the given name and surname enclosed in quotation marks (i.e. “John Smith”) to reduce the results by looking for a specific person. I would caution though that you should try also sound-a-likes, nicknames, and aliases as the search engine does not do phonetic or intelligent matches.

Use of the date variable, is straightforward, and allows ranges which is real handy and a time saving plus databases.

Most users will not use the other optional areas, unless looking for building plans, or map indexes – which are text only, and to most useless - unless you are doing research notes in advance of an actual visit to the NAS.

One other thing I would mention is - should you find an index entry of personal interest for a criminal court case – they usually come in pairs (the pre-trial and the trial with verdict). The gap between the two usually is within a year, but can be a bit longer.

The verdicts in many trials is of great interest to some people from Australia as the verdict may indicate “transportation” – which means they were shipped down under. Or – it may indicate imprisonment for a specified time – which might help some find a person through knowing they may possibly be in prison during a census period.

Another thing you may find occasionally in a few civil suites is legal action being raised in both directions, and many people suing one individual.

I would mention that there is another gateway with a different purpose:
http://www.dswebhosting.info/SCAN/

Which is used primarily for looking for an index entry of official documents, writs, deeds, photos, etc…

Surname Navigator – THIS GROUP OF PAGES ARE GREAT…..
A BIG favourite of mine………

http://www.kuijsten.de/navigator/scotland/

http://www.kuijsten.de/navigator/canada/

http://www.kuijsten.de/navigator/canada/index2.html

 When using this site don’t limit yourself to only using the default search. The “flags” buttons displayed at the top are other country specific search set ups that have more specific parameters and use other search engines. The small numbers in brackets indicate the number of alternate search setups for that specific country. This site also has a link to a general search site called Search Navigator with 2 meta-search engines here:

http://www.kuijsten.de/navigator/123search/

http://www.kuijsten.de/navigator/123search/index2.html

Scotland FreeCen – A MUST VISIT - grows larger continuously – keep checking it monthly!
This project aims to provide a "free-to-view" online searchable database of the 19th century Scottish census returns. It is part of the larger UK Free Census Project (aka FreeCEN).
http://www.users.waitrose.com/~census/

GENUKI Logo

You’ll have lots to see here regarding Scotland – HUGE.  Maps, links, information, advice…...

You can spend days here.

Plus it also has the same broad information on all other areas of the UK.
http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/

General Registrar of Scotland
http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk
Spend a good deal of time here, LOOK AT EVERYTHING and learn:
http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/famrec/index.html
There are many downloadable pdf files regarding information, how to search, parish lists, how they will search for you, etc…….. The list is long. A few hours may save you weeks of searching since you’ll have more knowledge of what’s available and what’s not. Some downloads are worth printing and throwing into a ring binder for quick reference later. This is great stuff, factual and free.

Scotsfind – good list of surnames for alternates, plus guilds, wills, apprenticeships and more:
http://www.scotsfind.org/

Surname Thesaurus – for getting a list of variant spellings – very handy.
This fantastic freebie not only points out alternate spellings but rates them on the number of times they appear in actual vital statistics. This helped me find information I would have never found - as the spellings were so far out there that I would never have tried them and resulted in clearing up two mysteries and totally smashing an intermediate brick wall.
http://www.imagepartners.co.uk/thesaurus/

– Well worth a look:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~onvsr/index.htm
Ontario Birth Registrations – not a complete list – but may be useful:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~births/index.htm
Ontario Marriages:
http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~maryc/thisisit.htm

I use this one a lot. A word about using this site – use of quotation marks to do advanced searches does work and will help you. All searches are exact spelling. Date span is limited but data base is large and is drawn mostly from old local newspaper announcements.

Ontario Deaths:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~onvsr/deaths.htm

Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid - Version '98
the Ontario Cemetery grave finding site

I use this constantly.This is a really good site. Although not complete it is growing. Searches are on exact spelling.  Make use of my tip on cemetery searches here – works great.
http://www.islandnet.com/ocfa/
 
the Canadian Cemetery finding site:
http://www.interment.net/can/on/
Interment does many other locations too……….

Banner: Library and Archives Canada

Government of Canada records
The real deal for Canadian Records – a MUST know!:
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/0201_e.html

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy/022-500-e.html

Included here are a few of items of note (but do look around!, there’s more…):
1871 Census
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020108_e.html
This database contains the names of the heads of households in the Province of Ontario as they were recorded in April 1871 in the official enumeration of the population of Canada. The census returns record personal information such as name, age, country or province of birth, occupation, ethnic origin and religious denomination.

Listed are:
- Heads of households (not all family will be shown)
- “strays" (people with a different surname living in the household)
- People who died during the previous twelve months

Use of $ as a wildcard is possible, for example: Sm$th for Smith/Smyth, etc.

Cool 1874 map of Ontario:
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/02010804_e.html

1901 Census
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020122_e.html
The 1901 Census offers digitized images of the original census returns, which record age, nationality, religion, profession, income, education; etc for every single resident of Canada on 31 March 1901.You can search by geographic location only. As this is not a nominally-indexed database, it is not searchable by family name. This is a painstaking process. But sometimes well worth the effort. Spend some time learning about it at the site before you venture forth. It is very important to know as close as possible the location of your target – there are approx. 30,000 pages. There is an online area pdf file which lists the major areas to help focus your search.

1911 Census of Canada – NEW - was added in September 2005 – ditto above

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/1911/index-e.html

If you think you can use the record index numbers from the 1901 Census on the 1911 census – forget it – they are totally different. So it’s hunt and peck some more, but this time have the location index cross reference AND a very handy set of maps with the areas marked.


Soldiers of the First World War (1914-1918)
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020106_e.html
Over 600,000 Canadians enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War (1914-1918). To date, over 800,000 images of Attestation papers have been scanned and are available on-line.

Soldiers of the South African War (1899 - 1902)
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020156_e.html
The South African War, 1899-1902 marked the first occasion for which Canada dispatched troops to an overseas war. A total of 7,368 Canadians and 12 Nursing Sisters served in South Africa. This research tool brings together three groups of records pertaining to the South African War: the service files, medal registers and land grant applications. All are available as digital images, including hand written letters.

Home Children (1869-1930)
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020110_e.html
Between 1869 and the early 1930s, over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from Great Britain during the child emigration movement. Members of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa are locating and indexing the names of these Home Children found in passenger lists in the custody of the National Archives of Canada.

Immigration Records (1925-1935)
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020118_e.html
The National Archives of Canada holds immigration records from 1865 to 1935. The names of immigrants arriving from overseas are recorded in passenger lists. Those arriving from or via the United States are recorded in border entry lists. The passenger lists for the 1925 to 1935 records are in this database.
Also included are border entries for individuals whose surname starts with the letter C.

Canadian Naturalization Records 1915-1932:
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy/022-505-e.html

Divorce in Canada (1841-1968)

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy/008/index-e.html

1940 National Registration

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy/022-907.006-e.html

It costs money to get the image but it may prove useful against those brickwalls.

The 1940 National Registration resulted from the compulsory registration of all adults in Canada from 1940 to 1946.

Immigrants at Grosse-Île

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy/022-504-e.html

This database includes information on 33,026 immigrants whose names appear in surviving records of the Grosse-Île Quarantine Station between 1832 and 1937.

Banner: Canadian Directories

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/canadiandirectories/index-e.html

This grows steadily – and will eventually be an awesome resource. It is already massive.

Upper and Lower Canada Marriage Bonds

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy/012/index-e.html

War Diaries of the First World War
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020152_e.html
This database contains the digitized War Diaries of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) units. From the start of the First World War, CEF units were required to maintain a daily account of their “Actions in the Field.” This log was called a War Diary. The War Diaries are not personal diaries; rather they are a historical record of a unit’s administration, operations and activities during the First World War

Photographs - National Film Board of Canada: War Records- Manufacturing Series
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/02011504_e.html
If your ancestor worked in Canada at a factory involved in the War effort you may find a picture here.

Toronto Emigrant Office Assisted Immigration Registers Database - Page Banner
http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/english/db/hawke.htm
This database is an index to the four volumes of assisted immigration registers created by the Toronto Emigrant Office between 1865 and 1883 (series RG 11-3). The registers are a chronological listing of those new immigrants who were assisted by the government to travel to many different destinations across southern Ontario. Over 29,000 entries have been transcribed from the registers.
EDINA
Info from the past
Log in as a “non-academic” user
Read and learn about various areas from the late 1700’s and mid 1800’s
While there are very few persons named, this will give you an appreciation of the living conditions at those times, and a bit of insight into many other things. This knowledge can help.
All based on the First and Second Statistical Accounts for Scotland, 1790s and 1840s, compiled by the parish minister usually – “An eclectic collection of contents.”
http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/


Linda Ruickbie
Maybe your Scottish ancestor was an accused witch (just for fun)? – look here:
-An amusement now but “deadly” serious way back. This link works but the database is up and down sometimes.
http://www.arts.ed.ac.uk/witches/

CWGC logo
The "Debt of Honour Register" is the Commission's database listing the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations world-wide where they are commemorated. The register can also be searched for details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in the Second World War.
http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/search.aspx

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
you'll find lots of links and info at Cyndi's gigantic site
http://www.cyndislist.com/

ALTERNATE SEARCH ENGINES
Sometimes they report something that you’ve never found on Google or MSN.

Yahoo – the big competition to Google
http://www.yahoo.com/

Surfwax for general info searching (meta engine)
http://www.surfwax.com/

Zworks another meta search engine for general searches
http://www.zworks.com/

Teoma multi search engine
http://www.teoma.com/

DogPile multi search engine – does images too.
http://www.dogpile.com/

Electric Scotland hold over 20000 pages on the history of Scotland and Scottish clans
Electric Scotland – a massive site in CANADA - lots of info on Scotland -look around- Use the local search engine. Has some on line books, plus links to many other sites. It constantly grows dramatically. I have made a few contributions here. Also be sure to check out the genealogy section. Plus if you are searching for a Tartan that is associated with your family – I’d look here in those sections.

Also - the webmaster is slowly but surely adding the rare and complete 8 volume set of the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland Edited by Francis H. Groome (1892-6) complete with all maps and pictures – a mammoth reference document covering all of Scotland. This will be priceless to many researchers when completed.
http://www.electricscotland.com/


See also the upcoming Scottish Studies Foundation information re Electric Scotland!



Every issue of The Scotsman from 1817-1920. All digitized and searchable – free, but images you pay for – but you can do unlimited searches once you buy some time - not a lot of money. I found many items for my family. GOOD! I recommend this site.
http://www.archive.scotsman.com/

Sample of an article from 1913.



The three GAZETTES in England, Scotland, and Ireland– they list military promotions, medals, and awards, plus nobility lists and title bestowments from the King/Queen. You might find a relative here:
http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/


 
The Ellis Island New York database for immigrants to US and maybe Canada.
This site has the “best” alternate name search around and it is worth the visit to learn other possible phonetic combinations (IGI is good also, Scotland’s Peoples soundex is not real good)
When you search here - search on spouse, maiden names and children’s names as well.
You will have to register here to see a full record – but it’s free and harmless.
If you have MWSNAP you can capture the cool certificates it displays re: your ancestor.
http://www.ellisisland.org/

Castle Garden Immigrants to USA 1820-1912

TRY THIS – an Ellis Island alternate – maybe better and with a different date range.

http://www.castlegarden.org/about.html
http://www.castlegarden.org/


Ingeneas free database and a pay section too…….
Free–Canadian immigration records - on 15,000 immigrants 1801-1849 sometimes worth a look.
Also check out the pay side for a lead on a date – you get a glimpse of the basic info without paying. -Recommended - even if you do pay, not expensive, and can save you many hours re: 1901 Census of Canada searches.
http://www.ingeneas.com/free/index.html
http://www.ingeneas.com/ingeneas/index.html

Go to Home
This is where you may find some personal info from other peoples' family trees, this site grows daily. This site has recently gone commercial – but searching is still free. Rootsweb is bigger, but this site has more current uploads. Try a few searches – you never know…………
http://www.gencircles.com/



 The Royal Commission of Ancient & Historical Monuments
CANMORE DATABASE

You have to register – its free – but for if your looking for old monuments or registered historic sites, farms, place names, etc. – it is the BEST place to start – there are actually three separate databases here - sites, maps and usage data. UNBELIEVABLY HUGE. And some records come complete with photographs on-line.
Not widely used or talked about – but definitely of use, and grows in size and quality daily.
http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/search.html

The Gazetteer for Scotland:
http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/gaztitle.html
 

MAPS:

DOWNLOAD and/or PRINT THIS -The handiest map of Scotland that I know of:

http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/sct_cmap.html

Here’s a similar one of the whole UK:
http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Britain.html

Modern maps-
www.streetmap.co.uk
www.multimap.com
http://uk.multimap.com/index/UK28.htm


19th century maps-
www.old-maps.co.uk

A place may be listed on one or other of those sites; or all; or none.

Streetmap is the easier to use; but try multimap or old-map below if the place does not show up on streetmap. When a place has been located on any of those, use the information to home in on the preferred map. For very small places, isolated houses, farms etc, the name does not appear in the index; but might appear on the map.

Conversely, some farms etc appear in the streetmap index; but not on its map!

How to take a pinpointed current location back to older maps:
Try the index on streetmap first, if it fails, try multimap, then old-maps.
Should you locate a place on streetmap, down at the bottom, you will find the National Grid Co-ordinate.
Copy and paste them into old-maps, changing the "E" to a comma ","; and drop the trailing N. Select "Co-ordinates" and Search etc.
When the small map appears, select "Enlarged View" in the bottom bar.
You can right-click and save the maps for later use; or use a graphics screen capture program.

Much Older and other various maps-
- look around there are lots more than these 3 indexes:
http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/map/early/index.html
http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/map/early/towns.html
http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/map/early/os_scotland_2nd_ed_list.html
Note that the National Library also is a very good source of information on other things besides maps. Take time to get to know this site - the information available is definitely amusing and may be of value in your quest. Photographs, many books, old posters, and more are all on line and free.

GenMaps – maps from all over – good!
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/%7Egenmaps/index.html

UkVillages: - hard to get village maps
http://www.ukvillages.co.uk/ukvillages/ukvillageshome.htm

Charting the Nation: - all the UK
http://www.chartingthenation.lib.ed.ac.uk/

Glass Library:- maps from all over the UK and more links………
http://www.glass-uk.org/pub-library/index_maps.html#Map_resources

PastMap – UK maps
http://www.pastmap.org.uk/

World Maps
http://uk.multimap.com/index/

Two high resolution maps of Peeblesshire – downloadable
http://www.murrayofstanhope.com/peeblesshire_maps.htm

Earth Search
This is a unique site - to get a global perspective on any location.
http://www.earthsearch.net/intSearch.php

Ontario homesteads:
http://homesteadmaps.com/

Canadian County Digital Atlas:
http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/default.htm

Tip: If you find yourself confused regarding locations and relative distances between areas of Scotland simply go to any good book store and buy a current road map of Scotland. It will help to study it and learn the “lay of the land” - a valuable tool.

The map mentioned at the start of this section shows the counties of Scotland, also try surrounding counties when you “think” the search should be in only one specific area – people do move around a bit, and it only takes a few miles to be in a new county records area. County names also change – Linlithgowshire = West Lothian.

Also cross-check in streetmap etc – there are many places called Hillend for example.

County boundaries have been changed over the years; and for some purposes, some locations are grouped into another county. Two extreme cases are Berwick upon Tweed at present in Northumberland England; but have swapped fourteen times into Berwickshire Scotland. The other is Monmouthshire which has shuttled between England and Wales over the centuries, its records have to be checked in both countries.

And do also look for maps at Electric Scotland’s Ordnance Gazetteer section (a work in progress). These maps are HUGE and hi-res – downloadable.

http://www.electricscotland.com/history/gazetteer/index.htm

And yet to come – soon we all hope – hi definition satellite images of Scotland on Google Earth.  Haven’t tried this yet – why not? You’ll be amazed. Plus it has current road maps already pasted on. You have to download the free software. You need a fairly current computer to use this site as it is a memory hog with all the hi-res graphics.

http://earth.google.com/

Also try its sister Google Maps. No software required and not a monstrous memory hog.

http://maps.google.ca/?hl=en

National Archives of the UK – LOTS here – particularly the WW1 medals database.
http://www.documentsonline.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

A note about medal cards – they rarely have any family information but do indicate the registration number, rank, core, and possibly enlistment and discharge dates to help in other searches. Seaman’s medals cards (also here) which additionally cover WW2 are similar.

William Ruickbie World War 1 medal card
Sample WW1 Medal Card



Toronto Star Pages of the Past:
If your relatives were in Toronto this one may help.
It is a pay site – but right now all of 1945 is free.
They have actually digitized (PDF) all the papers from 1894 to 2002.
I have used this myself and report that if you had relatives in the TO area – try it.
http://thestar.pagesofthepast.ca/

Looking for old, rare or used books?
Here’s the biggest dealer in the world. I have used this myself – saves big $, and the service is flawless. Rather than spend full pop, get a “good” used book you want and have enough left over for 2 more……

Just for fun try a “keyword” or “author” search using an ancestor’s name.
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/



This is actually a revised site drawing info from ScotlandsPeople. It’s worth a visit to try the free searches, and read the helpful information and sign up for the newsletter.
http://www.ancestralscotland.com/

Census Finder

Try This

http://www.censusfinder.com/

RampantScotland
12,000 LINKS - REALLY
Check out the calendar pics- Great for wall paper on your desktop monitor……
http://www.rampantscotland.com/
http://www.rampantscotland.com/genealogy.htm

Photopolis – at the Dundee library 2400+ old hi-res photos from all of Scotland
A DEFINITE LOOK – especially if you’re looking for a ship’s picture…….
http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/photodb/index.html

SCRAN – a pay site, but the thumbnails of all 300,000 images are free to view
http://www.scran.ac.uk/

Ancient Faces
Maybe you’ll find a photo here or would like to share yours – free, just have to register:
Make your family immortal through photos.
http://www.ancientfaces.com/


Etrrick Graphics – Ian Millar’s collection of great old pictures from all over the Borders and more….
http://www.ettrickgraphics.com/

Glasgow's Mitchell Library is one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe. It also houses the City Archives. As part of an ongoing project to make its resources more accessible, a selection of photographs of the city has been digitized.
http://www.mitchelllibrary.org/cgi-bin/vm/main.plx

Family Research site – an amazing number of links are shown here – WORTHWHILE.
http://lineages.co.uk/

Canada GENWEB: http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Ecanwgw/archives/index.html

National Archives main – read what they have – you must visit here in person.
There is a good section on what records are available where………..
http://www.nas.gov.uk/

From a National Archives August 2005 newsletter

“Find a World War Two hero in your family tree

Last month Britain remembered the heroes and heroines of World War Two.

Did your relative win a gallantry award in North West Europe? Find out for the first time, online.

You can search for over 3,000 officers and soldiers who received gallantry awards in World War Two.

These troops served with the British and Canadian Armies in the North West European theatre of war from June 1944. This is a work in progress and new names are indexed each month.

Simply type in the surname and add WO373 to the "Department or Series Code"”
http://www.catalogue.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search.asp

Glasgow's Mitchell Library is one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe
http://www.mitchelllibrary.org/vm/

This you must try – a database where you search on the middle name. I tried it and using a surname found a few new relatives.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~hughwallis/ScotlandMiddleNamesIGI.htm#SearchMenu

Seaman search at National Archives - new

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?catid=15&searchtype=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&querytype=1