Who Do You Think You Are?
Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors
THE OFFICIAL GUIDE (7TH EDITION)
National Records of Scotland Birlinn, 272 pages, £12.99
Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors is the National Records of Scotland’s (NRS’s) indispensable guide to the documentary resources held by the Edinburgh-based archive. First produced in 1990, this is a welcome new edition of a title last updated in 2012.
The book is structured over 38 chapters and two appendices, although most of the revisions are found within the first seven chapters. These concentrate on the ScotlandsPeople family history centre (part of the NRS) and its website scotlandspeople.gov.uk.
There is a detailed overview of the facilities and records available, plus website links have been updated and new digitised record sets are explored, such as Roman Catholic records. Links to many of the NRS’s online research guides offer readers even more information on topics beyond the book.
The remaining chapters cover a plethora of subjects, including inheritance and land records; the records of the various courts; occupations and business records; electoral records; hospital records and poor relief; emigration; and even a short chapter on Scotland’s role in the slave trade and the records that were generated. Two substantial appendices offer details of various national institutions with additional holdings, and further reading.
All in all, this guide is an absolute essential for any researchers who are intending to explore the archive’s substantial holdings.