Many people across the world are lucky enough to have ancestral ties to Scotland, but not everyone has uncovered their connection yet - why not delve into our history books and discover if you are in good company, joining millions of others with Scottish ancestry?
If you already know you’re a proud Scot, you can always uncover more colourful details about your family’s past by visiting some of the ancestral attractions Scotland has to offer.
Find out about relatives you never knew existed by tracing your family tree back in time, or discover the occupation of your ancestors and the trade that kept them busy. Scotland has a number of great resources so you can start your search right now.
Visit our Ancestral Scotland website and look up your surname using the clan search, which will tell you if you’re connected to one of the great Scottish families. You can also try searching other surnames in your family, such as your mother’s maiden name. If you find a matching Scottish clan, you can find out more about them and their place in history.
To go deeper into your family tree, visit ScotlandsPeople, the official government website where you can search birth, marriage, death and census records stretching back over hundreds of years, or if you are in Edinburgh, you can visit the ScotlandsPeople Centre in person.
Once you find that special connection to Scotland, you can plan a trip to visit the towns and streets where your ancestors once walked. Pay a visit to local libraries and archives to find out more about that area and see pictures of how it looked when your relatives lived there.
Make sure to consider locations such as the Orkney Isles in your search for ancestors as whole families left the islands in times of hardship to seek a new life on the other side of the world. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Hudson’s Bay Company recruited at Stromness in Orkney for young men to make the passage across the Atlantic to Canada.
Contact the Orkney Family History Society, run by volunteers who work closely with the local library and archive system, to find out more.