Research your Scottish roots

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A couple gaze out over Edinburgh from Calton Hill
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In our hectic modern world where everything seems on a global scale and quickly superseded, people are increasingly fascinated by questions such as 'who am I?' and 'where do I come from?’

Tracing your family history is a great way to help you answer these questions and to allow yourself to connect with your own personal history. The research you do will take you on a journey of discovery that leads you to explore the lives and times of ancestors who lived hundreds of years ago - and perhaps even thousands of miles away - in circumstances which are all but unimaginable today.

Retracing the footsteps of your ancestors will not only bring the past to life, it will also make your homecoming the most dynamic and exciting experience of your life.

This section will help you explore your Scottish roots and discover more about the Scot in you. Then it’s a small step to making your own ancestral journey home to Scotland.

  • Old woman in historic dress cooks at an open hearth in the centre of a reconstruction of an old croft house
    The Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore
  • Very old ledger sits open surrounded by other old volumes of books
    Old parish registers are a valuable source of information for ancestor-hunters
A vintage steamroller at Summerlee - Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.

My ancestor was a ...

Find out more about the occupations your ancestor may have done for a living.

Close-up of the spines of a run of old bound books

Family history resources

Explore the wide range of genealogical resources available online and at centres around Scotland.