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Scotland, How to Find Compiled Sources

Introduction
When you begin family history research for one of your ancestors, you should begin by looking for
compiled research. Compiled research sources contain names of individuals for whom data has
been transcribed, indexed, or collected. These sources were created by individuals, groups,
societies, universities, archives, and commercial corporations. Determining what research has
already been done by others, including your own family members, can:
• Save you valuable research time.
• Help you find information in original records more quickly.
• Help you avoid unnecessary duplication of work.
• Provide clues for further research.
What You Are Looking For
You are looking for compiled sources which may give information on your ancestors. The
information you find varies from record to record. These records may include:
• Names of children, spouse, parents, siblings, and other family members.
• Birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial information.
• Dates of other important events such as immigration or land purchases.
• Age at the time of dated events.
• Place or street of residence.
• Occupations.
• Schools attended.
• Military service.
• Religious affiliations.
• Countries, counties, or places of origin.
• Other biographical data.
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Steps
These 7 steps will help you find and use compiled sources.
Step 1. Identify compiled sources.
Compiled sources can include:
• Published family histories.
• Unpublished manuscript histories.
• Local histories.
• Computer databases.
• Compiled pedigrees.
• Biographies.
• Record collections.
• Indexes to original records (such as censuses, marriages, or monumental inscriptions).
• Registries for research exchange (help you find other individuals who may be researching the
same family as you).
• Surname or one-name lists (help you find other individuals researching a particular surname).
Step 2. Locate compiled sources.
You can find compiled sources through:
• The Internet.
• Family History Centers.
• The Family History Library.
• Archives and Libraries.
• Societies (family history, county, regional, and national).
Step 3. Decide which compiled sources to search.
You should search compiled sources that:
• Deal with your specific family name.
• Cover your specific place of interest.
• Cover a range of years during your ancestor's lifetime.
Step 4. Search compiled sources.
Compiled sources are often indexed or alphabetically arranged. Search for your ancestors in the
compiled sources you have found. In addition to your direct-line ancestors, search for their family
members, relatives, or in-laws. Information about other relatives may give you clues to
information about your direct-line ancestors.
Step 5. Copy and document the information in your research
notes.
Copy the information from the record exactly as it was given onto the family group sheets and
pedigree chart for your ancestor. Be sure to record the source of the information onto a research
log. You may want to make a photocopy of the record for future use. To learn how to keep good
notes, see Note taking & keeping for genealogists.
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Step 6. Analyze and use the information found in compiled
sources.
Compare any information you found in compiled sources with knowledge you already have about
your ancestor. Does it:
• Conflict with what you know? (If the information conflicts, use other sources to verify it.)
• Support what you know?
• Add to what you know?
Then ask yourself:
• Did the source have the information I wanted?
• Is this information accurate?
• Does this information suggest other sources to search?
Step 7. Verify information from compiled sources with other
records.
When you obtain information from compiled sources, you must verify the information by searching
original records.
Where to Find It
Internet Sources
FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service
Many compiled sources are available on the Internet.You can search for compiled sources
through the FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service. FamilySearch Internet can search online
records and web sites to see if they contain information you need. To look for compiled sources
through FamilySearch Internet, go to Search for Ancestors and use either the All Resources or
Web Sites search option.
Websites
The following are examples of websites that provide compiled sources that are searchable by
surname:
• Internet FamilyFinder.
• Ancestry.com (fee required).
• GenSeeker.
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Links to Websites
Many websites do not provide names and dates but link to sites that do. Examples of these are:
• CyndisList.
• GENUKI (Genealogy in the United Kingdom and Ireland).
• GenDex.
• British Isles GenWeb.
• Genealogy SiteFinder.
Family History Centers
Family History Centers have computer databases of compiled records. In addition, a Family
History Center may have some compiled sources for local families. Family History Centers can
also borrow microfilms and microfiche of compiled sources from the Family History Library. The
library charges a small fee to loan microfilm or microfiche to a Family History Center.
If a compiled source is not available on microfilm, you may request a photocopy from the Family
History Library for a small fee. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies form, which is
available at Family History Centers. Complete the form with the library call number for the source.
Send the form and the fee to the Family History Library. Note that many published sources are
copyrighted and cannot be photocopied in their entirety.
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world. For
the address of the Family History Center nearest you, see Family History Centers.
Family History Library
The Family History Library has one of the world's largest collections of compiled research
sources and computer databases for Scotland. These include:
• International Genealogical Index—available on microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet.
It includes information extracted from civil registration and church records of Ireland. You may
access the index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors above and then selecting
International Genealogical Index.
• Ancestral File—available on microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet. It includes
information submitted by individuals researching their Irish ancestry. You may access the
index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors above and then selecting Ancestral File.
• Pedigree Resource File—index only, available on the Internet. The files are on CD and may
be purchased online. You may access the index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors
above and then selecting the Pedigree Resource File.
• Old Parochial Records Index for Scotland—available on microfiche at the library and Family
History Centers.
• Scottish Church Records Index—available on CD at the library and Family History Centers.
• British Isles Vital Records Index—available on CD at the library and many Family History
Centers. It can also be purchased online.
• Index to the 1881 census of Scotland—available on microfiche and CD at the library and
many Family History Centers. It can also be purchased online.
• Family History Library Catalog, Surname Search—lists published family histories. You may
access the catalog here by clicking on Family History Library Catalog above and then
selecting Surname Search. Search for your surname of interest.
There is no fee for using the library's collection in person.
Sources for Previous Research in the British Isles lists and discusses major compiled sources
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available in the Family History Library. Some of these sources are available in other archives and
libraries.
For information about contacting or visiting the library, click on Family History Library System
above.
Archives and Libraries
Compiled sources are available in archives and libraries throughout the world. Some major
archives and libraries include:
Scotland
• General Register Office.
• National Archives of Scotland.
• National Library of Scotland.
• Scottish Genealogy Society Library.
• County record offices.
England
• The British Library.
• Public Record Office.
• Society of Genealogists.
Australia and New Zealand
• National Archives of Australia.
• National Archives of New Zealand.
• National Library of New Zealand.
United States and Canada
• The National Archives (U.S.) with regional branches throughout the country.
• The Newberry Library.
• The Library of Congress.
• The New England Historic and Genealogical Society Library.
• The National Archives of Canada.
You can find addresses for archives and libraries at Ready, 'Net, Go. Select Master List of
Archives.
Contact the archive or library before you visit to find out what compiled sources are available.
Societies
Family history and genealogy societies extract and index many records and have collections of
research done by their members and others. Every county in Scotland is represented by at least
one family history society. Many publish indexes to records as well as journals and periodicals
that include compiled research.
Click here for a list of family history and genealogy societies in Scotland and links to their web
sites.

Scotland, How to Find Information About the Place Where Your Ancestor Lived

Family History Library • 35 North West Temple Street • Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3400 USA
Scotland, How to Find Information about a Place
Introduction
Once you have identified the name of a place where your ancestor lived, you should learn more
about it. Knowing details about a place will help you find records about your ancestor. Sources
that provide information about places include:
• Gazetteers.
• Topographical dictionaries.
What You Are Looking For
The information you find varies from source to source. In these sources you may find information
about:
• Location.
• Jurisdictions.
• Local religions.
• Geographical descriptions.
• Manors or estates.
• Industries and manufacturing.
• Land use.
• Population.
Steps
These 5 steps will help you find information about a place in Scotland.
Step 1. Choose a place where your ancestor lived.
Look at the information you have gathered, and choose the name of a town or parish where your
ancestor lived. If only the county or country is known, go to How To Find a Place-Name.
Step 2. Choose a gazetteer.
Choose a gazetteer or similar source to search. The following gazetteers are listed in order of the
amount and value of the information they give. These gazetteers are available at the Family
History Library and may be available in microform at Family History Centers. Other gazetteers
may be available at a library near you. You may want to look at more than one gazetteer to
gather details about the place you have chosen.
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Title Publication Date Features
Carlisle's Topographical Dictionary
of Scotland.
1813 Gives locations, jurisdictions,
geographical descriptions, local
religions, local manors or estates,
industries and manufacturing, land
use, and population.
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of
Scotland.
1846 and later;
several editions
Same as above.
Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of
Scotland.
mid-1800s Same as above.
Wilson's Gazetteer of Scotland. 1882 Same as above.
Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of
Scotland.
1884 Same as above.
Bartholomew's Survey Gazetteer of
the British Isles.
Original, 1904;
9th edition, 1943;
reprinted 1966
Gives locations and geographical
descriptions; also gives
jurisdictions, industries and
manufacturing, and population for
larger cities.
Bartholomew's Gazetteer of Places
in Britain.
1986 Gives locations, geographical
descriptions, and includes maps.
Gazetteers and topographical dictionaries are not the only sources for information about placenames.
For more sources, see Tip 1.
Step 3. Obtain a copy of a gazetteer.
You can find gazetteers at:
• Family History Centers.
• The Family History Library.
• Other archives and libraries.
Step 4. Search the gazetteer for the place name.
Once you have obtained a copy of a gazetteer, look for the name of the place where your
ancestor lived. Information in gazetteers is arranged alphabetically by the place-name.
If you cannot find the place in a gazetteer or other place-name source, see Tip 2.
Step 5. Copy the information, and note the source.
Copy the information about the place-name onto family group sheets, onto a pedigree chart, and
into your notes. Some of the information may not seem helpful at this time but may be important
in future research. You may want to make a photocopy of the information directly from the source.
Be sure to write down the source of the information on a research log, including any library call
numbers. Be specific when writing down this information. If you should ever need to look at the
source again, your documentation will show where to find it. If others should consult your
research, they will also see where to find the source. Your research log will serve as a guide to
your research.
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Tips
Tip 1. Where else can I find information about a place?
Information about places can also be found in:
• County histories.
• Town or parish histories.
• County directories.
• Descriptive regional guides.
Look for these other types of sources in the Family History Library Catalog. Click on Family
History Library Catalog above. Select Place Search, and search for a county, town, or parish
and your topic of choice.
Tip 2. What if I cannot find the place-name in any of the
suggested sources?
You may not find a place-name because it is:
• Misspelled.
• Known by another name.
• Obsolete.
• A farm or other property name.
The following source may help you identify and locate your place-name:
• The Ordnance Survey Gazetteer of Great Britain. This is a good source for smaller localities if
they still exist today. This gazetteer relates to the detailed, large scale Landranger maps
published by the Ordnance Survey Office of Great Britain.
Tip 3. How can I find a map showing the place where my
ancestor lived?
For information on how to find a map, see How to Find Maps.
Where to Find It
Family History Centers
Family History Centers may have gazetteers for Scotland on microfiche or microfilm. Other placename
sources may also be available. Centers can purchase microfiche or borrow microfilm from
the Family History Library. There is a small fee to have a microfilm sent on loan to a center.
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world.
Find a Family History Center near you.
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Family History Library
The Family History Library has several gazetteers and other place-name sources for Scotland in
book form as well as on microfilm or microfiche. There is no fee for using the library's collection in
person.
You may request photocopies of pages from a gazetteer or other source from the library for a
small fee. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies form, which is available at all Family
History Centers. Complete the form with the book, film, or fiche number you found in your search
of the Family History Library Catalog (see What to Do Next). Send the form and the payment to
the Family History Library.
Other Archives and Libraries
Addresses for archives and libraries can be found at Ready, 'Net, Go. Select Master List of
Archives.

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