Talk:Getting Started With Your Scottish Research

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Scotland, How to Find Compiled Sources

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.
Scotland, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 02/16/01
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• Unpublished manuscript histories.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
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.
Scotland, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 02/16/01
Step 6. Analyze and use the information found in compiled
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
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.
The following are examples of websites that provide compiled sources that are searchable by
• Internet FamilyFinder.
• (fee required).
• GenSeeker.
Scotland, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 02/16/01
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
Scotland, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 02/16/01
available in the Family History Library. Some of these sources are available in other archives and
For information about contacting or visiting the library, click on Family History Library System
Archives and Libraries
Compiled sources are available in archives and libraries throughout the world. Some major
archives and libraries include:
• General Register Office.
• National Archives of Scotland.
• National Library of Scotland.
• Scottish Genealogy Society Library.
• County record offices.
• 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
Contact the archive or library before you visit to find out what compiled sources are available.
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