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CoraWeb - helping you trace your family history



Archives and Libraries
National Library of Scotland The Digital Gallery allows you to view digitised material from the collections including thousands of maps 1560-1928, medical history of British India, golf in Scotland 1457-1744, photographs and much more. There is also online access to 694 directories 1773 to 1911, covering 28 of Scotland's towns and counties. Detailed information on researching your family history is available. 

Archives Hub Use the Archives Hub to find unique sources for your research. The Archives Hub enables you to search across a wealth of archives held at nearly 200 UK institutions.

Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) This site links the catalogues of 52 archives in Scotland. The Research Tools include is an online Family History Guide, a Scots Currency Converter for pre 1707 pound Scots and detailed information on Scottish weights and measures. The Digital Archive offers free access to Scottish historical documents online. Categories include military records, passports, court records, property records, tax records, lighthouse records, railway records, poor relief records and emigration records which include the Highlands and Islands Emigration Society passenger lists (1852-1857).

National Archives of Scotland The Archives holds the public and legal records of Scotland plus many local and private archives. There is detailed information on the collection plus online fact sheets and links to online records. Kirk session records for the whole of Scotland have been digitised and are currently available at the Archives (not online). These records consist of the minutes and accounts of kirk sessions, presbyteries, synods and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. They also contain a wide variety of other documents, providing a picture of everyday life in Scotland from the 16th century onwards and amount to more than 25,000 volumes, about 5 million pages of information. Later in 2011 it is planned to make these records more widely available online via a subscription-based service. Researchers will have the choice of accessing the records free of charge in various Scottish archives, or using the subscription service. On 1 April 2011, the General Register Office for Scotland merged with the National Archives of Scotland to become the National Records of Scotland (NRS). 

Regional Archives
Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives There is family history link and detailed information on records held. The catalogues link includes access to the online catalogue plus links to number of guides and lists available for download. There is also access to indexes to the Aberdeen Burgh Registers of Apprentices 1797-1878.

Angus Archives There is access to catalogues, transcripts, Angus County Council manuscript collection, indexes, family history In Angus, Angus people image index, Angus building image index, burgh records, local history collection and research files.

Argyll and Bute Council Archives The Archives holds and preserves the official records of Argyll and Bute Council as well as the records of the organisations whose functions the Council inherited. These organisations include the Commissioners of Supply, parish councils, burgh councils, schools and school boards.  

Ayrshire Archives The Archives holds a wide range of records relating to Ayrshire's rich heritage from medieval charters to modern day digital documents. These records are a valuable resource for family and local history research. 

Clackmannanshire Archives The Archives contains the records of the former Clackmannanshire, Clackmannan District, the old Alloa, Alva, Dollar and Tillicoultry burghs and the Alloa and Hillfoots district councils. Holdings include local authority minutes, letter books, school log books plus valuation and assessment Rolls. Private deposits include material from local businesses and voluntary organisations.

Dumfries and Galloway Council Archive - Online Historical Indexes       
• The 1851 Census Returns for Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire
• Dumfries Kirk Session and Presbytery Minutes 1689 - 1838
• Troqueer Kirk Session Minutes 1698 - 1771
• Mouswald Kirk Session 1640 to 1659
• Dumfries Jail Books and Bail Bond Registers 1714-1810
• Dumfries Town Chamberlains' Accounts 1793-1801
• Dumfries Dean of Guild Plans 1892-1974
• The Shipping Registers for Dumfries 1824-1904, Kirkcudbright 1824-1841, Stranraer 1824-1908 and Wigtown 1836-1908
• Dumfries Poor Board Minutes

Dundee City Archives The Archives holds the official records of Dundee City Council, of the former City of Dundee District Council, the former Corporation of Dundee and the former Tayside Regional Council. Online records and indexes include:
• Council minute books from 1553 to 1996 (Transcripts as PDF files)
• Index to Tayside Regional Council Minutes 1995-1996 (Excel file)
• Chief Sanitary Inspector, photographs of slum dwellings in the 1920's
• Gourlay Bros. (shipbuilders), Dundee - Index to shipping plans, 1859-1908
• Newtyle & Coupar Angus Railway Company, Manager's cash and copy letter book, 1836-1839
• Robb Caledon Shipbuilders (Dundee Division), 1872-1980 Index to photographs.
• Slessor, Mary, missionary, correspondence, 1901- 1914
• Smith, James, Stonemason, Banffshire and Dundee, Memoirs of, 1805-c1869
• Maps

Friends of Dundee City Archives This site showcases the projects that this group has worked on. The projects are organised by these categories burgh, shipping, poorhouse, church and school records, Dundee industry, transport, Veere - Dundee trade, research guides and much more. There are searchable databases to: 
• Methodist baptisms 1785-1898 (Wesleyan register of baptisms - Dundee)
• The Howff Graveyard burials (over 80,000 records) 
• Vehicle registrations, owners and licences 1911–1952
• Index of poor registers
• Dundee War Memorials and Roll of Honour

East Dunbartonshire Archives  The Archives collects and preserves the records of East Dunbartonshire dating from the 15th century. These records include documents, photographs, maps, plans, and audio-visual material.  Records of the Burghs of Kirkintilloch, Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, and Milngavie, and the local Parish Councils, District Councils and School Boards include:
• Minutes and accounts
• Building plans
• Schools
• Court records
• Poor relief records
• Valuation and assessment rolls
• Voters rolls
• Maps and plans
• Burial records  - some plans and registers are held by the Archives but the modern records are held by the Council's cemeteries department.

East Lothian Council Library Services and Archives

Edinburgh City Archives The Archives collects historical records created by individuals, businesses, societies, clubs and other organisations.

East Renfrewshire Council Archives - Portal to the Past This portal offers access to the East Renfrewshire Heritage Collection.

Falkirk Council Archives 

Birth, Death and Marriage Records
CoraWeb Quick Sheet 007 UK & Ireland, New Zealand: Certificate costs and contacts

General Register Office, Scotland On 1 April 2011, the General Register Office for Scotland merged with the National Archives of Scotland to become the National Records of Scotland (NRS). See the ScotlandsPeople site listed below for details of online records and indexes.

ScotlandsPeople This extensive site offers access to searchable indexes and images for Scottish births (indexes 1538-2009; images 1538-1911), marriages (indexes 1538-2009; images 1538-1936) and deaths (indexes 1538-2009; images 1538-1961) plus census records (indexes and images 1841-1901). A searchable index and images for Catholic parish baptism and birth records is available 1703-1855 plus 1855-1908 (incomplete). A recent addition is the land Valuation Rolls for 1915. There is a free name search and fees apply for access to the indexes and digital images. There is also a free Coats of Arms Search 1672-1909 and wills & testaments index (1513-1925) search. Digital images of the wills are available online for 10 credits or about £2.33 GBP. Updated

FamilySearch  The free  Historical Record Collections  for theUnited Kingdom and Ireland include:
• Scotland: Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950
• Scotland: Marriages, 1561-1910
These collections have been compiled from family records, church records and civil registration records. These include indexes and extracts of the Scottish civil registration birth and marriage records 1855-1875. These collections are not complete for any particular place or region.

FreeReg This project aims to provide free Internet searches of baptism, marriage, and burial records, which have been extracted from parish registers and non-conformist church records in the UK dating from 1538. Currently over 22.7+ million records are available online. This ongoing project is regularly updated with new material. This site includes Scottish records.

ScotlandsPeople list of OPRs by Parish for each County  This list is based on the Detailed List of the Old Parochial Registers of Scotland published in 1872. It lists the date range available for births and baptisms, marriages and proclamations of marriage plus deaths and burials for each parish. 

Dustydocs is a 'web-linking site' for British baptism, marriage and burials records 1538 to 1900. The information is sourced from freely available church BMB records and validated user contributions. Searches can be conducted using family names and/or locations. Dustydocs categorises England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales into counties and towns to facilitate searches within specific locations. There is a section for the Channel Islands categoried by island - Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey and Sark. New

Deceased Online This is a central database for UK burials and cremations. The free name search returns full names, date and place of burial or cremation. Fees apply to access register scans or transcripts, grave photographs and location maps. Currently there are Scottish monumental inscriptions available for Aberdeen, Angus, Edinburgh, Fife, Inverness, Lancashire, Perthshire, West Lothian and 15 Highland cemeteries.

Origins.net - Scots Origins This site features a free International Genealogical Index (IGI) search for Scottish marriages 1553-1875 and births and christenings 1553-1875. There is also a free Scottish place search, and expert articles and discussion on Scottish history. 

Scottish Strays: Scottish Marriage Index This index, by the Anglo Scottish Family History Society, is available for downloading.

Genfindit Offers a transcription and certificate service for birth, death and marriage records.

Scotland Certificate and Transcription Service by Joy Murrin

Scotland BDM Exchange This site provides a free resource for sharing details on civil and parish registrations in Scotland. A surname search is available. Currently 80,729 records are held. 

Census Records
ScotlandsPeople Offers access to indexes and digital images for the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses for Scotland plus an index and transcriptions to the 1881 census. Costs are £7 for 30 page credits which are valid for 90 consecutive days.

Ancestry.co.uk The census collection includes the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 census for Scotland. The records are fully indexed with a free surname search. A variety of subscription options offer access to transcriptions of the records. Digitised copies are not available from this site.

Scotland Free Census Project This project aims to provide a ‘free-to-view’ online searchable database of the 19th century Scottish census returns. It is part of the UK Free Census Project (FreeCEN).  Currently there are 4 million+ Scottish census records available covering 1841-1871. Updated

FamilySearch  The  Historical Record Collections  for the United Kingdom and Ireland include:
• Scotland Census, 1841 (index only  - no images)
• Scotland Census, 1851 (index only  - no images)
• Scotland Census, 1861 (index only - no images)
• Scotland Census, 1871 (index only - no images)
• Scotland Census, 1881 (index only - no images)
• Scotland Census, 1891 (index only - no images)

Dumfries and Galloway Council Archives Online historical indexes include a searchable index for the 1851 census returns for Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire.

Gateway Sites
GENUKI - UK and Ireland Genealogy - Scotland Pages This gateway site offers access to vast genealogical collection. This is a great site for research help and detailed information with information arranged geographically.

Scotlands Family This easy to use gateway site highlights an impressive array of free online resources. Categories include births and baptisms; marriages; deaths and burials; censuses; directories; poorhouses; ships and passenger lists; occupations; maps; books; photographs and more.

Rampant Scotland Director - Genealogy An excellent gateway site for Scottish research.

Cyndi's List This site has thousands of links for Scottish research available. 

Electric Scotland This site has thousands of pages of information covering Scottish history, online books and details on the Scottish, Scots-Irish clans and families. A site search engine is available.

ScotlandGen Web This resource site for Scottish research aims to have a link to a web site for each county. Currently only a few counties are represented.

General Information
TalkingScot This site has been set up as a meeting place for people with an interest in Scottish genealogy, history and culture. This site has useful links to societies, sources and libraries. It also includes information on census records and registration districts in Scotland.

GeneaBloggers This site has 2,500+ genealogy and family history blogs listed. Use this site to search for family surnames or keywords across all the blogs listed. Also do a Blogs by Type search for Scotland to see what is available.

RootsWeb Mailing Lists for Scotland These are a great way to network with other researchers. There are 150+ clan lists available plus other lists (200+). The archives search lets you keyword search information posted on 30,000+ genealogical mailing lists.

RootsWeb Mailing Lists Archives

Scottish Genealogy Society Click on Family Histories to access the Family History Index. This is an index to 2,500+ files deposited by researchers.

Dictionary of the Scots Language This is a searchable online edition of two historical dictionaries, the 12-volume Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue of Scots words in use from 12th to 17th centuries and the 10-volume Scottish National Dictionary of Scots words in use from 1700 to the 1970s.

Scottish Handwriting.com Offers online tuitorials in palaeography (reading old handwriting) for Scottish Documents (1500-1750).

Scotweb's Scottish History Magazine This Scottish history site includes details on the Highland clearances, Scottish origins up to William Wallace and the battle of Stirling Bridge.

The Scottish Reformation This site has information on the struggles between the medieval Catholic Church of Rome and the evangelism of Protestant creeds that resulted in the establishment of Presbyterianism in Scotland and the episcopal Church of England. It looks at the discrimination and persecution of non-conforming Presbyterians (the Covenanters) and the migration of Scots to Ulster.

Scotland Genealogy Forum Use this site to post and view messages.

Directories, Names, Maps and Places
National Library of Scotland - Online Directories  These include post office, street and trade directories. Currently there are 694 directories covering 1773-1911.

What's in a Name This site details the origin of personal names or first names. It lists name variations, pet names, diminutives and abbreviations that you may find on genealogical databases and old records.  This developing site has begun with Scottish names but Gaelic and other European names are being added to the database.

Online Scottish Names Directory This directory, maintained by Graham Jaunay, details the surnames being researched, the county (if known), and lists the email contact of the researcher. There are also online forms for adding your surnames to the directory. Use this directory to advertise the surnames you are researching and to contact other researchers.

The Gazetteer for Scotland This geographical database features details of towns, villages, bens and glens. It also includes text from Francis Groome's 19th century Ordnance Gazetteer for Scotland.

Addressing History A searchable, historical database of the people of Edinburgh, Scotland. This project has combined data from digitised historical Scottish Post Office Directories with historical maps. The project has focused on three eras of Edinburgh mapping and Post Office Directories (1784-1785; 1865; 1905-1906).You can search by people, places and professions.

ScotlandsPlaces  This site allows users to search across different national databases using geographic locations. This site has links to digital copies of maps and plans of counties, cities, towns, villages, farms, roads, canals, harbours, churches, schools, public buildings, private houses, mines and quarries. There are also links to photographs, manuscript records and printed books from millions of pages in government and private records. These include tax rolls, owners of land and heritages, and the annual reports of county Medical Officers of Health.

National Library of Scotland - Maps of Scotland This site offers access to over 44,000 maps of Scotland dating from 1560 to 1935 including country maps, county maps, military maps, ordnance survey town plans, coasts of Scotland on marine charts, estate maps, Admiralty charts of Scotland,  ordnance survey air photo mosaics 1944-1950 plus much more. 


National Library of Australia - eResources This page offers home access to 105+ subscription databases. This free service is available to anyone residing in Australia who has a National Library card. You can apply for a library card online from this site. The card will be mailed to you within 5-10 working days. You then use the number on the card and your surname to login. Click on the Licenced resources (yellow keys icon) to access a list of available databases. Scottish material available includes the following newspapers: (Click on the letter N on the alphabetical bar for access)

19th Century British Newspapers
Newspaper Title/Variant Title, City, start and end date                    

Aberdeen Journal, Aberdeen, 1 Jan 1800 to 23 Aug 1876

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 30 Aug 1876 to 31 Dec 1900

Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, 1 Jan 1800 to 27 Aug 1859

The Caledonian Mercury and Daily Express, 29 Aug 1859 to 21 Feb 1860

The Caledonian Mercury, 22 Feb 1860 to 20 Apr 1867

Chartist Circular, Glasgow, 28 Sep 1839 to 18 Sep 1841

Glasgow Herald, Glasgow, 4 Feb 1820 to 31 Dec 1900

Dundee Courier, Dundee, 2 Jan 1844 to 19 Apr 1861

Dundee Courier and Daily Argus, 22 Apr 1861 to 14 Apr 1862

The Dundee Courier & Argus, 15 Apr 1862 to 15 Nov 1899

The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder, 10 Jan 1873 to 11 May 1886

The Scotsman Digital Archive 1817-1950 This subscription site offers full key word searching of the Scotsman newspaper. Subscription options available include a 24 hour pass with unlimited access for £7.95. $$.
If you live in New South Wales or Victoria this archive can be accessed for free from home using eResources. All you need to do is apply online for a State Library of New South Wales or State Library of Victoria libary card.


The Edinburgh Gazette, The London Gazette and the Belfast  These gazettes are the official newspapers of the United Kingdom government. They offers access to insolvency data, bankruptcy, public and legal notices plus honours and awards (for government, business or individuals). 

The British Newspaper Archive.This new ongoing project currently has 190 titles online with over 5+ million newspaper pages available. The earliest title dates from 1700 and the most current, 1950. It is free to search with keyword, publication and browse by location searches available. Filtering options include date, newspaper, region, county and place. A search returns a sentence or two of the newspaper. A subscription is needed to access the digitised page. This site offers several subscription packages including a 12 month subscription (£79.95) which gives unlimited access to every page in the archive. Alternatively there are 30 day (3000 credits - £29.95), 7 day (600 credits - £9.95) and 2 day (500 credits - £6.95) pay-per-view packages.


Resources and Databases
See also Birth, Death and Marriage Records
Historic Hospital Admission Registers Project This site is the home of 19th century children’s hospital records. It provides access to nearly 120,000 individual admission records 1852 to 1914. Hospitals include three London hospitals: the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street, Evelina Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital for Children with hip disease. It also includes the Royal Glasgow Sick Children’s Hospital with records dating from 1883 when the hospital was opened until 1903. Registered users (free) get access to more detailed information and the ability to print and download results of searches.

Ancestry - Scottish databases These cover census records (1841-1901), parish and probate records, newspaper indexes, directories plus landed gentry publications and more. The records are fully indexed with a free surname search. Subscription options offer access to information or digitised records. Use the Search tab and choose Card catalogue then Filter by Location - Scotland to see what is available.

Highlands and Islands Emigration Society Passenger Lists (1852-1857) These are on the Scottish Archive Network's digital archive. The Society, set up by private subscription, promoted and assisted the emigration of destitute Highlanders to Australia. The lists are organised by ship and by family and record name, age, residence and sometimes notes on health and situation.

Scottish Emigration Database This database by the University of Aberdeen, currently details 21,000+ passengers who embarked at Glasgow and Greenock for non-European ports (1 Jan-30 Apr 1923) and other Scottish ports 1890-1960. A destination search for Australia returned 151 hits.

The University of Glasgow Roll of Honour This roll provides details of graduates, students and staff who served in the First World War. Photographs are included, if available. Updated

The Clearances.org - Highland Clearance in Scotland There are searches available for articles, parishes, people, ships, ports and destinations.

Scottish Book Trade Index  This index, by National Library of Scotland, indexes printers, publishers, booksellers, bookbinders, printmakers, stationers and papermakers based in Scotland, from the beginnings of Scottish printing to c1850.

Resources by Area
Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives There is family history link and detailed information on records held. The catalogues link includes access to the online catalogue plus links to number of guides and lists available for download. There is also access to indexes to the Aberdeen Burgh Registers of Apprentices 1797-1878.

Routes to Your North East Roots. This site acts as a directory to the organisations and institutions in the City of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire which hold original records or secondary sources of information useful for family history research in north east Scotland. The extensive Useful Links section covers burials and cemeteries; family history societies, heritage societies; local resources and national resources. New

Index to Memorial Inscriptions This index by the Aberdeen & North East Scotland Family History Society covers the counties of Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Kincardineshire and Moray. It lists 10,000+ names and any dates associated with them plus who else is recorded on the same headstone.

Inveraray Jail, Argyll Former Prisoners Database. This database provides extensive details on 4,000+ prisoners including those who were transported.

Ayrshire & Arran Family History This site includes guidance on how to begin, a list of family history societies, details of professional researchers and information and contacts for Ayrshire libraries and archives.

Mull Genealogy by Ian Phillips This site includes location, surname, birth and burial indexes plus resources, links and other information for the Isle of Mull, Argyllshire.

Maybole Homepage This site is dedicated to Maybole, Ayrshire, the ancient capital of Carrick. The detailed information includes local and family history resources.

Am Baile - The Gaelic Village This site offers a major learning and research resource for everyone with an interest in the language, culture and history of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

Inverness Emigrant Index 1828-1854 This site by Peter Madden records the details of 2100+ assisted emigrants from Inverness to New South Wales and Queensland (Australia). It lists name, age, year and ship of arrival, native place, parents' names and residence plus the names of relations in the colony.

Orkney Genealogy: Family Heritage of the Orkney Islands of Scotland This site by Walt Custer also includes Caithness and the Shetland Isles. There are downloadable birth/baptism and marriage indexes arranged by surname.

Shetland Family History This site has an online surname list, photos plus much more.

The Wigtownshire Pages  This site offers a guide to resources available for family history research in Wigtownshire including useful information on the parishes of Wigtownshire.

Check the societies in your area of interest for any online resources.

GENUKI's Scotland Pages This gateway site has a list of societies.

Scottish Genealogy Society

Scottish Association of Family History Societies This site includes a list of members of the Association plus contact details.

Anglo Scottish Family History Society This site is hosted by the Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society.

Aberdeen & North-East Scotland Family History Society Covers Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Kincardineshire and Morayshire.

Alloway & Southern Ayrshire Family History Society

Borders Family History Society Covers Roxburghshire, Berwickshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire.

Caithness Family History Society

Central Scotland Family History Society Covers Clackmannanshire, Stirlingshire and West Perthshire and some parishes in West Lothian.

Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society  Covers Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire.

East Ayrshire Family History Society

Fife Family History Society

Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society  Covers Argyll & Bute, Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Stirlingshire (part).

Highland Family History Society Covers Caithness, Sutherland, Ross-shire, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire and the northern parishes of Argyll.

Lanarkshire Family History Society

Largs and North Ayrshire Family History Society

Lochaber & North Argyll Family History Group

Lothians Family History Society

Moray & Nairn Family History Society 

Orkney Family History Society

Renfrewshire Family History Society

Shetland Family History Society

Tay Valley Family History Society  A site for the former counties of Angus, Fife, Kinross and Perthshire.

Troon @ Ayrshire Family History Society

West Lothian Family History Society

© Cora Num 1997-2013. Last updated 19 November 2013