Family history advice from the Scottish Genealogy Society
Liz Watson of the Scottish Genealogy Society talks to us about what the Society can offer both new and experienced family history researchers.
The Scottish Geneaology Society was founded in Edinburgh in 1953 and exists to help with research into Scottish family history and local history research. The group has a research centre in Edinburgh, from where it runs a regular programme of family history classes, and also publishes family and local history resources.
What are the main benefits of joining the Scottish Geneaology Society?
One-to-one help from our knowledgeable and experienced volunteers – our centre exists solely for the purpose of family history research. Also it is encouraging to be in the company of other like-minded members.
What items in the society’s library would be of most benefit to those new to family history research?
Online census records through ancestry.com and findmypast.com; access to the largest collection of graveyard inscriptions in the country (many unpublished), OPRs on film for the whole of Scotland; a library of over 4,000 volumes which focuses on family history, social history and Scottish and local history, including many volumes regarding Scots emigration. Large collection of family histories contributed by individuals over the years.
What advice would you give someone who's hit a brick wall with their research?
Speak to other family historians! Good suggestions are looking at resources other than just births, marriages and deaths – eg Kirk Session Minutes at the National Records of Scotland, occupation records, school records, military records, etc.
What are your most popular resources at the research centre?
Access to worldwide versions of ancestry.com and findmypast.com which is included in our membership fee.
For more on the Scottish Genealogy Society, visit the website.