For most of us however, due to the time and expense involved in that approach, it isn’t a very realistic alternative. Luckily for us though, Scotland family history research and finding those missing ancestors can be handled quite effectively from abroad once we learn where to find and how to use some of the Scottish genealogical resources that are available.
In both the United States and Canada, as well as a few other countries in the world, some of the best genealogical resources that are available are the microfilm archives of the Family History Center from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The LDS church has over 3000 local Family History Centers around the world. If you live in North America, Great Britain, Australia or in one of a few other countries, it is probable that there is a local Family History Center near you. You can locate one by doing a search for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the phone book or by doing a search on one of the large search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing.
The Family History Centers, can be used free of charge by anyone of any denomination. You can visit the center and get help from the volunteers who operate the facility. If you know the place and type of records for which you are searching, these folks can often help you determine whether there are microfilms or microfiche records readily available. Over many past years, The LDS Family History Center has microfilmed many different denomination church and parish as well as government records from dozens of countries worldwide. They keep their master records in granite vaults and they make copies on request to send out to the satellite centers like the one in your locality. Once you identify a microfilm or microfiche that may have the information you are trying to find, you can order it from your local LDS Family History Center for a small fee. As of April 2010, the fees were $ 5.50 for a microfilm and $ .15 per microfiche film. Readers are at these centers that you can use for free once your requested film has arrived.
Additional records are also available on the world wide web for tracing your Scottish Family History. One of the most valuable of the Scottish online resources is available from the Scottish Archive Network (do a search engine inquiry for their current site). One of their resources is their SCAN online catalog which enables you to get information about more than 20,000 different collections of historical record archives in Scotland.
This catalog is designed to help you discover if a particular Scottish archive has the records you need for your family history research. It will tell you what archives are held in Scotland and where they are held. It also gives a brief summary of the collection, who created the records and links to where you can get more detail. It will also tell you what language the archive is in (most often English) and what the restriction are on access if there are any.
Another very valuable Scottish genealogical research resource is the online website at scotlandspeople.gov.uk. Here you can find one of the largest online genealogical resources for Scotland original historical and genealogical information. This site has in the vicinity of 80 million records to help you find and join your Scottish ancestors. These include census records, vital birth and death records, as well as marriage and will records.
When you start digging into online search engine results and the above mentioned online and Family History Center resources (that are pretty much at your finger tips), you will find a rich abundance of information to help you discover those Scottish roots and build more branches on your family tree in Scotland. Have fun and much success!
Ellis is a long time Genealogy enthusiast. He owns and maintains the family tree help center, to help folks when they want to find Scotland Family History or trace family history worldwide – as they build their family tree. On the site there are a number of great resources and links to other resources to speed up the genealogical discovery process.