Info Required to Start Research in Scotland

If you live outside Scotland we won't be able to help trace your Scottish roots until you have identified an ancestor born in Scotland and discovered some basic information about him or her - the "Subject" of the search - such as:

1. The Subject's name (obviously the most essential thing) *

2. The Subject's date of birth/baptism (need only be approximate, but is also absolutely essential) **

3. The Subject's place of birth - preferably parish, but county will do (the more common the name the more essential this is)

4. The names of the Subject's parents (not essential since it's probably what we'll be looking for, but obviously useful if known)

5. The date and place of the Subject's marriage (particularly useful to know if it was in Scotland or abroad)

6. The name of the Subject's spouse - wherever they married (the less that's known about the Subject the more useful this may be)

7. The names of the spouse's parents - and where they came from (again the less that's known about the Subject the more useful to know)

8. Names of Subject's children in order of birth - with dates & places if known (most useful, particularly if Subject's parents not known) ***

9. The Subject's occupation(s) and place(s) of residence at any time

10. The Subject's religion (& denomination if Christian-Protestant)

11. Any family tales or traditions about the Subject's origins or ancestors

* Forename & surname required, with any possible middle names noted - see pages on Forenames, Surnames, and Gaelic-English & English-Gaelic Name Equivalents

** Nothing can be done without dates. See comments on ages on Scottish Genealogy page, and mark your dates "proven", "approximate", or "estimated" as appropriate

*** This might seem the least important thing, but may actually be the vital clue to identifying an ancestor's parents - see comments about the Scottish naming traditions on the Scottish Genealogy page .