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Genealogy: Our guide to tracing your family history

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Lochee High Street Lochee High Street William Shand

Genealogy is a fascinating and rewarding hobby and tracing your family tree has become easier in recent years with many websites offering access to records from across the world.

I recently discovered the my Grand parents were natives of Lochee and began tracing other ancestors.

To help readers find out more about your genealogy the following advice should be enough to get you started and help you to enjoy this fast-growing hobby. 

Most families can lay their hands on documents or photographs, which can be of use to you.

Examples of things are:Birth, marriage or death certificates, obituaries, family bibles, school leaving certificates, apprenticeship papers, university certificates, military records, immigration papers and diaries.

General Register Office for Scotland

If your ancestors were Scottish the best place to look for their records is in the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), New Register House, West Register Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YT. 

This organisation holds the Church of Scotland's old parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials from 1553 to 1854, together with the compulsory register of births, marriages and deaths maintained by the government from 1855 onwards.

The GROS maintains an online searchable index of Scottish births/baptisms from the year 1553 to 1901, deaths/burials 1856 to 1951 and marriges from 1553 to 1926. The site also contains digitised images of many of their records.

The National Archives of Scotland

The National Archives of Scotland holds records for some of the other Presbyterian congregations that stood apart from the established Church of Scotland in the years between 1733 and 1929.

These congregations include the Secession, the Relief and the Free Churches. Their records include a few registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. Most of these, but not all, start only from 1843.

NAS also holds copies of all of the surviving Roman Catholic registers of births, marriages and deaths for the years before 1855. Both of these collections may be useful if you are unable to find a record of baptism, marriage or death for your Scottish ancestors in the Church of Scotland records. However, you should begin your research with them first.

useful websites include http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk


This site contains over 37 million index entries (a) to the registers of births/baptisms for the years 1553 to 1901, and deaths/burials 1856 to 1951, and marriages 1553 to 1926 and (b) to the census of Scotland for the years 1881, 1891 and 1901. 

http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk
The General Register Office for Scotland

The Jesus Christ Church of latter day saints

The Jesus Christ Church of latter day saints hold extensive genealogy records and users can search on-line athttp://www.familysearch.org

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