Pre 1855 Research


Pre 1855 Scottish Family History Research

Research prior to 1855 requires locating the surviving records, the appropriate archive and a bit of luck. Old Parish Records (OPR's) cover the parishes of the Established Church of Scotland. However they do not all commence at the same time, registration was not compulsory and recording was erratic. Records also exist for other faiths and denominations: Roman Catholic, Jewish, Quaker, Methodist and Episcopalian.

There are numerous archive collections and sources available not only in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness but throughout Scotland.

A top 10 of useful records:

  • Sheriff Courts
  • Monumental Inscriptions
  • Estate and Family Archives
  • 18th century taxation
  • Militia Records
  • Register of Deeds
  • Register of Sasines
  • Retours
  • Kirk Session Records
  • Occupations:minister,surgeon,physician


 These are a few of the local archives in Scotland I visit for client research:

Highland ArchiveHighland Archive,Inverness   Former counties of Inverness-shire,Ross & Cromarty,Nairnshire                                                                     



Borders Archive,HawickBorders Archive,Hawick for the former counties of  Roxburghshire,Selkirkshire,Berwickshire,Peeblesshire.


Stirling ArchiveStirling Archive Former county of Stirlingshire











For an example of a family history report from Scotlands Genealogy download below:

Download - Example of a report (pdf)

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Tracing Family Tree

tracing family tree

Using the numerous repositories throughout Scotland and visiting your ancestral locations Scotland's Genealogy will endeavour to answer your enquiry. Whether a single event, family tree or social history we will offer a bespoke service.

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House and Land History


Scotland was the first country to establish a national system of registration for land and property 700 years ago.

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