Good Scottish genealogy research is much more than finding vital records and census returns at Scotland’s People. Scotland has a rich history and there are many sources of information to help the family historian with Scottish roots. These books can help you with your quest, whether you are new to Scottish research or a seasoned veteran.

Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians 

If you are familiar with Robert Maxwell’s book “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors”, this one is in the same format. The first half of the book is an overview of Scottish social history which is great at giving your research some context. The second half looks at the record sets available to the researcher, both online and in physical archives.  As well as looking at vital records and census returns, the book also covers land records, deeds, Church records, school records, military records, taxation records, business records as well as clans and tartans and Scottish DNA. This book is great for the person just starting their Scottish research journey.

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Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: The Official Guide Sixth edition

This is the “official” guide to Scottish ancestor research, published by the National Archives of Scotland. It takes you through the records they hold plus a section on internet research. There is also a chapter explaining, step by step, how to get the most out of records of births, marriages and wills.

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The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783 

Around 150,000 Scots emigrated to America before the War of Independence. Genealogists have found it difficult to research these settlers as records in the US from this period are sparse. However, David Dobson has gone back to Scotland and England and searched the archives there and found a lot of information on these people. The following records were used in this research: family and estate papers, testamentary and probate records, burgh muniments, sasine and deed registers, Sheriff’s Court records, Court of Session and High Court of Judiciary records, port books, customs registers, contemporary diaries and journals, contemporary newspapers and magazines, professional and university records, Privy Council and colonial records, records of Episcopalian and Presbyterian churches, monumental inscription lists, and the 1774-75 Register of Emigrants.

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Discover Your Scottish Ancestry: Internet and Traditional Resources Paperback

This book looks in detail at the primary and secondary sources of information for the Scottish researcher. There are also a number of illustrative case studies which show the benefits of using certain records. Physical archives as well as online databases are looked at.

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The Scots: A Genetic Journey 

In this new edition of The Scots: A Genetic Journey, Alistair Moffat explores the history that is printed on our genes, and in a remarkable new approach, uncovers the detail of where we are from, who we are and, in so doing, vividly paints a DNA map of Scotland.

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In Search of Your Scottish Ancestors

This is a good beginner’s guide to Scottish genealogy research as it gives an overview of the records available. It shows you how to get the best out of the Scotland’s People website for vital records and census returns as well as looking at the other main records sets both online and in archives.

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They Came From Scotland: Understanding the Impact of Scottish History on Emigration Patterns

This book focuses on the North American Scottish settlers and bridges the gap between the two Countries. It shows how to find records in Scotland as well as giving an overview of Scottish history.

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Tracing your Scottish Ancestry Third Edition

Packed with information and advice on basic research techniques, this book focuses on the holdings of the two principal Scottish record repositories, the General Register Office at New Register House and the Scottish Record Office, both in Edinburgh. It shows you what records are available and how to access them.

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Scottish Genealogy – Bruce Durie

Bruce Durie is a leading academic and writer on Scottish genealogy. A new fourth edition of his popular work will be released on 1st April and can be pre-ordered now. He shows in detail how you can make the most of the rich resources available in Scotland. This is a must have book for anyone serious about Scottish genealogy.

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The Scottish Clans – Over 300 Clans Featured

Produced by ScotClans, Scotland’s largest Clan resource ‘The Scottish Clans’ features brief histories of over 300 Clans and Armigerous families from all over Scotland. Discover the events that have shaped your Clan and hear about the people who form part of your Scottish ancestry.

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There are more genealogy books in the Resources section here.

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