We’ve lost count of the number of times people have told us that they would love to start researching their family histories, but simply don’t have the time, well, now might be the chance.
There’s a wealth of online resources out there to help you either get started or help you in your research. We have pulled together some online resources that we hope you’ll find useful.
Findmypast – we announced a couple of weeks ago that during this period of Libraries’ closure, we’re able to offer home access to Findmypast! Findmypast is a genealogical database giving access to millions of records including UK parish records, census records, Irish records and British military records.
If you’re just getting started with Findmypast, there is some excellent guidance in their ‘Help and more’ section within the site and they also have a YouTube channel where you’ll find wide-ranging video tutorials.
Scotland’s People – Scotland’s People is the official online source for parish registers, civil registration and census data. Also wills and testaments 1512-1901 (free). You will need to buy credits which entitle you to view indexed pages or facsimiles of records.
Family Search – this website enables you to search worldwide for your ancestors. It is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Salt Lake City who hold the largest genealogy collection in the world.
Edinburgh Libraries heritage resources – your Edinburgh Libraries membership gives you access to more wonderful resources from home including The Scotsman Digital Archive and Scran. There is also a helpful guide on how to start your family tree.
National Library of Scotland – have a whole section on their website dedicated to family history research and many tools to help you. Check out their superb maps section where you will be able to view thousands of maps of areas where your ancestors lived. Special mention also for the Scottish Post Office Directories online where you can search more than 700 directories from 1774-1911.
Scottish Genealogy Society – although the specialist library is closed at present their website and Facebook page has lots of tips and information.
Currently some organisations are even offering free online courses and research aids:
Strathclyde University are offering a free 6 week online course ‘Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree’.
Who Do You Think You Are? The monthly BBC magazine (available from our libraries via Rbdigital) has 8 family history activities to do at home. RBDigital gives access to back issues of magazines so you can look back at previous editions for loads of family history searching tips!