10.7M new Scottish records added to FindMyPast

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29 July 2021
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Findmypast have today announced the addition of 10.7 million new records to their database, creating the largest collection of Scottish family history records available online.

Findmypast has announced the publication of a vast new online collection of Old Parish Registers, in collaboration with local archives and organisations across Scotland.  

Dating back to 1561 and spanning 450 years of Scottish history, the new collection contains more than 10.7 million historical documents chronicling baptisms, marriages, burials and more. This resource will allow family historians across the globe to uncover rare details of their ancestor’s lives and the stories behind major life events.  

This new resource is the result of Findmypast’s collaboration with local family history societies, archives and volunteers from across the country. It brings together a wide variety of important historical records, many of which were previously inaccessible to public and are now fully searchable in new ways for the first time.  

Trace your Scottish ancestors

The collection includes records that not only reveal vital information on Scottish ancestors, but also provide valuable insights into parish life, including:

  • Records of non-conformist churches including the Episcopal, Free Church, United Free Church and more, fully indexed and searchable for the very first time 
  • Newly-published 20th century records (current online collections stop at 1855) that provide vital details of more recent ancestors, allowing users to uncover the details of previous generations and trace their family tree back from there 
  • Rare “Irregular Marriages” from Kirk Sessions (those not officially recorded by the parish registers and conducted without a ceremony) 
  • Mortcloth rentals, records of deceased Scots who were too poor to afford a proper burial, having to the hire the cloth that was placed over their coffin, or where original records no longer survive
  • “Ringings of the burial bell”, records of those too poor to even afford a mortcloth rental so instead paid for a ringing of the church bell in their memory 

The new resource is the result of a collaborative project between Findmypast and volunteers at 9 Scottish local and national family history societies, including:

  • The Scottish Genealogy Society
  • Fife Family History Society
  • The Highland Family History Society
  • Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society
  • Renfrewshire Family History Society
  • Lothians Family History Society
  • Lanarkshire Family History Society
  • Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society
  • West Lothian Family History Society

Names, dates, locations, the names of parent’s, spouses, children and other biographical details such as occupations, residences and more were transcribed and then digitally converted thanks to the hard work of hundreds of Scottish family historians.

Some of Scotland’s most renowned sons and daughters can be found within the collection, including fathers of nations, inventors and innovators, forgotten figures and much more. 

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Myko Clelland, Regional Licensing & Outreach Manager at Findmypast said: “We are honoured to work with such a large number of outstanding organisations to make Scottish family history accessible worldwide. This has enabled Findmypast to not only illuminate the lives of influential Scots who have played pivotal roles in history, but also tell the stories of ordinary and often overlooked people who, through centuries of effort, have shaped the world we now live in and are responsible for everything we know and love as Scotland today.”

Inventors and Innovators

Titan of industry and celebrated philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie - Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in history. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away $350 million (roughly $5.2 billion in 2020), roughly 90% of his fortune to various charities, foundations, and institutions with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education, and scientific research. Carnegie was born in Dunfermline in 1835 and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848 at age 12. Carnegie’s baptism and the marriage of his parents can both be found withing the collection.

Andrew Carnegie, age 16, with younger brother Thomas

Inventor of the first practical telephone and co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, Alexander Graham Bell – born in Edinburgh in 1847, Edison’s early experiments with hearing devices eventually led to him being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone, on March 7, 1876. Despite the world-changing impact of his creation, Bell viewed it as an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study. Bell and his parents can be found in an 1847 baptism record 23 years before the family emigrated to North America. 

To access the Scottish collection, visit FindMyPast. Please note that access to the collection requires membership of FindMyPast.