Some key websites are listed here - some are free, others pay-as-you-view or by subscription. They provide indexes and transcriptions and offer a major advantage in the ability to do national searches. However you are always advised to check the original records wherever possible.

Please note Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Service is not responsible for the content of the websites and external links.


Scottish Sites

General Register Office of Scotland - 
Information on the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships, deaths, divorces, and adoptions, the 10 yearly censuses and detailed statistical information about population, households and names. Note: Registration became compulsory in Scotland in 1855.

Scotlands People -
The official online pay-as-you-view genealogical database of the GROS. Index entries to births/baptisms 1553-1906, marriages 1553-1931 and deaths 1855-1956, also to the censuses of Scotland 1841-1901, and to wills. Digital images of many records available, plus a glossary of occupations, medical terms, Scots language and unusual words.

The National Archives of Scotland, 
NAS holds records relating to every aspect of Scotland’s history, including those of the non-established churches (Episcopalian, Methodists, Catholic, United Presbyterian etc.), also Kirk Session records, records of civil and criminal courts, wills & testaments, family & estate papers, land records etc. On-line catalogue and useful guides e.g. to military records, records of the poor, emigration.

National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS) -
Database of private collections, registered by the NRAS, some of which are still held privately and others are held by archival institutions. Includes the records of landed estates, private individuals, businesses, law firms and societies. Note: NRAS does not hold records itself, but acts as a signpost to where they are held. Access to the collections is at the discretion of the owners.

National Library of Scotland -
Online catalogue to books, manuscripts and maps reflecting Scotland’s history & culture. 

Scottish Archive Network (SCAN)
A joint initiative to provide a single electronic catalogue to the holdings of more that 50 Scottish archives, with an ongoing digitisation programme. Site also features a glossary of the Scots language, a Scots currency converter and a family history guide.
SCRAN is a learning resource base with 336,500 images, movies and sounds from museums, galleries, archives and the media. Free use of thumbnail images with other features and tools on subscription. No charge for access in Scottish Borders libraries.

Scotsman Archive -
Free searchable index covering the years 1817-1950. Access to the full article is by subscription.

Statistical Accounts
The 'Old' and 'New' Statistical Accounts of Scotland, 1791-1845 provide detailed contemporary parish reports - and in the case of the 'New' county reports - for the whole of Scotland, covering a wide spectrum of subjects including agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. A subscription site.

Borders Family History Society - 
BFHS maintains listings of members’ interests and collects family trees, so can be helpful in making contact with people researching the same names. It also publishes a magazine and a series of booklets on monumental inscriptions, which can be purchased online. The website features indexes to magazine articles, family trees and gravestones.

Scottish Genealogy Society -
A charity serving anyone with an interest in Scottish genealogy. Its website includes an index to family histories and an online shop of over 1400 publications.  

Association of Scottish Genealogists & Researchers in Archives -
A listing of professional researchers, many of whom will also undertake Scots and Latin transcriptions. 

Scottish Handwriting
Offers online tuition in palaeography - the reading of manuscript historical records written in Scotland in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.


UK/National Sites

National Archives
Previously the Public Record Office, Kew, NA is the UK government’s official archive holding records from 1085 to the present. Website features a search catalogue, documents online (including the Domesday Book), series of research guides and an internet bookshop. 34,000 results for a search on the Scottish Borders. Particularly strong on military records for the UK.

National Register of Archives -
The NRA is a central point for the collection and dissemination of information about the location of manuscripts relating to British history. It describes archival holdings in the United Kingdom and overseas. Like the NRAS it offers a signposting service to where records are held.


Other Family History Sites
One of the most comprehensive introductory sites – a "virtual reference library" of genealogical information and primary historical material. Covers every county in the UK with information on places, libraries, family history societies, registrars, publications, directories, parishes, churches etc.
One of the most comprehensive subscription sites and the only one (apart from ScotlandsPeople) that currently features Scottish census returns. Also includes emigration and passenger lists, military records, directories and a recent database on British phone books 1880-1984. Note: is the American equivalent.
Online version of the International Genealogical Index (IGI), with free search facility that includes old parish records for Britain and the 1881 UK census. The information has been transcribed or contributed.


Some Specialist Sites

Passenger Lists
A new searchable database of passengers (emigrants, businessmen, tourists, diplomats etc.) on ships sailing from Britain to destinations worldwide, 1890 - 1960. 

Emigration to USA -
Searchable database of passengers entering USA via Ellis Island & Port of New York 1892-1924. See Also:

Poorhouses -
Looks at the operation of the poor law, buildings, inmates, staff and administrators. Includes pages with census returns on Galashiels, Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso and Peebles Combination Poorhouses.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The starting point if searching for a wartime casualty. The Debt of Honour Register offers a free search facility, with details on the scene of war and place of burial.

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