Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Family History Month - New Records from ScotlandsPeople

News came yesterday that ScotlandsPeople have released the 1935 valuation rolls. Any new record set is of value, and should be applauded, however, when you consider the lead up to this point, the release was not only incredibly anti-climactic, but also incredibly disappointing.

Most of the diaspora have Scottish ancestors who left the country anywhere from 1650 - 1870. Records from the more modern period (20th century) are fairly useless when it comes to genealogical research. The memory is still fresh and there will most likely be family who can provide the information or who have passed the information along before they themselves passed on.

Of more benefit (and therefore more likely to draw people to the site) would be the long awaited Kirk Session records, High Court records for those whose ancestors were transported, Sheriff Court records to determine paternity. Much more genealogically useful to the diaspora than a modern tax record. 

It's disheartening that ScotlandsPeople was once a leader in providing online documentation for the purposes of genealogical research and now they are on the verge of going the way of the Dodo bird. While there was some incredible hopefulness that Scotland was going to be able to compete with larger online databases that is quickly waning and it is looking more like we are going to be wishing Scotland would partner up with the larger databases much the way the National Archives in London have. 

For those who want to have a gander regardless, here is the link:


  1. Couldn't agree more. Have been wishing that for a long time. Most of my lot were dead or gone from Scotland by the 1870s, so anything beyond that is useless. Been waiting on the Kirk sessions for years now having tried but failed (ran out of time to go through them all) on a visit. Very disappointing.

  2. Yes please, I've long had my fingers crossed for the Kirk Sessions preferably on a subscription so we can read our way happily through a parish. It could even be indexed by crowd-sourcing like our Trove site.