If you have Scottish records now is a great time to be searching online. FindMyPast has just released the 1881 Scottish census on FindMyPast.com. There are over 3.7 million records in the collection. This is added to the 1841 to 1871 censuses already on their site.
The index includes name, relations to head of household, marital status, gender, age, birth year, occupation, birth location, and address. There are also images of the census available. Censuses were created every ten years since 1802 except for 1941. They are a valuable record collection that helps to assemble full families.
While you are searching for your Scottish ancestors you will also find valuable information on FamilySearch. There is an index only collection of baptisms spanning 1564 to 1950 and a marriage index spanning 1561 to 1910. The baptism records include name, gender, date of baptism, father’s name, mother’s name, and the place of the baptism. The marriage records contain marriage date, bride and grooms name, and the marriage location.
The best site, if money is no object, is Scotland’s people. This is one of the most complete sites online for genealogical research of Scotland. The only challenge is that they charge for searches, viewing indexes, and viewing images. It has not been unusual for me to walk away from a session on Scotland’s people having just spent $60-$70. I have to put myself on a budget when I visit there.
Scotland’s People has births and christenings, marriages, and deaths. This includes parish registers as well as civil registration records. They also have censuses from 1841 to 1911, Wills and Testaments from 1513 to 1901, and Coats of arms. If you’re ready to get out your wallet and you have Scottish ancestors you will almost certainly find information here.
There are some reasonably good tutorials on Scottish research on Scotland’s people as well. Their tutorials are free and they are worth a read if you are just getting started on Scottish research. In many ways Scottish research is similar to English research, but there are some key differences and the tutorials will help you use and interpret the records better. There is also a PDF and excel file of registration district and parishes that will help you in your searching.
Scotland has long been one of the best places to search for ancestors online. The records sets continue to grow. The cost is continuing to fall as well as FamilySearch publishes more records and more records are available by subscription on FindMyPast.com.