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The study of Family History

Libraries and Other sources of Information

If you dont have a friend who is an expert or if you are not going to use a professional genealogist you will have to learn how to carry out family history research - so read up on the subject.   As you become more expert you will need to know where to find the various resources and records to help you in your search.  On this page we list a few useful books - the principal local libraries - how to contact cemeteries and churches - the regional Public Records Offices and lots of useful links on the net.  

Here is a list of some of the more popular books that may help you in your search: Quoted prices may vary.

James, Alwyn : Scottish Roots. 4.99. A good basic introduction to the subject.

Bigwood, Rosemary : Scottish Family History - a handbook. 6.00. advice from a noted researcher.

Black, G.F.: The Surnames of Scotland. Originally published by New York Public Library in 1946.. Reprinted by Birlinn Ltd., Edinburgh. 20.00.

Ferguson,Joan: Scottish Family Histories. National Library of Scotland, 1986, 14.95. Lists most published works on Scottish families. Check for your own surnames - it can save a lot of research.

The Parishes, Registers, and Registrars of Scotland. Scottish Association of Family History Societies. 4.00. Includes maps and lists of parishes and registration districts. Sold by all the Scottish FHSs.

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Principal Local Libraries with Family History resources

In Lanarkshire you can visit the principal local libraries.   Each has a very good Local History room with copies of the LDS IGI International Genealogical Index on CD Rom.   They usually have old parish records; census information from 1841; town council minutes; local newspaper cuttings and photographic records of the life and times of the area.   It is wise to phone beforehand to book some time on the microfiche viewers or computers.

Airdrie Library, Local History Department, Wellwynd,  Airdrie Lanarkshire. 
Tel: 00 44 (0)1236 758070

Hamilton Central Library, Reference Department, 98 Cadzow Street, Hamilton, ML3 6HQ, Tel: 01698-452403, Fax: 01698-286334
E-Mail: hamilton.reference@southlanarkshire.co.uk

East Kilbride Central Library, Reference Department, 40 The Olympia, East Kilbride, G74 1PG, Tel: 01355-220046, Fax: 01355-229365
E-Mail: :

Lanark Library, Reference Department, Lindsay Institute, Hope Street, Lanark
ML11 7LZ, Tel: 01555-661144, Fax: 01555-665884

Motherwell Heritage Centre, 1 High Road, Motherwell, Lanarkshire  ML1 3HU Tel:  00 44 (0) 1698  251000

North Lanarkshire Archives, 10 Kelvin Road, Lenziemill, Cumbernauld  G67, Tel: 01236 737114 Fax: 01236 781762
The Archives are open to the public by appointment on Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.   

The centre holds records of the former councils which now make up North Lanarkshire as well as local records and photographs on businesses, estates, families form the greater North Lanarkshire area as well as the surrounding towns and villages of Cumbernauld, Kilsyth, Moodiesburn and Chryston.  A map copying service is available to assist with planning applications and photographic reprints of images from the archive can also be ordered.

The Mitchell Library in Glasgow,  North Street, is a reference library - none of its books can be borrowed - but there are no restrictions on who can use its facilities. Opened in 1877 as a result of a bequest of 67,000 to the city from Stephen Mitchell, a local tobacco merchant, the Mitchell , according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the largest public reference library in Europe.

In 1996-1997  the Mitchell recorded 475,052 visitors (529,675 ,94-95) and answered  239,996 enquiries. The total stock was 1,263,828 volumes.   There are  currently around 100 staff, and 26 security personnel. The Mitchell costs over 3.5 million to run in and is financed solely by Glasgow City Council. There are 6 public departments in the Mitchell Library, including the City Archives ,plus the Central Library Information Service (C.L.I.S.), housed in the City Chambers.

The Mitchell has information that is available in the other libraries and much, much more. You can contact the reference section on 0141-287 2803. The library is open Monday to Thursday 9am - 8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm. If you are writing for information you may find that there is a heavy backlog.

The cemeteries office below deals with all North Lanarkshire Burials 
Please note that it has now moved to Bellshill.  

Cemeteries Office, Old Edinburgh Road, Bellshill, Lanarkshire ML4 3JS
   Tel: 01698 506301 or 506302 or 506303

The cemetery administration office is open from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Thursday and from 8.30am to 4.15pm on Fridays. During public holidays the office is open from 10.00am to 2.00pm for booking of interments only. The office is closed on Christmas Day and New Years day.

Old Monkland Cemetery is non denominational and all religions can be buried there. 
St Joseph's in Dykehead Road, Airdrie was opened in 1860 for New & Old Monkland and stills serves that Catholic Community in Airdrie and Coatbridge.

You may be able to obtain a Monumental Inscription at http://www.memento-mori.co.uk

Local Churches are usually willing to help and will supply Birth and Marriage records whenever possible.  For example: St Patrick's in Coatbridge has local Births and Marriage records going back to around 1850. 

Official Records Sources

ScotlandsPeople, one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information.

General Register Office of Scotland  
New Register House holds all the records for births, marriages and deaths on a computerised database. Copies of all the church parish records have been microfilmed and are available for research.   
General Register Office for Scotland, New Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YT
Scotland.,  0131 334 0380 Certificate ordering: 0131 314 4411 Telefax: 0131 314 4400
Website:        http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk
Email:            records@gro-scotland.gov.uk

NOTE: There is a 100 year embargo on public records and ‘recent' records of 100 years and under are not included.   

For wills, deeds, valuation rolls and pre-1855 baptismal records of churches other than the Church of Scotland.
The National Archives (Scotland), General Register House, Edinburgh EH2 4DF   tel:  0131 535 1405  Email: research@nas.gov.uk

The National Register of Archives (Scotland), General Register House, Edinburgh EH2 4DF   tel:  0131 535 1405 Web site: http://www.nas.gov.uk/ Email: nra@nas.gov.uk  NRA only keeps a register of Archives but can inform you where these archives are stored.

For Records relating to Coats of Arms and recorded Genealogies contact
The Lyon Office, New Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YT.

England & Wales

General Register Office,
Family Records Centre, Myddelton Street, London EC1R 1UW, Website:   
Family Records Centre which holds birth, adoption, marriage and death records from 1837 to the present day. 

Office of National Statistics, General Register House, Smedley Hydro, Southport, Merseyside PR8 2HH  http://ww.ons.gov.uk   

Northern Ireland, Registrar General, Oxford House, 49-55 Chichester Street
Belfast BT1 4HL,

Republic of Ireland, Registrar General, Joyce House, 8-11 Lombard Street EastDublin 2  Republic of Ireland, 
Website: http://www.doh.ie/fulltext/foimanual/chap4/gere.html


Getting Started - Learn how to do it at the Genuki site.

Scotlands Family, the Scottish genealogy portal for everyone researching their Scottish ancestors.  It aims to point you to free on-line data and information to help you explore your Scottish family tree, wherever you live in the world.

Maybole Community Family History  this section is devoted to Local and Family History in the Maybole and Carrick area. "The mark of a Scot of all classes [is that] he ... remembers and cherishes the memory of his forebears, good or bad; and there burns alive in him a sense of identity with the dead even to the twentieth generation."  Robert Louis Stevenson

Glasgow & West Of Scotland Family History Society 
The Society was founded in 1977 "to promote the study of family history in Glasgow & the West of Scotland". The society  is run entirely by volunteers, who give freely of their time & goodwill to provide our services and to help others interested in researching their family history.

Lanarkshire Family History Society   here to help people research their family history primarily in Lanarkshire's parishes, in addition we also hold information on other areas of Scotland. 
contact:: secretary-lanarkshirefhs@hotmail.co.uk

The aim of GENUKI  - the UK and Ireland Genealogy project - is to serve as a comprehensive "virtual reference library" of genealogical information that is of particular relevance to the UK & Ireland. It is organised so as to make it easy to find what information on what topics is available online related to given geographical localities (even down to parish level). It is a noncommercial service, provided by an ever-growing group of volunteers in cooperation with the Federation of Family History Societies and a number of its member societies. 
GENUKI: Scotland is part of that project and  holds a vast amount of information including an extensive description of (non-Web) genealogical archives and bibliography of publications on Scottish family history, plus libraries, cemeteries, census information, gazetteers, maps, newspapers etc.

Find your ancestors with Roots Web
If you are new to genealogy you should start here. This site also provides interactive lessons to beginners on how to search for ancestors and relatives all over the world.  It also offers a world connect project including a Surname Helper page providing a search engine that searches for a name or equivalents and alternate spellings of it. 

Some links provided by www.ancestry.co.uk

Researching Your Scottish Family History  by Joanne Winters provides a very helpful introduction for people starting out on this task. 

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet has links to 64,000+ URLs

Family History.com
This site hosts thousands of family history message boards devoted to surnames and other genealogy related topics.

Church of the Latter Day Saints  
One of the most important sources of genealogical information are the Family History Centres operated by the Church of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons, often referred to as "LDS". They have made microfiche copies of all the births and marriages in all the parish records in Scotland. (Copies of the microfiche are available in main libraries in the UK including Airdrie and Hamilton.)
The LDS database is now available On Line -  contains 13 million records of births and marriages.

Remember there are lots more web sites devoted to Genealogy. We will do our best to compile other genealogy features as required and add more links for you to browse. Perhaps you know of other useful books or web sites to visit?  Let us know.  
Would like a feature on "Tracing your Irish Ancestors"? Just let us know if you liked this article and if you want more!!  You may find other useful sites by clicking on the Top 100 (PLUS) Scottish sites.

Fianna - Guide to Irish Genealogy -  The legendary Fianna of Ireland were a band of mighty noble warriors. Entrance was governed by strict tests and codes of honour. Yet the Fianna also had to be knowledgeable of culture, and more specifically they had to be poets. The Fianna Study Group for Irish Genealogy tries to bring the finest values to you through their web site. 

Happy Hunting!!




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