Your Scottish Ancestry: A Guide for North Americansby Sherry Irvine. Ancestry Inc., P. O. Box 476, Salt Lake City, UT 84110-0476. Copyright 1996. 253 pp. Illustrations, index, maps, tables. Softcover. $17.95 1-800-262-3787.
If you have Scottish ancestry and want ideas of how to do research, this book is for you. It succeeds in providing a logical research process for family historians based in North America. Many of the records discussed in the book are available through the LDS Family History Centers, or in printed form at the Newberry Library or major university libraries in the area.
The first two chapters of the book remind researchers of the care needed in researching on this side of the Atlantic, especially in terms of locating and documenting the immigrant and his or her relatives. This care is vital because the location for Scottish research will be based on this information.
Chapters focus on civil registration, records of the Church of Scotland, Secessionists and other denominations, disposition of goods and property, trades and occupations, taxes and contracts, special people and problem solving. The layout of the chapters is excellent with a description of the records and helpful illustrations, followed by tips on how to make the most effective use of the records either directly or through other tools. Appropriate warnings are given of potential pitfalls in the records. The chapters conclude with a useful summary of the steps to take in your research.
The chapter dealing with the disposition of goods and property is especially helpful. The chapter covers Testamentary Records, the Services of Heirs and the Register of Sasines, providing the best explanation of these complicated record groups that I have come across.
The appendices discuss in depth the major tools provided by the LDS: the library catalog, indexes to baptisms and marriages (IGI, OPR Index, Scottish Church Records) plus the Parliamentary papers. The book concludes with an excellent annotated bibliography.
If you want one resource to get you into your Scottish research, this one comes highly recommended.
Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.4 no.1, 1997