A Wee Bit of Help
A wee bit of help for those attempting Scottish Genealogy. This subject can cause one to go into mental overload.

For maps of Scotland try the web-site www.nsl.uk/maps. This site has roughly 4,000 maps, containing maps of Scotland 1560-1923, maps by Timothy Pont which date from 1583-1596. There are also 18th century military maps done by The Board of Ordnance during the Jacobite Threat, also included are ordnance maps of Scottish Towns dating 1847-1895.

The Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) is at www.scan.org.uk , it is a vast repository of Scottish records. This repository has document records from 52 Scottish Archives. The online catalog has more than 29,000 Archive collections, also in this vast collection are 600,000 Scottish wills and testaments from 1500 to 1901.

One must remember that records of the last 100 years are not available 1906-2006. This is to protect the privacy of those people still alive, the same as you would want your privacy protected.

The SCAN Project also contains passenger list for those who left Scotland by ship. One can also try The National Archives of Scotland, The General Register Office and The Court of the Lord Lyon.

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Additional links
http://www.scottishtartans.org Scottish Tartans Museum - Franklin, NC
http://www.tartansauthority.com Scottish Tartans Authority - Scotland

About Surnames
The use of surnames came into use about the year 1000 in France. A little over a hundred years later they came into Scotland with the Normans, but were not common for many years later.

It is said that at a general council in 1061, Malcom Ceannmor (1057-1093) directed his subjects to adopt surnames, after the custom of other nations.

The first to use surnames were the gentry, nobles and large landowners, who took their surname from the land they owned. Tennants often took the surnames of their landlord. Others took their names from their trade or profession, such as smith or mason.

Another method used by clan chiefs to increase the number of true clansmen of the name was to get poor parents to name their children with the clan surname instead of their own. It was known as bribery for a "bow o' meal." There is an old Gaelic saying "Frisealach am boll a mine" Frasers of the Boll of Meal. Apparently some family of Bissets had changed their name to Fraser for the "Bow o' meal."

There is much said about Mc being Irish and Mac being Scottish. They are both the same, meaning son. Such as MacDonald which is son of Donald.

Next we get to spelling. This causes some people great distress. One must remember that when surnames came into use, no one could read or write. The clergy had some knowledge of script, but the general population did not.

In many cases the name was written as it sounded. You could have two kinsman who spelled the name differently. One with an e and one without.

Take the name Ogilvie or Ogilvy, if one looks in Black's, The Surnames of Scotland, you can find 33 ways to spell the name. Who was right?

The same goes for other names such as Melville. There are at least 50 variations.

There are at least seven ways to spell Smith. As you can see with an E or without an E is less important than we thought.

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