When researching your Scottish ancestry, you should arm yourself with these two important pieces of information:
Naming patterns are clues
Scottish parents usually named their children following a specific pattern, which may result in names repeated within families. The firstborn son was named after the father’s father, and the second-born son was named after the mother’s father.
Firstborn daughters were named after their mother’s mother, and second-born daughters were named after their father’s mother.
Focus on the middle names to distinguish two or more family members with the same name.
Knowing the parish is key
In order to research thoroughly, especially given the likelihood that several relatives will have the same name, you’ll want to know the parish where your ancestor resided—as well as the surrounding parishes. That’s because your family may have moved into neighboring parishes, but they were less likely to move to neighboring counties.
Ready to dive in?
The Family Tree Magazine Ultimate Scottish Genealogy Collection will teach you about Scottish first and last names, locations and historical events, the types of records you can expect to find, where to find and how to use kirk session records, the best ways to identify Scottish ancestors in America, and much more!