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Scottish Indexes Conference

Scottish Indexes Conference - 30 August 2020 (update 11 August 2020)

Registration Instructions

Facebook: This is the option that most people use, simply join our Facebook group (the Scottish Indexes Facebook Group) and you can watch the family history conference streamed live. You can ask questions of our presenters and chat online with other attendees. Click here to join the Scottish Indexes Facebook Group.

Zoom: You can also join for free on Zoom, simply click here and follow the instructions.


Through your kind donations, we have been able to keep this series of Scottish family history conferences going for five months now, and every one of them has been free! We’re also grateful to our presenters, past and present, who have donated their time and helped us put together an interesting and informative day.

If you would like to donate to help us cover the costs involved, please select from the options below:

Scottish Indexes Conference Donation - £10 -
Scottish Indexes Conference Donation - £20 -
Scottish Indexes Conference Donation - £50 -


We’re really looking forward to the next Scottish Indexes Conference, and we hope you are too. We are pleased to be joined by so many representatives from archives and family history societies from across Scotland. We will be posting a full schedule for the day soon, but here are a list of presentations to look forward to:

  • ‘Discover Scottish Land Records’ by Chris Paton, genealogist at and author of ‘Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry through Church and State Records’, available here.
  • ‘DNA Case Studies: How to Successfully Combine DNA & Traditional Research Methods’ by Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy, co-author of ‘Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide for Family Historians’, available here.
  • 'The Resources of the Fife Family History Society' by Ali Murray, Chair and Genealogist at Fife Family History Society.
  • 'The Resources of the Scottish Genealogy Society' by Jean Dickson, Genealogist and volunteer at the Scottish Genealogy Society.
  • ‘Caring for Collections: protecting and preserving the family archive’ by Shona Hunter and Joe Jackson of the National Library of Scotland.
  • ‘Genealogy in the Scottish Borders Archives’ by Hannah Bell, from the Hawick Heritage Hub.
  • ‘Using the National Library of Scotland’s maps website to aid your local history’ by Craig Statham, Maps Reading Room Manager at the National Library of Scotland.
  • ‘Mapping the Archival Footprints of Scotland’s Ministers’ by Michelle Brock and Chris Langley of Mapping the Scottish Reformation.
  • To accommodate people around the globe the programme will begin at 7 am BST and end at 10 pm BST. There will be time to ask our panel of genealogists questions throughout the day and, as always, there will be two Question and Answer sessions.

    Scottish Indexes Orders (update 2 August 2020)

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, we can still fulfil many orders from our online Scottish genealogy indexes, but not all. If you order a record that we can’t supply right now, we offer a full refund, so feel free to place your order. Alternatively, contact us to make sure your order will not be affected right now.

    As a result of the pandemic, archives across Scotland have been closed. Gradually, some are opening, but we’re not back to ‘normal’ yet. Please contact us to discuss which research projects we can complete right now and which will have to wait.

    Scottish Indexes - Record Sets Facebook Group

    Scottish Genealogy Research

    Are you eager to start tracing your Scottish heritage but you don’t know where to begin? Head over to our Scottish Genealogy Learning Zone and take a look at our getting started guide. We have links to the major websites you will need, special offers and tips to get you started.

    On our Scottish Indexes website, you will find a great variety of records to help you trace your Scottish family tree and discover your ancestors. Use the search form above to search all our records or go to our 'Record Sets' page to search a specific set. Not sure what historical records you can search on the Scottish Indexes website? Visit our coverage section for a detailed breakdown.

    Looking for tips on how to break down those genealogy brick walls? Do you need a second pair of eyes to work out what an old document says or are you not sure what records to look at next? Join our Facebook group and you will find a large group of people ready and waiting to help.

    Featured Documents

    As featured at the Scottish Indexes Conference in June, deeds are extremely useful when you are tracing your family history.

    Searching back to 1855 in Scotland is often straightforward, but tracing our family back further involves a variety of records. A much overlooked resource are deeds, which were created by our ancestors for various purposes. They are legal documents which record a wide variety of transactions, but along with this legal information is wonderful genealogical information which can help you blast through those brick walls.

    For example, we may find a marriage contract naming the bride and groom’s fathers, or other relatives. Or we may find a will giving vital information, which can be hard to find before 1855.

    Even deeds which may at first seem less interesting can actually be extremely useful. In the text of the deed itself, a full designation is almost always given for each party, and this can often include the name of a person’s father, their former residence or the name of some other relation. Witnesses are recorded, and these may be relatives, with their relationships being frequently mentioned.

    Historically deeds could be registered by a number of courts. We’re indexing the ‘Books of Council and Session’ or as it is less formally described, the ‘Register of Deeds’, and also Sheriff Court and Commissary Court Deeds.

    Sadly, this is a time-consuming project, but thanks to kind donations, we have now been able to expand our database.

    Can you donate £20 to this project?

    Find out more about the Register of Deeds here in our Learning Zone.

    Database last updated on 2 August 2020 at 5:40 p.m. BST

    This update has added paternity cases from Stirling Sheriff Court Extracted Decrees from 1839-1844.

    Remember that spellings in historical records can vary widely, so use wildcards to help you find your ancestors. See our help page for more information.

    This box will search the occupation, residence, and birthplace whenever this information has been recorded in the original record. It does not search ages or years and does not bring back results from multiple fields (e.g. you can search for a village or county but not both at the same time). To search multiple fields use the Advanced Search or search by individual Record Set