Part of my family tree extends into Scotland and when I first set out researching the family I very quickly found the really useful family history website, ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk.
Officially launched in mid-September 2002, it celebrates its tenth birthday in September 2012 as one of the first genealogy sites to arrive on the web.
Back when I began I was favourably impressed with the data available to me from ScotlandsPeople, such as being able to dowload images from the Old Parish Records at a time when no English parish registers were online. The site now contains over 90 million digital records and corresponding images, and adds new sets of fully-searchable historical records on a regular basis.
With over one million registered users from across the world, the website remains the biggest online resource for Scottish census, birth, marriage and death records. The website has evolved through a decade of huge technological growth and in a time where interest in genealogy has soared.
Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of brightsolid, the company that enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland, said:
â€˜ScotlandsPeople was our first ever family history website, and our partnership with the National Records ofÂ Scotland has undoubtedly enabled brightsolid to expand our business to become one of the world’s leading publishers of online genealogy.
â€˜When the Scotlandspeople website was launched back in 2002, we were truly leading the way, offering a unique online product for family historians. We are immensely proud of how ScotlandsPeople has evolved over the last decade. We continue to add exciting new data sets and innovative search techniques to the site, making family history research easier and more accessible around the globe.â€™
George MacKenzie, Registrar General and the Keeper at the National Records of Scotland, said:
â€˜ScotlandsPeople has gone from strength to strength since its launch ten years ago. I am delighted that in our special birthday year we’ll be enhancing this very popular resource for Scottish family history by adding hundreds of thousands of new wills from 1902 to 1925.â€™
As well as the website, that can be accessed worldwide, if you visit Edinburgh then you will have the chance to visit the ScotlandsPeople Centre which is Scotland’s largest family history centre. It can be found at the east end of Princes Street opposite the Balmoral Hotel.
Opening hours are 09:00 to 16:30 on weekdays for Â£15 per day or free non-bookable two hour introductory sessions from 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00.
Over the years brightsolid, the company behind the ScotlandsPeople website has expanded and now also owns Genes Reunited and Find My Past.
The websites that I am using the most at the moment are Find My Past and The Genealogist.co.uk. To take your family history further I highly recommend that you too consider a subscription to these websites. Take a look now and see what great data sets they have to offer:
Disclosure: The Links in the above are Compensated Affiliate links. If you click on them then I may be rewarded by Findmypast.co.uk or The Genealogist.co.uk should you sign up for their subscriptions.