About Us

We are a small Scottish family business whose lifetime passion for genealogy began over 20 years ago when, curious to discover my own family's roots, I first visited New Register House in Edinburgh, official home of Scotland's public records held by Church and State.
Matheson Dome

The Matheson dome is within the records Office in Edinburgh. (Reproduced by kind permission of the Registrar General for Scotland)

The richly ornamented domed rotunda was surrounded by bookcases, encircled by a gallery from which I took my first steps in tracing my family history. One birth certificate, badly singed from a Church fire provided me with a crucial link to further my research and provided indescribable excitement as the records slowly gave up their secrets, transforming my curiosity into what has become a life time passion for genealogical research.
Interested in my findings, relatives from Texas commissioned further research and were fascinated to discover that their family had descended from crofters in Fair Isle (in the remote Shetland Islands). This inspired our choice of package names (Crofter, Laird and Royal).
Other friends were extremely interested to see how their surname spelling had changed over time due mainly to illiteracy.
The business has grown through word of mouth recommendation into the business we are today (and now a presence on the internet) as a result of the pleasure of discovery that our research provides.
In addition to researching your family's history from the original records in Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh, we have developed a extensive knowledge of additional research resouces which can supplement official records (e.g. wills, sasines, headstones etc.).
We pride ourselves in offering a beautifully presented report for you to share your history with friends and family alike. We look forward to working with you to reveal your Scottish heritage.


Scots Emmigration Graphic

There are Scots all over the World with many emigrating during the Highland Clearances and another 600,000 leaving between 1904 to 1913 to America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the other British Colonies. View our emigration timeline. Our mission is to help you trace your roots.

Unique Research
Each and every 'Family Tree' produces different and unique results. The amount of information gleaned pre 1855 depends heavily on the accuracy and detail of the relevant Parish records. Quite often we come across famous or notorious Scottish ancestors.
Tell the Story
We do not just document names, dates and places of birth, but also we record occupations, cause of death and any other relevant information to help paint a picture of the ancestor's family life through the generations.
If you have any photographs of your ancestors that you would like incorporated into the report then we are happy accommodate this into our Royal package to produce a more detailed family history.
Occupations and Cause of Death
Many of the old occupations and causes of death have changed over the years. We have produced a Glossary of Occupations and Causes of Death (by no means exhaustive) and will incorporate the relevant 'translations' into your customised report.
Origins of Scottish Surnames
Scottish surnames mainly came from Occupations, Places, Nicknames and Patronymics. Read more about the Origins of Scottish surnames.
Scottish Towns and settlements
Why did your ancestors live where they did and what did they do there? View our potted history of Scottish Towns.
Are you stuck with your own research?
Our reputation is extremely important to us and for this reason we are delighted to offer customers who are stuck researching their Scottish Ancestors with a Free helping hand to find that missing relative.


General Register House from the 1890s

General Register Office for Scotland from the 1890s (Reproduced by kind permission of the Registrar General for Scotland)

General Register Office for Scotland

The magnificent architecture of Register House's front entrance forms one of the most important and recognisable vistas in Edinburgh. This majestic building, dating back to the 1770s was one of the very first government commissioned buildings in Britain designed as 'a proper repository for the Records of Scotland'. The records held within this building date back over 400 years to when the Church of Scotland ministers maintained records of Scottish births, deaths and baptisms until 1854 when the responsibility transferred from Church to State.

Statutory Records

From 1855 the civil registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages became law. There is a wealth of information contained in Scottish Certificates that enable us to give a detailed account of your ancestry back to mid 1800.

Old Parish Records

Before 1855 each individual Parish kept their own records with varying degrees of detail. There are in excess of 900 Parishes in Scotland and the quality of the records varies dramatically. Many have decades missing from them or have been damaged in some way.

Census Records

Every 10 years from 1841 onwards a census is conducted to log each inhabitant of each building in each and every town in the country. For privacy, we can only access Census's over 100 years old so currently up until 1901. From here we can check ages, occupations and others living in the same household which provide useful clues as to how the family lived.

1911 Census

We now have full access to the 1911 Census for Scotland which gives us the most valuable incite into the lives of our ancestors in 1911.

1905 and 1915 Valuation Rolls

We now have full access to the 1905 and 1015 Valuation Rolls for Scotland. The new records, comprising over 2.4 million indexed names and over 74,000 digital images, cover every kind of building, structure or property in Scotland which were assessed as having a rateable value in 1905.

National Archives of Scotland

Historical Scottish records are held here such as Wills, Kirk Session records, Courts and Business records together with property details.