The University of St Andrews Library Special Collections Department is a frequently used centre for research into family history. This page briefly describes the most commonly used sources available here, and offers some basic advice on how to go about your search.
Where do I start?
Be aware that genealogical research is never simple or easy. If you expect to make a quick visit to a library or archive and find a helpful member of staff who will give you all the answers, you will be disappointed.
It is always better to work backwards from the known to the unknown. Start your family history search by talking to your oldest relatives and look at family records such as bibles, wills and certificates. Beware of family traditions, however, unless or until you have documentation to back them up.
Once you have worked out the facts of a basic family tree with as many names, dates and places as possible, you can start to look at original records. These will allow you to check your information, flesh out the bare facts and lead you back to earlier generations. Consider joining a local family history society:
Fife Family History Society
Mr A.J. Campbell, 30 Brown Street, Buckhaven, Fife KY8 1JW.
The Tay Valley Family History Society
Has a research Centre at 179-181 Princes Street, Dundee, DD4 6DQ.
For the official Scottish genealogical resource, run by the Scottish Executive, which has a paying service for researching online, please see Scotlands People.
The Internet will give you access to an ever-increasing number of sites on the world wide web containing genealogical information. As a starter try www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct.