Scotland unites for genealogy
More details on Scottish genealogy campus and online facilities
S for a ste cotland's one-stop-shop for genealogy research is a step closer according to an announcement from the website ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk. As reported in Your Family Tree, a family history campus is being established in Edinburgh that will combine the facilities offered by the National Archives of Scotland and New Register House. It's due to open in 2006.
ScotlandsPeople, the website run by Scotland Online, has now announced that is has become a strategic partner with the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon. It's already a partner of the General Register Office of Scotland, and in effect is becoming the one-stop-shop for Scottish researchers online. It has now outlined the plans for what records it intends to make available on its website.
Already ScotlandsPeople offers you the chance to search for birth, marriage and death records as well as census data for 1901, 1891 and 1881. The new site, which will be redesigned with a new logo, will also include old parish registers, and indexes and images of Scottish wills and testaments from 1500 to 1901. The latter are now provided on the Scottish Documents site.
"Forming a partnership with the National Archives of Scotland and
FREE SEARCH: A surname search is free at ScotlandsPeople, but the results aren't that useful unless you have an unusual name
~10] YOUR FAMILY TREE
the Court of the Lord Lyon was seen as a natural progression and it is the first step towards creating what will be a unique service," says Fi Harris, spokesperson for Scotland Online.
The plans appear to raise two issues. Firstly, will ScotlandsPeople and its partners really be able to scan and index all the country's old parish records by the end of 2006? The second is the example it sets for other countries. The site already claims to present the most comprehensive online set of family history information for any country in the world and Your Family Tree readers already write in asking why England and Wales don't offer a similar, unified resource.
Some researchers now consider themselves 'lucky' if they discover that they have Scottish roots -not necessarily because they are misty-eyed about the glens, whisky and tartans - but because they can go to the centralised and easy-to-search records on the site. ScotlandPeople is at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. • •
PRONI funds boosted
Better access to records promised in Northern Ireland
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland is to invest £1 million in digitising all its catalogues. The office holds valuation and tithe books, maps, workhouse records, school records, estate records, solicitors papers, emigrant letters and more - and intends to create an online catalogue which you can search by personal and place name.
A first phase of the project is planned for completio in 2005, and the entire thing will be available in 2007. After making the searchable catalogue available, PRONI intends to make the records themselves available in digital format. Already you can download the lists of those who signed the Ulster Covenant against home rule in 1912 as well as records of freeholders in the 1700s and 1800s. The office intends to digitise wills for the District Probate Registries of Londonderry, Belfast and Armagh from 1848-1900. Visit www.proni.gov.uk or call 028 9025 5905.
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