Skip to main content

Clan MacThomas

The official website of the Clan MacThomas Society

Home  The Clan  The Society  Branches  News  Genealogy  Events  Members  Shop  Links  Contacts   
** What is New? **
Genealogy News
Genealogy Events
Genealogy Articles
Roger Pye Articles
Genealogy Websites
Local Websites
Genealogy Books
MacThomas Data
Genealogy Research
Genealogy Research Tips
Research Templates
Experiences
Genealogy Societies
Family Trees
Family History Stories
Appeals
The Sennachie
Contact Sennachie
Genealogy Research Tips
  
This section contains information that may help you with your Genealogical Research.
   
Many of the items appeared previously in the Genealogy News section.
*****
In addition to these tips, further suggestions on research can be found in the  "Genealogy Research" section and in some of the "Genealogy Articles".
****

Translating Latin Phrases
*****
When examining ancestral records you are quite likely to come across phrases in Latin. Wills, parish records and land records in particular tend to contain such latin terms. Some researchers may not have studied the Latin language as part of their education or, like your Webmaster, may have now forgotten all that they ever learnt!
*****
We have recently found a website that provides useful translations - please click here to visit it.
*****
Added 25/05/2016   

Deceased Online - UK & Ireland Burials

****
Deceased Online is the first central database of statutory burial and cremation registers for the UK and Republic of Ireland. This growing database, holds records mainly from the 1850s onwards. Recently many records from Aberdeenshire were added to the site.  Searching is free, and can be restricted as required to country, region, county, or individual burial authority or crematorium. If you register with Deceased Online, you will be able to purchase vouchers online, which you can spend to access further information associated with any of the found records.
****
Please click here to visit the site.
****
Added 31/03/2014

FreeReg, FreeBDM and FreeCen Indexes
*****
The following indexes are free to access.  It should be appreciated that the indexes are not necessarily complete. Each site has a page which gives details of its coverage. Volunteers have been adding to these indexes over many years.
*****
FreeReg - Transcriptions of pre civil registration parish registers for England, Scotland, and Wales of baptism, marriage, and burial records, and includes non-conformist registers of the U.K.  As at early 2014 the FreeREG database contains 4,489,455 Marriages, 13,625,155 Baptisms and 9,387,547 Burials.
*****
FreeBMD - is a database of England and Wales General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes from 1837. The FreeBMD Database contains 236,907,482 distinct records. 
***** 
FreeCEN  is a database of census information extracted from UK census records. The FreeCen Database contains 25,655,878 entries.
*****
Added 30/03/2014

Births, Deaths and Marriages
*****
For some countries researchers can access online indexes of the civil registration of births, deaths and marriages. Also, as is the case for Scotland from March 1855, it may be possible to purchase online an image of the actual entry in the register.
****
Online indexes are easier to update, which means as each year passes another year is added to the indexes, and possibly, as in Scotland, access to another year of entries.  Which means in Scotland, for example, soon after 1st January each year.
*****
The arrival of 2014 means that an additional year of images is available on the ScotlandsPeople website. You can now view the images of the statutory records for births in 1913, marriages in 1938 and deaths in 1963. This updating of the records occurs in January each year.
****
This occurs in other countries/states, for example in New Zealand and New South Wales. So it could be worthwhile checking each January to see if you are able to add further information to your family tree.***
  

     Birth

   Death

  & Marriage

Records

Added 21/01/2013

Advice on researching your family history
****
It is strongly recommended that if you are just starting to research your family history, you should first learn about the records to be researched.  This can be done by purchasing "how to" books, or borrowing such books from your local library.  You can also find advice on the internet and one of the best sites is the wiki section of FamilySearch.  Simply search for the country you are researching and the first result is a general page which leads to many subjects; for example Scotland.  You can also search for a topic, but when doing so it is best to also include the country, for example, cemeteries scotland.
****
Also there is some advice in other pages of our website under other Genealogy sections.

****

Added 03/11/2013


Scottish Old Parish Registers, pre 1855.
****
As your family history research in Scotland moves back beyond 1855, that is pre civil registration, the most important source will be the Old Parish Registers.  These are the Church of Scotland parish registers of baptisms (or births), marriages (or the proclamation of banns) and burials (or deaths).
****
Parish registers are generally held by the parish minister, and there are about 900 parishes in Scotland. There was no standard as to how the events were recorded, which means that for many events only the bare minimum of information was recorded, eg, name of child, date of baptism and name of the father. On the other hand some ministers recorded much more.  To a large extent it depended on the minister. 
****
The earliest registers date from the mid 1500's, while some started in the 17th and 18th century.  Some were recorded in Latin. Also as time went on and the population increased, some people avoided the Church, especially during the period 1783 to 1794 when a stamp duty of threepence was payable for each event recorded in a parish register.
****
Many families were non-conformists and did not have the event recorded in the parish register, but then again many did, as well as in the non-conformist registers.

****
Research - the website FamilySearch should be searched first. Over the years the Scottish General Register Office has obtained and indexed many old parish registers, and Catholic Church registers, so the indexes and entries can be searched for a fee by going to the website ScotlandsPeople.
****
More details about Church records can be found in any good “how to” books on Scottish research and articles on some websites.
****
Added 19/10/2013
Updated 20/10/2013

Scottish Births, Deaths and Marriages from 1855
*****
Civil registration (or vital statistics) of births, deaths and marriages in Scotland commenced on 1 March 1855.  This replaced the requirement for these events to be carried out by the Established Church, that is, the Church of Scotland, who performed baptisms, marriages and burials, and still does.  Registration is compulsory regardless of religious denomination and follows a standard format for each, which results in the collection of more information than before 1855.  Also records and indexes are centralised in Edinburgh, although copies are held in the local district.
*****
During 1855 the law required the collection of much information, which is a bonus for  researchers.  There were many objections to collecting so much information and the law was changed as from 1 January 1856.  Since then, for example, a birth certificate should record the child’s name, date, place and time of birth, sex, the parents' names (including maiden surname of mother), father's occupation, name of informant and relationship to child.
*****
To obtain a civil registration certificate go to the General Register Office for Scotland or the ScotlandsPeople Centre. There will be a fee. Some births, deaths and marriages for Scotland have been indexed by familysearch.org, and it is suggested this index should be checked first as it is free.
*****
Added 18/10/2013
Access to Archives
*****
A2A is part of the UK archives network. The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales by about 400 record repositories other than the National Archives at Kew. These records date from the eighth century to the present day.
*****
As an example, if a search is carried out for MacThomas, you will find a letter written in 1600 that makes mention of a James MacThomas. This document is held by the Lambeth Palace Library.
 
Please click here to visit the A2A website.
*****
Added 08/04/2013

How to research your family tree
*****
The Society's website, under Genealogy, includes some articles on how to conduct your research, a selected list of useful websites, a list of various books that may assist, several indexes, answers to research enquiries, and advice on finding a family history society. All of these may help you with your research.
*****
However, you may need further assistance. As well as checking your local library for "how to" books, and using your search engine to locate articles on particular topics, perhaps one of the best places to look for advice is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' "Family Search" website. Not only can you use this free site to search for names, but you can also read many articles on research topics covering most countries and issues or view their various videos. Click here to access their learning resources page.
*****
Added 30/10/2012


Rootsweb

*****

One of the most useful free websites when researching your family tree is a worldwide site Rootsweb. This site contains a number of features:

Searches - provide access to searchable websites. 

 

 

 

Family Trees - many researchers place their data on this site and these can be searched by anyone. The site claims 680 million names on file. But a word of warning; there can be dubious information and, as with any good research, you should check the original source. 

 

 

Mailing Lists - A very useful way of helping you find information about your ancestors and to connect you with people who have similar interests.

 

Message Boards - Another facility to enable you to raise questions or to make comments about any family history matter.

 

Websites - You can access thousands of very useful websites. Some are rootsweb sites and others are hosted by rootsweb: 

 

 www.rootsweb.ancestry.com

 searches.rootsweb.ancestry.com
 wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com  
 lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com 

 boards.rootsweb.com

 www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/websites 

*****

Added 05/08/2012


British Post Office Directories

*****

The National Library of Scotland has a section on it's web site of Scottish Post Office Directories that can be very useful for family history and local history research.  These annual directories include an alphabetical index of a town or county residents where you may find the location of where your ancestor was living at a certain time.

*****

You can access online 694 directories for the period 1773 to 1912 covering 28 towns and counties of Scotland.  For example, there are 88 Directories for Aberdeen covering the years 1824 to 1912 and 29 covering Perth and Perthshire for the years 1837 to 1912.

*****

The directory illustrated includes several references to the 15th Chief of Clan MacThomas, Patrick Hunter Thoms of Aberlemno.

*****

Please click here to visit the site.

*****

Added 28/05/2012


Additional Source of Information

    

In 1939, the National Registration Act ordered a register of everybody living in the United Kingdom for the purpose of issuing identity cards, ration books and call-up papers. The register has been kept secret because the 1939 Act prohibited publication of the information. However, under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, that restriction has now been reviewed and details about people who have since died are being made available.

  

The General Register Office for Scotland will give details of people now deceased when provided with a full name, date of birth, death certificate (died outside Scotland) or date of death if died in Scotland. There is a charge of £15 reduced to £5 if the search proves to be unsuccessful. Payment by credit card is accepted. Please link here for further details.

 

Added 04/07/2010

Updated 05/06/2011

Moved From News 28/01/2012


National Library of Scotland

 
The National Library of Scotland web site has many features that may interest genealogists or those members just interested in "things" Scotland. For example, this site has some very good general guides on researching your Scottish genealogy. Also there are digital images of maps, post office directories, photographs, and many other images relating to life in Scotland.
      
   
Sennachie
  
Added 01/04/2011
Moved from News 28/01/2012

Death information
  
Researchers should try to establish the date and place of death of all their deceased ancestors. In doing this additional information may be found and knowing the death date could lead to finding an obituary and a will. There are many web sites that may assist in establishing death details, however there is one site that says it has listed cemetery records online from "thousands of cemeteries across the world". For example: www.interment.net.
   
Another example is the Australian Ryerson Index which lists "contemporary death notices and obituaries in Australian newspapers": www.ryersonindex.org
*****   
Sennachie
    
Added 30/03/2011
Moved from News 28/01/2012
Biographies

  

Many countries now have online sites for biographies of well-known citizens and many will feature people with names that relate to the Clan MacThomas. Some sites are free to search, while some require a payment. Also some countries may have a number of sites so you may need to use your search engine. Entries may also be found on Wikipedia. The following are representative of what you might find:

   

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online

  

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

   

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

   

American National Biography Online

    

UK and Ireland Dictionary of National Biography

      

Added 22/04/2011

Moved from News 28/01/2012 


UK Deceased Records

   

Members researching their family trees may find the "Deceased on Line" website to be of interest. The site is the first central database of statutory  

burial and cremation registers for the UK and Republic of Ireland and is said to provide a unique resource for family history researchers and professional genealogists.

            

The site was launched in July 2008, and over time a substantial database of tens of millions of burial and cremation records dating from 1850 is being built. Data from all over the UK and Ireland is being added as new burial authorities and crematoria join the scheme.

    

Please click here for more information.

 

Added 25/08/2011

Moved from News 28/01/2012


 

Page added 28/01/2012

Page updated 18/05/2012