Monday, 9 January 2012

Scottish independence - genealogical impact?

I've put together some speculative thoughts on my Walking in Eternity blog on what independence for Scotland might mean for family historians north of the border, if that is what is eventually decided in the forthcoming referendum (whenever it is!). The post can be read at

Let's take it for granted that lots of us will be for it and lots of us will be against it, and that we will all be bored to death for months to come on questions about oil, Barnett formulas and more! But that said, what ways do you think such an outcome - if it were to happen (and it is still only an if at present!) - might impact on family history research in Britain?

I'd love to hear some other theories and perspectives from both sides of the border...


1 comment:

  1. I think Scottish independance would be positive for Scottish genealogist and family historians (professional and amateur).

    I think there would be a much higher concentration on Scotland as a seperate entity from the rest of Britain. More researchers would be aware of the legal, ecclesiastical and social history in Scotland, which is important when researching family history.

    I think there would also be a higher percentage of publications relating to Scotland solely. There are some great genealogy publications on particular genealogy topics covering the whole of Britain, such as:
    -Guides to researching army ancestors
    -The Gibson guide books which cover a variety of different types of records (tax, local censuses, etc.)
    These publications however mostly only really cover England and Wales and most of the time the chapter on Scotland is quite small with only a selection of Scottish sources (if any at all)*
    I think independance would lead to much more Scottish material being published, which would be great for researchers.

    I also think there would be an increase in demand for genealagists specific to Scotland, and can also imagine that independance would lead to many records relating to Scots and Scotland being transferred from Kew to Edinburgh, maybe even an expansion of facilities at the NRS! (pure speculation here...)

    For the same reasons that I think independance would be positive for Scottish genealogists and family historians, it might also have negative impact on people researching ancestors in the whole of the Britain island: they might have to travel more and purchase Scotland specific books (the latter not necessarily a bad think!).