Friday 12 April 2013

Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs starts May 15th

I teach two genealogy courses for Pharos Tutors ( - Scottish Research Online, a beginners' course that looks as much at research tools on websites as the records themselves (and currently about to finish its present run), and a follow up, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs. The first course is very much a beginners' outing, to help teach best practice with some of the key resources online - but the second one, well that's where the fun really begins!

Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs assumes you've done the basics, you've spent a wee bit of money on ScotlandsPeople, you've found a few ancestors and a few brick walls in equal measure, and now you really need to get to grips with so much more to start identifying new options for your research. It teaches about Scottish land records, splits in the Scottish churches, the complexities of Scottish inheritance law, and all the stuff your wee Scottish granny never dreamed of telling ye. It's the course that teaches you just how different Scotland really is in virtually every major genealogical area in comparison to its partners within the United Kingdom - and it even teaches you how to pronounce the word 'sasines' right!

Here's the official blurb from the Pharos site:

This is an intermediate level course in Scottish family history for those who are going back beyond 1850. You should have some experience with research in the Old Parochial Registers of the Church of Scotland and in using major websites for Scottish research. This course discusses sources that fill the gap when the OPRs are uninformative or missing; for example, records of parish and town administration, occupations, land transfer and taxation. Using these records involves several different locations. You will learn how to check online finding aids and how to find the most effective way to obtain records that may be online, in print, on CD or microfilm. This is the second course on Scottish research. If you have not taken Scottish Research Online please check its description.

Instructor: Chris Paton
  • Kirk Sessions records and parish poor
  • Burgh records and town poor
  • Occupations, taxation and early lists
  • Land transfer and the value of sasines
  • Land, inheritance and estates
Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "well structured chats with opportunities for questions as well"

The next Scotland 1750-1850 course commences on May 15th, and lasts for 5 weeks - the cost is £45.99. Without getting too over the top about it, one thing I can guarantee about the course - it will utterly transform your understanding of the records behind Scottish genealogy, and how things are done so very differently north of the border, whether you're a keen amateur or a professional genealogist. Oh, and we have a wee bit of fun along the way...!

To subscribe to the course, please visit - hopefully see you there!

PS: The next Scottish Research Online beginners course starts September 4th!


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

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