Monday, 3 June 2013

Unlock the Past's Scottish books in ebook format

After an initial trial period on its ebooks platform, Australian based venture Genealogy eBooks ( has just amended its pricing strategy, making its offerings even more exceptional value for money.

Included in the many publications available are two of my books, Discover Scottish Church Records and Discover Scottish Land Records, both of which were written following demand after a series of talks given in Australia and New Zealand over the past three years, and which have been selling phenomenally well down under since. The exchange rate between the UK and Oz has not been favourable, however, in the last couple of years, and so I am delighted to say that the ebook versions of both titles have now been considerably reduced in price to just AU$9.95 each - that's approximately £6.30 each in Sterling at the current exchange rate, and about half the cost of the print edition (which also requires p&p).

I've deliberately made an effort in these books to try to tell you about a lot of stuff that you don't often find in other Scottish genealogy guides - particularly with regard to context, which is everything, research strategies, and more.

Here's the blurb on the books:

Discover Scottish Church Records

In this detailed guide, family historian Chris Paton explores the history and records of the various churches in Scotland prior to 1855, the year in which civil registration commenced within the country. He describes the theological changes imposed by the Reformation of 1560, the nature of the state's battles with the Kirk, and the Kirk's subsequent battles within itself.

Most importantly, he also discusses the nature of the records generated by the various Scottish churches, how to interpret them, and above all else, how to find them.

Whether you are looking for tales of ministers carried into the air by Scotland's fairy folk, the fire and thunder of John Knox, a detailed explanation of the online offerings of the Scotlands People website, or the treasures waiting in the National Records of Scotland, this is the definitive research guide to help anyone with Caledonian connections.

Full details on chapters at

Discover Scottish Land Records

This latest guide from family historian Chris Paton takes a look at the complicated records concerning land and property based research in Scotland. For centuries property transactions within the county were governed by feudal tenure, a system which was abandoned in England and Wales in the Middle Ages, but which continued in Scotland until 2004. But feudalism was not the only method by which land was held, with udalism, duthcas, leasehold and more competing as forms of tenure across the country at different times.

Connected with the rules surrounding property transactions were those associated with the inheritance of land and heritable estate, all of which is explained in great detail. From sasines to skat, from retours to precepts of clare constant, and from apparent heirs to heirs apparent, this concise guide will help you get to grips with one of the most exciting and useful topics within Scottish family history.

For details on chapters and to order visit

There's more to come! I am currently working on a couple of new titles just now for release later this year, both on Genealogy eBooks and via Unlock the Past in print format, so watch this space! The first is on Scottish civil registration records - and if you thought everything you needed on that front was on ScotlandsPeople, you'd better brace yourself, I am having a LOT of fun pulling this one together just now...! :)

Don't forget to explore the Genealogy eBooks site further - there is a great deal of material for all sorts of areas in the UK, as well as down under, and they are only just underway with getting it all online!


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see Time to smash a few brick walls...!

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