The Mitchell Library in Glasgow is Europe’s largest reference library. It holds a vast amount of material of great interest to genealogists, including census records, newspapers, old parish records, war records, monumental inscriptions and Post Office trade directories.
Dr O’Brien suggests that church records are important respurces for family research. The Mitchell Library holds records of many parts of the Church of Scotland – including Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Unitarian, Baptist and Methodist records, though not those of the Jewish and Roman Catholic faiths, as these hold their own separate archives.
She also points out that baptismal rolls were not always held as an integral part of the old parish registers and this should be especially noted by people researching remotely from abroad.
Kirk session minutes are also fascinating sources of information about what the kirk considered misdemeanours – frequently involving chastising individuals for ‘untimeous drinking’ and fornication.
The records of landed families – estate rolls – can also be useful, if ancestors rented a farm on the estate or worked for the well-to-do family.
These sources can provide good information especially further back before pre-civil registration documents, such as the Census, are available. These estate rolls also have another poignant aspect. They sometimes record the tenants who emigrate. In one instance, Dr O’Brien notes that the landowners at Kildalton, Isle of Islay, actually gave his tenants cash assistance to emigrate.