I’ve only recently discovered another great website for anyone researching Scottish Ancestors. It’s called ScotlandsPlaces and, as the name suggests, it allows users to search through different national databases using geographic location. A great  way to learn the social history of where your ancestors lived.

On December 20th, the ScotlandsPlaces team announced the re-launch of the website and the development work in the fall of 2010 was well worth the effort.

Users can enter a place name or mapping coordinates to search or they can use the image maps to define their search the following three databases:

  • The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS)
  • The National Archives of Scotland (NAS)
  • The National Library of Scotland (NLS)

This great resource provides information about Scottish locations from the past as well as the present and you can find maps and plans of counties, cities, towns, villages, farms, roads canals, harbors, churches, schools, public buildings, private houses, mines and quarries.

There are also photographs, archeological reports on historic and prehistoric sites, manuscript records and printed books from millions of pages in government and private records (and much more).

The Home Page is refreshingly simple and gives clear instructions on how to search by map, county, or places A-Z.

You don’t need to register to use the site but, if you do, it’s free. If you decided to register, the site will record your acceptance of the Ordnance Survey license so you won’t need to “accept” every time you plot results to the virtual globe.

If you perform a county search by clicking on the country of interest you will be provided with an immense amount of information. I clicked on Stirlingshire and found 11,332 results. This sounds daunting but it’s not. The information is so clearly presented and visually impressive that you’ll want to take the time to sift through each item. If you have an idea of what you’re looking for you can also narrow your search.

If you’d like to visit the site click on the link ScotlandsPlaces.

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