Recent Investigations


Research for a client revealed the extraordinary story featuring bankruptcy and close family ties that led to an Ayrshire estate changing hands between two families in the early 1700s

A recent investigation saw me make several trips to Glasgow's Mitchell Library and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland to fully reconstitute a family from Ahoghill in Co. Antrim back to the late 18th century

Member of the Scottish Genealogy Network

Did you Know?

Four years prior to 1855, when civil registration commenced in Scotland, a church census was carried out which revealed that whilst there were 904 Church of Scotland parishes in the country, there were a further 2122 congregations of other denominations - most of whose records are not found on ScotlandsPeople.

Prior to 1868 land could not be bequeathed in a Scottish will - instead there were many possible processes that an heir could potentially go through to inherit land, including confirmation by jury through the Services of Heirs procedure, the grant of a Precept of Clare Constat by a subject superior, recognition by cognition and sasine in a burgh, and more.

Prior to 1940, there was no process for civil marriage in Scotland. There were many ways one could marry, from a church based ceremony to one of several irregular forms, such as marriage by declaration in front of witnesses, or marriage bypromise subsequente copula. In fact, until 2006, it was also legal to be married by habit and repute, with no ceremony having ever been performed at all!

Land transfers in Scotland, whether by inheritance, exchange or by purchase, have been registered in a unique set of records (not found online) called sasines. Dependant on where your ancestor lived, the land could be registered in various types of register - a particular register, a general register or a burgh register.

Scottish & Northern Irish genealogical research service

Scotland's Greatest Story is your story 

The research effort is led by Chris Paton BA (Hons), HND, PgDip (Genealogical Studies)

I can help to bring your ancestral story back to life in a variety of ways:

* Establishing your family tree and the history of your ancestors
* Smashing research problems by utilising resources you may not have yet identified 
* Site visits to photograph ancestral homes and relevant gravestones
* Providing contextual research about your ancestors
* Searching for relatives or tracing descendants of a known ancestor

For a typical research report, please click on this link:

My latest family history research books:


Forthcoming genealogy talks by Chris Paton 

Forthcoming courses taught by Chris Paton

My free British GENES (Genealogy News and Events) blog

is located at

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