Happy Haggis will help you trace your Scottish family tree.

Professions, employers and associations.

St. John's Ambulance

By being the youngest son in a large family which is propering, it is possible to change careers, otherwise you would have possibly done a similar job to that of your father. When they are doing well, parents can afford to educate younger sons to a higher standard than their older brothers. Girls were not considered to be worth educating until well into the 20th century. They were destined to be wives and mothers. Most of our ancestors got a job in the family business or through a family connection.

  • The National Fairground Archive - an informative site on fairground research, with an image gallery, diaries, family history links, drawings and the Mitchell & Kenyon picture archive.
  • The British Postal Museum & Archive site - covers the lives of the Post Office and the 360-years history of the organisation.
  • Romany & Traveller Family History Society - offers guidance on occupations, forenames and surnames to look out for.
  • Trade Union Ancestors - find out more about your family history in the trade union movement of the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • British Red Cross - the British Red Cross Museum and Archives hold personnel indexes from both World Wars. In 1909 the War Office issued the Scheme for the Organisation of Voluntary Aid. Under this scheme, the British Red Cross Society was given the role of providing supplementary aid to the Territorial Forces Medical Service in the event of war. In order to provide trained personnel for this task, county branches of the British Red Cross Society organised units called Voluntary Aid Detachments. Site has hints on how to trace VAD ancestors.
  • Archives for west of Scotland shipbuilding - ship repair and allied industries are held at Glasgow University Archives.
  • St.Andrew's Ambulance - a Scottish charity teaching first aid since 1882. The Association seeks to preserve the lives of people in Scotland by making available a First Aid service and by teaching First Aid throughout the country. It is the Scottish equivilent to England's St.Johns Ambulance.

    Boys Brigade
    The Boys' Brigade was founded in October 1883 in Glasgow by Sir William Alexander Smith. A Sunday School teacher and an officer in the army, his stated object was 'the advancement of God's Kingdom among boys and the promotion of habits of reverence, discipline, self-respect, and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness'. The first uniformed youth organisation in the world, from one small company of 35 boys it has grown into a worldwide organisation with companies in over 60 countries. The official website is at www.boys-brigade.org.uk.


  • Scottish railway history - The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) holds the largest written and pictorial archive of Scottish railway history. The bulk of the collection is made up of the records formerly held by the British Transport Records Historical Records Department in Edinburgh and passed to us by the terms of the Transport Act 1968 (section 144) (NAS ref. BR). The National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh hold staff registers for the North British Railway 1844-1948 (NAS reference BR/NBR/15/1-94), the Great North of Scotland Railway 1870-1935 (BF/GNS/15/7-26) and the Glasgow & South Western Railway 1900 -1920 (BR/GSW/15/1-15). The NAS also holds collections of more modern records deposited by the British Railways Board, British Railways (Scottish Region), Scotrail and Network Rail Scotland.
  • Railscot - this website presents a history of Scotland's railways, with lines listed by their original company name.
  • National Railway Museum - helpful site for anyone researching ancestors who worked on the railways. There is a guide to collections and resources held at the museum in York. The research centre is closed until October 2007.

    Salvation Army
    Boys and girls as young as eight or nine could join as cadets at a few corps from the late 1870's and could transfer to the adilt Army as soldiers between the ages of 14 and 15. The Salvation Army gained many young recruits once the Scout and Guide movements bacame popular in the early 20th century. Once a soldier, you could remain in service for as long as you wished. The Salvation Army was the first uniformed voluntary organisation to welcome entire families into its ranks, and so generations of Salvationists may be found in family trees over the years. The official Salvation Army website can be found at www.salvationarmy.org.uk.

    Scottish Police forces
    Police Headquarters, museum, information office and aliens & nationality sections at Edinburgh do not hold any archive or old records. Neither do the General Register Office (GRO) or Scottish Records Office (SRO). The National Archives of Scotland at West Register House in Edinburgh may, unless it was for defence in which case it may be at the Public Records Office (PRO) at Kew. The Mitchell Library holds the records of Strathclyde Police and their former forces. The only 'alien registers' held are for 1962-1975.

  • Tracing Scottish police officers
  • Police Scotland - All Scottish forces have now merged into one force. It is made up of Central Scotland Police, Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary, Fife Constabulary, Grampian Police, Lothian & Borders Police, Northern Constabulary, Strathclyde Police and Tayside Police.
  • Transport Police - records held at the National Archives of Scotland.

    Fishing and Whaling industries

  • Anyone researching an ancestor involved in whaling or commercial shipping, the most vital piece of data required is the ship's official number. This is listed in Lloyds' Register of Shipping, which is held at The National Archives.
  • The Scottish Fisheries Museum - brief history of the Scottish fishing industry and a guide to the museum at Anstruther, Fife.
  • Scotlands East Coast Fisheries - fishing has long been an important occupation in north-east Scotland. This site tells of herring fishing and processing, sea fishing dangers and of the former whaling industry.
  • Scottish whaling - history and details.


  • Coal Mining History Resorce Centre - national database of mining deaths and injuries.
  • UK Mining Villages - contains information on miners' lives and on some of the mining towns and villages in Lanarkshire, Fife and other areas of Scotland - compiled from old reports, gazetteers and newspaper articles. The mining accident section covers the whole of Scotland - for the years 1852 to 1914, inclusive, these are taken from the Annual Reports of the Inspector of Mines, for other years these have been compiled from old newspaper articles. Other resources include a glossary of mining terms and a section on war memorials.

    Scottish Co-Operative
    The Scottish Co-operative headquarters hold only very general records for Scotland. The majority of records are held at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow or The National Archive of Scotland. If you have any idea of what geographical area your ancestor may have lived/worked in this will also help. However, please do note that employment records have not generally survived but they may well be able to give you a flavour of your ancestors life, although appointments/retirements may be mentioned in Minutes for the appropriate Society or the Scottish Co-operative News. The Co-operative Group is a unique consumer-owned business. Throughout it diverse businesses, the company currently employs more than 70,000 people in the UK, with sales of over 7bn and profits of 231m. In the 1960's many co-operative societies merged and formed regional societies. www.co-op.co.uk.

    Royal Scottish Automobile Club

    An inscription of a plaque located at the Transport Museum, Glasgow.

    Royal Scottish Automobile Club
    Patron, H.R.H. The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T., G.B.E.

    Rt. Hon. Sir J.H.A. Macdonald, P.C., G.C.B. 1899-1918
    Rt. Hon. Viscount Weir, P.C., G.C.B. 1919-1959
    Rt. Hon. The Earl of Elgin & Kincardine 1960-


    Norman D. Macdonald 1899-1904
    H.M. Napier 1904-1908
    John Adam 1908-1913
    D.P. Maclagan 1913-1925
    Sir John Hunter, K.B.E. 1925-1928
    Sir Hugh Reid, BT., C.B.E. 1928-1931
    Sir William Sleigh 1931-1945
    George F. Paisley 1945-1948
    Col. Norman MacLeod, C.M.G. 1948-1949
    Sir William E. Whyte, C.B.E. 1949-1950
    A.M. Macphie 1950-1951
    Alexander Frew Jr. 1951-1953
    A.G. Murray 1953-1955
    Walter Semple 1955-1958
    James Ballantyne 1958-1960
    T.H. Miller 1960-1962
    Sir Windham Anstruther BT. 1962-1962
    Alen Wallace, D.L. 1962-1964
    R. Hunter Forbes 1964-1966
    Alister D. Ogilvy 1966-1968
    James Watson, M.D. 1968-1970
    A.J.S. Watson, O.B.E. 1970-1971
    William Linn 1971-1973
    J. Ogilvie Lennox, M.ST.J.,JP. 1973-1973
    J.B.M. Thomson 1974-1976
    Gordon F. Skilton 1976-1978
    Ian A. Sutherland 1978-1980
    John Forrester 1980-1982
    Neil L. Campbell 1982-1984
    Leslie Bisset 1984-1986
    Eric M. Hagman C.A. 1986-1988
    Douglas S. Thomson 1988-1990
    James M. Harter C.A. 1990-1992
    Archie McGown 1992-1994
    Edward R. Read 1994-1996
    Ian L. Dunsmore, R.D., B.L. 1996-1998
    M.N.C. Gascoigne, LL.B., W.S. 1998-2000
    Richard G. Davenport 2000-

    Plaque at Transport Museum, Glasgow, September 2008.


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