Ancestor Hunting

Are you a Cameron or a Campbell, a Mackenzie or a Macdonald? If so, you may be one of the approximately 40 million people of Scottish descent around the world. It was the Highland clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, in which tenant farmers were driven from their homes and replaced with sheep, that started the mass emigration to North America and Australia. Before or during a trip, you can do a little genealogical research or pursue your family tree more seriously.

VisitScotland ( has information about clans and surnames, books, and family-history societies. At the Register House, the ScotlandsPeople Centre ( is the place to dip into the past or conduct in-depth genealogical research.

Willing to pay for help? Companies such as Scottish Ancestral Trail ( do the research and plan a trip around your family history. Throughout Scotland, you can check bookstores for information and visit clan museums and societies.

Previous Experience

The Building of Edinburgh

Next Experience

Edinburgh's Castle Fit for a King

Find a Hotel


Fodor's Edinburgh 25 Best

View Details