Genealogy and Family History Research

genealogy research in Scotland

A One-Place Study & A One-Name Study

As a hobby and to increase my overall knowledge of both places and people that I have an interest in, I have started four One-Place Studies with The Society for One Place Studies and one surname study for the surname MUAT/MOUAT with The Guild of One Name Studies. My studies with these societies allow me to volunteer at history fairs and give talks to groups and other societies. I enjoy volunteering as it allows me to offer my experience to potential new members.

One-place studies

“The vision of this Society is to bring together those like-minded people and provide a platform for members to share good practice, ideas and methodology in one place, as well as promote the research being undertaken on their study area.”

ABERLADY (East Lothian)

It is here at Aberlady Parish Church that I have a real passion to know more about my THOMSON, BURN(S), FOTHERINGHAM and DICKSON families and how they formed part of the community. I will be looking at historical documents, population statistics and growth, statutory records of all births, marriages and deaths from c1538 to 1914. I will look at buildings, maps, land records, families coming in and leaving Aberlady, census returns and kirk session minutes – to help build up a picture of how important Aberlady was as a port and market town to the surrounding areas. This study will form most of my dissertation for my Post Graduate Diploma with Strathclyde University.

One-place study research

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LOANHEAD (Midlothian)

This is a busy little town whose Parish boundaries have extended much over the centuries. I have one connection to Loanhead – the TRAIN family and I hope to find out their history through my research. Loanhead sits nicely between Straiton and Bilston. It is a place steeped in history and tradition, and yet the many shops and take-away premises make the place feel extremely modern. For this One Place Study I am going to concentrate on researching Old Parish Registers, population statistics, newspapers, Statutory Records for births, marriages and deaths, Census Returns, land and property records as well as maps and trade directories. I will be looking specifically from records between the 17th and 19th centuries and will include the family histories of those mentioned on the War Memorial for the Great War.

Contact email:

HADDINGTON (East Lothian)

I have to admit to having a real soft spot for Haddington, not least because my ‘Muat’ family moved here from Edinburgh, but because of the beauty of the village. It is steeped in history and tradition and was the central court for East Lothian for many centuries. The town of Haddington was a hive of activity for trade, farming, law and order, customs & excise, breweries (the Muat’s owned the Nungate Brewery at one time) and incorporations (the Incorporation of Shoemakers for example had Convenor Muat at the helm!). The Goat is the symbol of Haddington.


This is a picturesque small community made up of cottages and farm steadings and out-buildings. It is located between Aberlady, Drem, Haddington and Longniddry and is about 20 miles from Edinburgh. I have a connection to the village through the BURN(S) family who were there between the 17th and the 19th Centuries. From the little roundabout leading towards Drem, it is easy to miss the village itself because it is split in two by the main road. On one side you have Ballencrieff Villages and on the other you have Ballencrieff Castle, Ballencrieff House and Ballencrieff Mains Farm (established c1863 by rearing rare pig breeds). But there is much more to the village on closer inspection. Ballencrieff Castle built initially as a large house by James Murray (James VI’s private secretary) has seen many changes over its 500 year history – not least when it was destroyed in 1544. However, now fully restored and a private family residence, it is easy to see how the small community has built up around the castle. By researching old parish registers, kirk session minutes, census returns, land records, monumental inscriptions, maps and court records – I hope to gain much from discovering how this village contributed to the trade and farming around the castle and within Haddingtonshire and what families over this time period made the village what it is today.

Contact email:

One-name study

MUAT, Mouat, Muatt


This is a world-wide study on the Muat/Mouat surname taking in all the variants found from a myriad of documentation (some surname variants in the spelling is through transcription errors). I have recently started a MUAT DNA PROJECT (through Family Tree DNA) and am offering a free test kit for any MALE Muat or part contribution to a Mouat descendant that I have not researched yet - to link into my Muat DNA Project.

I consult documents such as Old Parish Registers, Statutory Records of births, marriages and deaths, Census Returns, Wills & Testaments, Court Records, Monumental Inscriptions, Soldiers Wills, local records, Newspapers etc.

Currently I am looking specifically at Scotland, England and America.

I collect the information and record it in an Excel spreadsheet which can help link the records to family members and I therefore can build family trees from the information I have collected.

If you know of any individuals with this surname please ask them to contact me on the above email.

How can I help?

“Get in touch with your enquiry and I'll explain what I can do for you.”
Lorna Kinnaird

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A member of the Society for One-Place StudiesA registered One-Placer Member of the Scottish Genealogy Network A member of The Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives A member of Visit Scotland Ancestral Welcome Scheme

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