Learn about Your Scottish Heritage

October 5, 2019  - by 
a scottish man plays bagpipes

Do you have Scottish blood running through your veins? Scottish heritage and Scottish history is rich and expansive, and there are many ways to discover your Scottish family history.

Scottish clans are a great way to research your family history. A Scottish clan is a group of people who band together because they share a surname—a family, really. Clan names are also tied to land, and often clans had a leader. They would create their own shield and tartan pattern. Ancient clans started as far back as the 12th century, and each generation has added to it. Today, over 50 million people have some sort of tie to Scottish ancestry. 

There are many ways to begin researching and discovering your Scottish heritage, but the resources below are a good start!

a graphic showing fun facts about scotland
A graphic showing the populations of scottish people around the world

Ancestry in Scotland

a family in the scottish highlands.

Learn how to discover your own Scottish ancestry! FamilySearch has free online collections to help you get started, as well as the FamilySearch wiki to give some guidance. Many groups of people have Scottish heritage, so you may find some piece of your history in Scotland.


Scottish Folklore

callanish stones in Scotland

Scotland has a rich tradition of folklore, with fascinating stories. Read more about how the history ties to Scotland’s great folklore.

Highland Games

bagpipers perform at the scottish highland games.

Scottish culture and Gaelic traditions come to life during the Highland games, which started more than 1,000 years ago. There are various hard-hitting athletics at the Highland games, and many families like to recreate some variation to celebrate their family history.


Scottish Sayings and Dialect

Scottish friends laugh together.

Although Scots speak English, there are many twists and turns in the Scottish tongue. It’s fun and easy to pick up on a few Scottish sayings and feel like you are a true Scot. This article explains what some of them mean and gives you the chance to try a few.

Castles in Scotland

a castle in scotland.

Finding your family history in over 1,000 castles in Scotland can be an interesting adventure. Learn more about the castles and some of the stories these ancient relics hold inside.


Scottish Names

a scottish brother and sister wave a scottish flag.

Many traditional names we hear today derive from Scotland. Find out if your name has Scottish roots, or if you know you have Scottish ancestry, learn the names that might be in your family tree.

The Scottish Kilt

An image of scottish people wearing kilts.

The Scottish kilt can be traced back to the 16th century. Learn about the belted plaid, which holds historical and family significance to many who claim a Scottish heritage.

Enjoy many of the articles linked here to get started on your journey of discovery of Scottish family history and Scottish heritage. The journey will be rewarding, entertaining, and meaningful.

Your United Kingdom Heritage

genealogy uk

Rachel Trotter

Rachel J. Trotter is a senior writer and editor at Evalogue.Life. She tells people’s stories and shares hers to encourage others. She loves family storytelling. A graduate of Weber State University, she has had articles featured on LDSLiving.com, FamilySearch.org, and Mormon.org. She and her husband Mat have six children and live on the East Bench in Ogden, Utah.

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  1. My mothers maiden name is Jesse Kidd, her sisters name is Margaret. They are from Ayrshire Scotland. I am adopted and live in the US. Would love to know my history and family there.

  2. What I have found of the name Varela is both highly valued in Scotland and Spain. I have a Spanish name with a Scottish last name, we have military crests with both the Spanish and Scottish government dating back to around 14th century.

  3. My fathers name is Devon McKenzie. My family tells me that most of my orgins are from Scotland and I want to know more information. I live in Jamaica

  4. I have no clue about my Scottish heritage. I know I am 48% scottish and my dad was adopted into the Jackson family. I went back a couple grandparents but have not found anything. Except for the Jackson side. Even though I am not blood related to them.

  5. My last name is Wallace. How do I fit in on Scottish roots. My d n a say I’m 5% Scottish. . An 9 %. Irish. How. Do I know which to go. Having some hard. Under standing. Have great grand father. Is Scottish

  6. My mothers surname was Allan I was born in England Kensington 15 February 19xx
    No Fathers name on birth certificate previous research mary, elizabeth,(mother + grandmothther) Forbes uncle Glasgow 45 clarwood street (or similar) _had everything stolen PLEASE HELP ME FIND MY IDENTITY

    1. My grandfather was an assistant grocer, my father name was James and he had 2 brothers, Sammy & John who all lived in Hamilton. He also had a sister Emma who lived in Kilmarnock. I don’t know much of the origins of the Mc Beth’s of Hamilton.
      I recall my father mentioning that there was some distant relations lived in Tillicoutry

  7. Stil buzy trying to found out about my family history! My father surname Anderson comes from scotland and my mother surname Wait also comes from scotland!

  8. My great great grandfather was john clarke who fought in the war of 1650 and was taken as a slave to the America I cant find anything of his family other than his dads name was solomon clarke can you help please thanks.

  9. Through Ancestry and DNA testing, we found my 90 year old mother is over 45% Scottish. I am 21% Scottish, 14% Irish…when I traced it back, all of our Scottish ancestors are multiple generations back. However, I have multiple Scottish families in my roots. How do I figure out where to start? My full Scottish relatives are multiple generations back.