Highland Genealogy

Those seeking their ancestors in the Highlands start in the same way as family historians in the rest of the country, and once back past the era of the Statutory Registers and the Censuses are subject to the same vagaries of fortune with regard to further progress using the OPRs, collections of monumental inscriptions, local newspapers, parish and county histories, etc. In other words, so much depends on what sort of people your ancestors were, and if they were associated with a church, parish, or area for which the records were written down relatively early, and have survived. However, in the Highlands the written record does tend to start later than elsewhere in the country, and things are further complicated by the need often to understand the use and translation of Gaelic names - both for people and for places - and to appreciate that in certain areas, and within certain clans, surnames were not always fixed (see the appropriate links below for help with these topics). 

How much these factors come into play may well depend on how recently Gaelic was spoken in the area your ancestors came from; but the closer any area is to their Gaelic past the more strongly the oral tradition is likely to have survived there, and it can often help fill-in some of the gaps in the written record.  

Most areas in the Highlands have Heritage Centres and local historians who, if they don't know the answer themselves, will almost certainly know who to ask in pursuit of a particular problem. Local libraries, museums, register offices, and clan centres can also be invaluable sources of help and advice. Many of these invaluable resources are listed elsewhere on this website - see
Links - and you may be able to contact others through the Highland Family History Society.