Historical Sources

Many clans have traditional histories, chronicles or genealogies as the earliest sources of information.

Family Papers: For Munros the Calendar of Writs of Munro of Foulis 1299-1823 are obviously the most outstanding of these covering mainly legal transactions over land and/or money: the originals are in the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) in Edinburgh and the detailed inventory was printed in 1938/9. Other Munro families have similar collections which survive: e.g. Monro of Allan and Rockfleld/Lealty both also in the NAS, while Teaninich has a collection (and there may well be others) in private hands. Other clan collections such as Mackenzies and Rosses can also be useful sources.

Public Records: Include registered testaments (wills), deeds, which include all kinds of contracts and bonds, and sasines which record transfers of land, are all to be found in the NAS. Law cases with prints of documents can be helpful but are not easy to track down and are held in West Register House (WRH), Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, and there are collections of Court of Session papers in some libraries.

Maps and Plans: A collection of these is held at WRH, indexed according to parishes.

Church Records: For genealogical purposes the old parish records (OPR's) for Alness (from 1783) and Kiltearn (from 1702 with many gaps) are lodged in Edinburgh at New Register House but microfilm copies are held in Inverness Library. Presbytery records are in print: Inverness and Dingwall Presbytery Records 1643-1688 edited by William Mackay (1896); and Church Life in Ross and Sutherland 1688-1914 edited by Colin MacNaughton based on Tain Presbytery records. Kirk Session records can give an insight into local life: these survive for Alness only from 1873, and for Kiltearn from 1697, in the NAS: Statistical Accounts [Old Statistical Account (OSA) and New Statistical Account (NSA)] give an interesting snapshot of life in a parish at the time they were compiled and are both in print.