Researching Scotland Ancestors

Scotland Map by davidwilson1949.
Photo by davidwilson1949

The surnames of Livingston & Sinclair as well as many others under my Livingston tree were of Scottish descent. Because both sides of that line came to America early in its history, it is difficult to find THAT ONE PERSON who was the original one to migrate from Scotland to America.

Below are helps for tracing a Scottish ancestor.

The Scots had a high-developed system of naming children.
» Eldest son after the paternal grandfather.
» 2nd son after the maternal grandfather.
» 3rd son after the father.
» Eldest daughter after the maternal grandmother.
» 2nd daughter after the maternal grandmother.
» 3rd daughter after the mother.
Subsequent children named after still earlier ancestors, but generally the naming pattern in their cases would be less structured.1
Suggestion of how to use.
» Look for similar names for the same surname.
» Once found, check all children of one family against the given name(s) of those in the first & second generation about them.


  1. Unknown (1998, July/July). Cut this out and save. Tree Topper, June/July 1998 (Section A), p. 9.