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A wealth of information about Scotland's past is now freely available through an online resource developed for the use of pupils, teachers and those seeking to put their ancestors into an historical context.

Scotland's History Online covers a range of subjects, from prehistoric through to 21st Century Scotland. With more than 200 topics that include links to over 1,000 other online sources and a wide range of interactive supporting materials, the resource could be the one of the best of its kind anywhere in the world.

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

"Scotland has a fantastic story to tell from the Early People, Wars of Independence, Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment through to the modern day. From innovations in the fields of medicine, science and industry through to Scotland's place in an evolving European Union, it's essential that our young people develop a strong understanding of Scottish history.

"During our Year of Homecoming and beyond, Scotland's History Online will stimulate interest in our past, present and future. Not only will this site be an outstanding resource for pupils and teachers integrated to the new Curriculum for Excellence, it will also help inform all Scots - both at home and abroad - and everyone who shares an interest in learning about our country.

"For too long Scottish history has been neglected in our schools. That's why - for the first time - learning about Scotland's history, heritage and culture is embedded within the curriculum and this new resource helps ensure schools can deliver informed, exciting and varied Scottish history teaching."

Bernard McLeary, Chief Executive of Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), said:

"The team at LTS, along with partners from the Heritage Education Forum, have developed a fantastic online resource that explores more than 5,000 years of Scottish history, enabling learners to develop an understanding of how Scotland has grown as a nation, as well as an appreciation of their heritage within the global community.

"In addition to the materials available freely online, teachers and learners alike can use Glow - the national school's intranet - to share best practice and collaborate together to enhance their experiences and cultivate their interest in the rich history of Scotland."

Tom Monaghan, President of the Scottish Association of History Teachers (SATH), said:

"SATH has been delighted to support the development of new online resources for the teaching of Scottish history in our schools and colleges. We hope that these resources will encourage colleagues to start local but think global when teaching young Scots about their past, present and future."

The resource is structured by time periods:

Early People (Prehistoric)
Caledonians, Picts, Britons and Romans (Ancient)
Wars of Independence (Medieval)
Medieval life (Medieval)
Renaissance, Mary Queen of Scots and the Reformation (Early Modern)
Union of the Crowns to Union of Parliaments (Early Modern)
Jacobites, the Clearances and Enlightenment (Early Modern)
Making of Industrial and urban Scotland (Modern)
Scotland in the 20th and 21st centuries (Modern)

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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