The Red Book Of Scotland seeks to fill a huge gap in the history of Scottish genealogy. Researched over 30 years, this publication is the fruit of a massive self-funded research project by Gordon MacGregor, and puts genealogy back in its rightful place as a serious academic discipline.
The Red Book of Scotland is, quite simply, an essential new reference tool that should always be available to anyone working in the field of Scottish history and Scottish genealogy in the broadest sense.
What is The Red Book Of Scotland Project?
Founded some twenty-seven years ago, the aim of The Red Book of Scotland Project was to conduct extensive research into the original existing documentation and use the information contained therein to compile genealogical records of each Scottish designated family of their origins. earliest to as far ahead in time as possible.
Unlike many other genealogical works, this Project does not limit itself to extolling the social attributes of most senior members of each family but, on the contrary, it is broad and focused on identifying as many family members, male and female, and their descendants as possible in order to compile a comprehensive report. as the documentation allows.
The Red Book Of Scotland Project Motivation
I am often asked where the motivation for the Red Book project came from and the answer is quite clear: upon reviewing the research material available in the late 1980s, it quickly became apparent that the pedigree was in poor health. Most publications are decades if not centuries and are generally unreferenced and focused on extolling the virtues of senior members of the class to which they are entitled.
For someone interested in understanding the interrelationships that underpin the complex web of interdependence in social networks, such publications are simply inadequate. Apart from that is the fact that absolutely no academic papers focusing on genealogy are produced, therefore, faced with the absence of such material,
Historically, genealogy has always been the most serious issue and so for many reasons. For example, the Book of Genesis is a work devoted almost entirely to genealogical and age-long narratives of manuscripts detailing the ancestry and relationships between various worthy families that have been produced on a regular basis, then, if we take the time to consider these seminal moments in the history of our Nation ourselves, we find that genealogy resides in their hearts. The genealogy resolved the inheritance problem of the strong and the powerless and allowed them to legally take either the castle or the cowshed, and even to claim the extraordinary six pence due to deceased relatives to whom they had been recognized as heirs.
Continuation of the History of The Red Book of Scotland
Subsequently, it itself completed the succession of the Nation’s Monarchs from Malcolm Canmore to John Balliol, Robert II., and James VI. & I. and genealogies that provide the latter with the sole right to succeed to the English throne in 1603. Our past and present records are filled to the brim with examples of genealogies used to complete succession not only for claims with dimensional histories but also for tracing living relatives of people who died for legal purposes, and in the thousands of published volumes of Scottish narrative histories, genealogies quietly form the backbone.
We see girls marrying for international, national and much more local political ends and we find extended family units supporting certain factions during times of national and local intrigue and crisis. When King Alexander III. died in 1282, the only remedy to fill the vacant throne became a matter of strict genealogy. First to confirm Margaret’s succession of Norway and her death to a person who can prove to be the next most senior relative through maternal descent, and for all trials held and evidence considered and debated, this is a legal process based solely on genealogical evidence.
Such is the importance of genealogy and this is recognized by many of our Nation’s most eminent Antiquarians from William Anderson to John Maitland Thomson and John Riddell. Not only did they all have a healthy interest in genealogical studies in primary sources, but they rightly saw the need to dedicate a great deal of their time to transcribing and editing various royal and other records so that they could be published and carried. into the wider public domain to stimulate and encourage wider study and discourse. Society was formed for this purpose and their works are so enduring that they are still regularly consulted and cited by professional and amateur researchers.
Conclusion of The Red Book of Scotland
Since its inception, the methodology incorporated into this project has been used by Anderson, Maitland Thomson, and their contemporaries who demand constant consultation of primary source evidence and use of the facts contained therein to compile genealogical records of each individual family.
The benefit of such a practice is that whatever information and relationships are established, they form a solid and reliable basis for others to use and build on in the same way. That more than anything can be said best describes the rationale and nature of this project. The only change that has been made is a reference method that is more in line with modern practice where each important point in the body of the text is given a footnote detailing the exact source reference.
From the current status of the project, the fruit produced so far can be seen both on this website and the various publications produced so far, and it is reassuring to know that the information has been well received and used by academics and amateurs alike, and cited in various works published published based on individual achievements.