Scottish Archive Network Family History

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  My ancestor was a burgess

Burghs and Burgesses
Burgesses were merchants or craftsmen who owned property in burghs and were allowed to trade in burghs free of charge. They could obtain these rights by inheritance, by marriage, by purchase, or by the gift of a burgh. Burghs were essentially urban settlements which enjoyed trading privileges from medieval times until 1832, and which regulated their own affairs to a greater or lesser extent until the abolition of Scottish burghs in 1975. By 1707 three types of burgh existed: royal burghs, burghs of regality and burghs of barony. Burghs produced characteristic forms of historical record, such as court books, guild records, and registers of deeds. The Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) is in the process of compiling information about Scottish burghs and where historical records relating to burghs can be found.

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