For the genealogy beginner the main problem is where to start, and the basic rule is to start with what you know!
Talk to relatives and draw out a family tree. Your aim is to reach the early 1900s, when most records become publicly available. If you know where your ancestors lived, you may be able to find them in a census, available from 1841 to 1921.
If you know the exact date of an occurrence up to 1855, you can call up a certificate of birth, death or marriage. Both of these are available at Scotlands People, the official Scottish Government website for records and archives.
Before these dates, you may find information in OPR (Old Parochial Registers) or Roman Catholic Registers, but in the Western Isles these were late in starting and are far from comprehensive.
Oral tradition, in the form of family stories and patronymics, can be used to check and add to these formal sources, and the records available here are an amalgam of these and other sources, drawn together in a lifetime of research by Bill Lawson.
Explore the St Kilda archive for free
Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, all database results for St Kilda are free. Visit the St Kilda archive to see how the database works!