400 years of history goes online

More than 400 years of Scottish history was put on the internet today after the launch of an archive containing 57,000 of historic records.

The records from the Perthshire area were made available by the website Ancestry.co.uk.

The records date from 1566 to 1901 and cover records from school admissions and surveys of the local militia.

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It includes the Perthshire School Registers of Admissions and Withdrawals, which contains the names of around 75,000 pupils covering the period 1869 to 1901.

Each record typically contains the name and date of birth of the child, their home address and notes on their academic progress.

The Perthshire Militia Survey of 1802 also forms part of the archive.

It contains more than 1,300 records of men in every household who were eligible to fight in the militia.

The records were collated from forms sent to households in 1802 demanding that every able-bodied man between the age of 18 and 45 made themselves known.

A spokesman for the website said the records were "of huge significance" to anyone trying to trace an ancestor from the area.

The launch coincides with the Perth 800 - a year-long programme of events which celebrates the 800th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Burgh Charter to Perth by King William the Lion of Scotland in 1210.

Other Perth 800 events included an Armed Forces Day parade featuring troops from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, a production at Perth Concert Hall featuring performances from local singers, musicians and dancers and the launch of an album entitled The Spirit of Perth recorded at St Leonards in the Fields Church.

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Dan Jones, Ancestry.co.uk's international content director said: "We are very excited about launching these records online in time to coincide with the Perth 800 celebrations as they will be of huge interest to anyone with ties to that region.

"Anyone researching their ancestors in this area should ensure they visit the site and take a look."

Ancestry.co.uk contains more than 860 million records in its collections across the UK, including censuses, the birth, marriages and deaths indexes, pension records and parish records.