The fourth volume in this series concerns the town of Stirling, which is located in the center of Scotland, at the lowest road crossing point of the River Forth. One of Scotlands four original Royal Burghs, Stirling became a major trading center in the Middle Ages, with trading links to Scandinavia, the Baltic, the Netherlands, England, and France. It was also the neighborhood of a number of major battles, including the epic Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. As a Royal Burgh Stirling was semi-autonomous and run by a council elected by the burgesses. The latter came from the ranks of the merchants and craftsmen, the city’s economic elite, who were more likely to leave records.
The People of Scottish Burghs–The People of Stirling, 1600-1799 is based overwhelmingly on primary sources–including testaments, bonds, sasines, and tacks–found mainly in the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh and, to a lesser extent, the Stirling Archives. The sources have yielded the following bits of information on the alphabetically arranged inhabitants: name, occupation, name of a next of kin (spouse, father, etc.), the kind of record, and the source. In all, Dr. Dobson has brought to light valuable information on 1,400 residents of Stirling that would otherwise have eluded genealogists for many more years.