Forbes History Reference Library

The Clan Forbes Society maintains an extensive library of reference books on the history of Scotland and its clans and families. The Society is using these primary sources for researching and writing the upcoming book House of Forbes: Heritage and Lineage, an update and expansion of the 1937 book House of Forbes. These books in the public domain are all in portable document formats (PDFs). The documents are available only to current Active Members of the Society.

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Aberdeen Fifty Years Ago

1868 - Lewis Smith

Full title: "Aberdeen Fifty Years Ago: Being a Series of Twenty-One Engravings of Buildings In and That Were About Aberdeen; Along with Wood Engravings of Some of the Wells, &c. &c."

Ancient Criminal Trials in Scotland

1833 - Robert Pitcairn, Scotland, High Court of Justiciary

Full title: "Criminal Trials in Scotland, from A.D. M.CCCC.LXXXVIII (1488) to A.D. M.DC.XXIV (1624), Embracing the Entire Reigns of James IV and V, Mary Queen of Scots, and James VI. Compiled from the Original Records and MSS. (Manuscripts) with Historical Notes and Illustrations."

Annals of Aberdeen (2 Volumes)

1818 - William Kennedy Esq.

Full Title: "Annals of Aberdeen, from the Reign of King William the Lion, to the End of the Year 1818; with an Account of the City, Cathedral, and University of Old Aberdeen."

Annals of Scotland

1776 - Sir David Dalrymple

Full title: "Annals of Scotland from the Accession of Malcolm III, Surnamed Canmore, to the Accession of Robert I

Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (2 Volumes)

1854 - John O'Donovan

Full title: "The Kingdom of Ireland, By the Four Masters, From the Earliest Persion to the Year 1616." This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible.

Auchinleck Chronicle. M.CCCC.XXXVL

1819 - Under the Superintendence of Thomas Thomson

Full title: "The Auchinleck Chronicle: Ane Schort Memoriale of the Scottis Corniklis for Addicion, to which is added a Short Chronicle of the Reign of James the Second King of Scots M.CCCC.XXXVI (1436) - M.CCCC.LX (1460)


1858 (reprinted 1901) - Rev. John B. Pratt

From Memoir of the Author: "Outside his own communion, and to the general public, Dr. Pratt was best known by his topographical description of the district of Buchan."

Clans of Scotland

1886 - James Grant

Full title: "The Clans of Scotland: An Introductory Account of Celtic Scotland; Clanship, Chiefs, Their Dress, Arms, Etc., and With Historical Notes of Each Clan. Emblazoned Arms of the Chiefs, and a Map of the Districts Occupied by the Various Clans are Added."

Clans, Septs, and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands

1908 - Frank Adam, FSAScot.

This classic book describes the history, law and society of the Scottish Highlands with the focus is on the elite, the chiefs, precedence, and the decisions of the Lyon Court.

Collections for a History of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff

1843 - Robert Gordon of Straloch, et. al.

From preface: "The DESCRIPTION OF THE SHERIFFDOMS OF ABERDEEN AND BANFF, BY Robert Gordon of Stralock , which occupies the first place in the volume, was prepared by that amiable and accomplished scholar, to accompany a Map of the counties, which he contributed to Blaeu's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum."

Culloden Papers

1815 - Right Honorourable Duncan Forbes