Map of Scots Women Accused of Witchcraft published for First Time

If you have one of these ladies in your family tree, you have an “interesting” family history! A map that tracks more than 3,000 Scots women who were accused of being witches in the 16th and 17th Century has been published for the first time. The interactive document has been created by data experts at the University of Edinburgh.

It builds on the university’s breakthrough work on the Scottish Witchcraft Survey which brought to life the persecution of women during the period, with many burned at the stake or drowned. The web site allows users to move through a map of Scotland to see where the accused witches lived as well as the towns and villages where they were detained, punished and executed.

You can read more at while the map is available at:


The time-travel series “The Outlander” has a scene in which the 20th c. heroine gets caught up in an 18th c. Scotch witch hunt. The “witch” is an herbalist and healer. She heals a sick infant, and is seen. The community goes bananas, accuses her, along with the heroine, who happens to be nearby. They’re caught, and thrown in a pit while the powers that be decide on their punishment. Both will be executed–I forget whether burned at the stake, or with what form of torture. The 18th c. hero of the series swash buckles his way in just in the nick of time, and frees them both. Several books later, we learn she’s a very evil woman, but definitely not a witch. I’m sure even the worst of the women accused and “punished” in the Scotch witch hunts recently researched were also not really witches. Any more than the Salem witches were.


This is great. I had no idea. I do see some “familiar” surnames but haven’t been able to trace back that far. Thanks for this interesting article of historical value!


This is fascinating. Looks as though you could get rid of anyone you had a grudge against by accusing them of witchcraft. I was surprised to see so many men’s names.


Jacqueline Henderson September 26, 2019 at 6:45 pm

This is awesome. I found a few similar surnames (McKirdy on Isle of Bute) but as one other person stated I have not been able to trace back that far. It would be fun if they are related.


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