Family group at Catterline

Family History

Aberdeenshire Libraries have a number of resources which can help you discover your family tree

The first rule in tracing your family history is to start with what you know and work backwards.  Gather any original birth, marriage and death certificates and assemble what information you can from them.  Birth certificates, for example, include the names of the parents and the date and place of their marriage, where appropriate.  Use this information to trace their marriage certificate, which will give you their ages.  These dates can be used to trace their birth certificates and so on.

Talk to other family members who may be able to provide key names and dates.  Speak to other people doing family history research for useful tips and always note where your information comes from.  


Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition offers genealogical resources including censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents. You can access Ancestry Library Edition only in our libraries. It's not available to access at home.

Search Ancestry

Help guides are available

Wrights Society outing


ScotlandsPeople contains a wealth of resources including birth, marriage and death certificates, church registers, census returns, valuation rolls and wills. You need to register with them and pay to view the records.

View ScotlandsPeople

Help and guidance is available

genealogy chart

Old Parish Registers

The Old Parish Registers (OPRs) are records of births/baptisms, banns/marriages, and deaths/burials kept by individual parishes of the Church of Scotland between the 17th century and 1854. They are the most important source for tracing your Scottish ancestors before the introduction of civil registration in 1855. 

Census Records

Census Records are available from 1841 on microfilm in selected libraries. There is a hundred year closure so the 1911 census is the latest which can be accessed. Before you start try and find out the name of your ancestor, birth year and birth place and address at time of the census.

Find where Old Parish Registers and Census Records are available in our libraries

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