Getting Started

Part of the fun of tracing your family history lies in exploring all the many and varied sources of information that are available. Knowing where to find these sources is also half the battle! To build up a full picture of your family history and to understand the communities and times of which your ancestors were a part, you will have to investigate a number of different research avenues.

If you are visiting the north east of Scotland to research your family history, we recommend that you do as much preparatory work as you possibly can. This will allow you to get the most out of your visit.

Take the time to gather facts about your ancestors – names, dates, places, relationships, occupations, for example. Search out any birth, marriage or death certificates held by family members, as well as family records such as diaries, school reports and photographs. These are the key facts that will help signpost you to further useful sources. Always note where you found information as you may want to go back and ask again. Try to put all the information you have gathered in the form of a small family tree so that you can sort out various relationships in your own mind.

All the organisations listed in the Resources section are happy to help you not only begin your search, but to take you further on your journey.