Family history

Aberdeen Local Studies is the perfect place to start or dig deeper into your family history. The team is always happy to assist and is available to:

  • Provide a free and unlimited access to a wide range of family history resources, including genealogical websites such as Ancestry and Find my Past.
  • Help you to get the most out of these resources.
  • Offer a variety of free workshops, delivered by the Local Studies team in libraries across the city. Have a look at our Local Studies learning offer leaflet  to learn more about family history workshops.

Our Family History Resources leaflet provides more information about the resources available at the library.

Main family history resources

These collections are housed in Aberdeen Central Library. Sources available include:

  • Old Parish Registers of baptisms, marriages and deaths up to 1854 for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Kincardineshire on microfilm.
  • Census returns 1841-1901 for the same areas on microfilm.
  • Microfiche indexes to baptisms and marriages.
  • International Genealogical Index 1992 edition for Scotland arranged by counties.
  • Published family histories.
  • Transcripts of a number of Episcopal Church records and local monumental inscriptions.

Access to digital resources

All of the below digital resources are available to use in all Aberdeen City Libraries. Unfortunately they are not available remotely. Using the links above will only work when done from an Aberdeen City Library.

Find My Past is a family history resource featuring thousands of records including census returns and immigration records. Please note that records from Ireland, USA, Australia and New Zealand are not included.

Ancestry Library Edition is one of the most popular family history websites, offering access to billions of names and records worldwide. The library edition provides free access to all of the records but does not features some of the options possible with an individual account -for example saving records on the site or creating a family tree.

The British Newspaper Archive is available for all users of Aberdeen City Libraries. The website contains millions of historical newspapers, including thousands of pages from the Aberdeen Journal, The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Aberdeen Weekly Journal, The Aberdeen Free Press, The Aberdeen Herald and many more. Please note, library users must register on the website before commencing free searches and downloads.


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