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Family History and Scottish Culture

We have many digital resources available to help you delve into the past and support research into local family history.

portrait of George MacDonald

George MacDonald

Influential and innovative novelist and poet George MacDonald was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

A substantial and important collection of his writings, the majority in manuscript and many showing significant differences from the published version, was gifted to the Huntly Library. The original manuscript items from the collection are located at Aberdeenshire Museums, Mintlaw, where they may be consulted by appointment.

Read the digitised manuscripts

portraits of Gavin Greig and James Bruce Duncan

Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection

The North East of Scotland has a rich ballad and folk song tradition and many of these songs mention specific areas, rivers, towns, villages and farms. Hundreds of these songs were gathered and transcribed by Gavin Greig and the Reverend James Bruce Duncan in the early years of the 20th century creating what is now known as the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection.

Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection

Ansestry logo Library Edition

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 normally access Ancestry Library Edition only in our libraries but home access is currently possible using your membership number and PIN

Search Ancestry

map of the world painted onto a wooden surface

National Library of Scotland Maps

Access high-resolution zoomable images of over 200000 maps of Scotland, England, Wales and beyond.


Additional Resources

Researching your family history? We have a list of helpful resources to help you discover your past.

International Genealogical Index (IGI) 

Monumental Inscriptions (Mis) 

Aberdeenshire Registrars

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives 

Scotlands People

Local Studies

Interested in local history and genealogy. Our Local Studies department can be found within our Library Headquarters in Oldmeldrum and is open Monday to Friday. Get in touch with our informative staff who can arrange an appointment for you to come and consult the many resources about the local area, past and present.

We also work closely with Aberdeenshire Registrars who can help you trace your family history. Get some great advice and tips on beginning your research by visiting the Aberdeenshire Registrars webpage.

Local Studies resources

- Books, newspapers, photographs, postcards, maps, census records, Old Parish Registers, Parish folders, valuation rolls, register of electors, Strichen Estate papers.

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.

You can find out which Old Parish Registers and Census Records are available in our libraries here: 

Genealogical Material on Microfilm (PDF)

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