Trace Your Family History in Edinburgh
What will your family history uncover? Did your ancestors walk the streets at the same time as the infamous Burke and Hare or did they witness the historic visit of King George IV in 1822 – the first British monarch to travel north to Scotland in over a century!
How did the city look to your ancestors, did they stroll through the completed Princes Street Gardens or were the Gardens still Nor Loch? The possibilities when researching your family history are endless.
Edinburgh is a city steeped in history which is great inspiration to trace your own family history. Perhaps you’ll discover an ancestor who lived in the city and take a wander to see if their home still stands – it’s very likely! You can walk down Princes Street, knowing they walked this route and saw many of the same buildings and landmarks that you are looking at today.
Where To Start Your Research
The General Register Offices are located at the east end of Princes Street – on the same main road as The Dunstane. It’s a short bus journey through the heart of our city and you can catch a Lothian bus from right outside out front door. There are also several useful genealogy websites to get you started, including one by VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism body.
The Scottish Genealogy Society Library on Victoria Terrace contains a wealth of material for genealogists, both professional and amateur. Over the years the Society has built up a diverse, fascinating and truly unique collection of books and manuscripts.
Books and manuscripts relating to Scottish families in other countries around the world have also been donated to the Library. Over the years members and friends have sent copies of their pedigrees, family histories and research notes etc. and these have all been meticulously indexed by surname in the Family History Index.
There is also a large and ever expanding collection of microfiche, microfilm and CD ROMs. This ranges from the Mormon microfiche and census microfiche collection to a wide collection of Old Parish Register and census microfilm. This is being continually expanded. There are viewing facilities for these in the Library.
There are also classes throughout the year, which you do need to book, but cover all aspects of family history research across Scotland, from beginner classes to specific areas of research. A volunteer run centre, you’ll get a friendly welcome and lots of help with your research.