This blog post was updated on June 25, 2015.

How to Discover Your Scottish Ancestry, IMG Cred: Chris Osburn

Learn the Building Blocks of Your Family!


Looking to book some discount airfare to Scotland to connect with your family heritage? Scotland is home to a vast collection of local historical publications, maps and archives to help you research your Scottish ancestry. Here’s a list of five great places throughout Scotland where you can delve into the local archives and learn about your family and clan’s history.

Scotland’s People Centre
Scotland’s People Centre is the largest family history centre in the country. Located in Edinburgh at the east end of Princes Street opposite the Balmoral Hotel, the centre is open Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The centre hosts free, non-bookable two-hour introductory sessions at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. At the centre’s shop, browse an impressive stock of genealogy related books and other mementos. There’s cafe with home baked treats as well. Find out more at
Scottish Genealogy Society

For more in depth resource, be sure to arrange a visit to the Scottish Genealology Society. The society’s library and Family History Centre located at 15 Victoria Terrace in Edinburgh holds an impressive collection of books and manuscripts including local histories, military, trades and profession lists, directories and more. The Society also offers a range of workshops to help members and non-members delve deeper into their Scottish family history. Apart from an introductory class, these workshops go beyond the usual birth, marriage and death information. Classes are held on a monthly basis and cost £10 each. For details visit

Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre

Situated in the Southern Uplands town of Hawick, the Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre has recently launched a state of the art archive which includes a large collection of local historical publications, maps and archives covering everything from the Borders Reivers (raiders along the Anglo-Scottish border) to weavers.

John Gray Centre

For folks with ancestors from the county of East Lothian, the John Gray Centre in Haddington offers an extensive archive collection featuring parish registers, manuscripts, images and much more. Check out to find out more.
Highland Archive Centre
Highland Archive Centre in Inverness houses historical records dating back to the 14th century in its Highland Archive Centre, a new facility dedicated to all aspects of genealogy, clan history, and family history throughout the Highlands.

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photo: Chris Osburn

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