Some people are interested in researching their ancestral history to create a family tree that shows how individuals are related to each other. Family history research can also confirm the families place in history whilst at the same time preserving the past for future generations. With research it is possible to put together a story of our forebears, knowing this is backed by evidence, knowing that the stories are accurate. Some people may follow the family history research route because they are curious to find out the roots of their own background, whilst others search for information simply out of curiosity.
We hope to see you at the Bothy and may be confirm if one of your ancestors was a herring lass, worked at the Manor House or perhaps even owned the house!
Around the globe it is estimated there are between 25 and 100 million people who identify as being Scottish and many maintain strong ties to their mother country. The developing interest in discovering a family’s past history has led to the growth of a number of resource and facilities. One of those resources is the Salmon Bothy.
The Bothy has a team of volunteers who have been trained to assist visitors in exploring their links to the area. This includes online resources and a growing library of information online and offline about the local area so that visitors can get a greater understanding about what it was like to live in the time of their ancestor. The Bothy can also put you in contact with a local qualified genealogist who can help you in your search.
The Bothy also has a catalogue of ancestor charts, or family trees, that have been researched by individuals with connections in the area. If you have a link to Portsoy come and complete a family tree with us as we may be able to share information about a shared ancestor that could be mutually beneficial.
The Online Directory of Local Resources from the Aberdeen & North East Scotland Ancestral Tourism Partnership offers guidance for those looking for ancestors from other areas of north-east Scotland.
If you are at the start of your family history research story or you are travelling to a different country to continue your research, it may be difficult to know what to look for or where to begin. For those travelling to a foreign land the customs and resources are likely to be alien to the searches completed at home.
It is worthwhile, before your start researching your family history, to read up on the different types of records, why they were created and what information they may contain. There may be clues contained in a record that is a code for information that could push your research further into the right direction.
When starting with online research, you may be able to access basic information free of charge. Certificate of births, marriages and deaths as well as census records are available at FreeBMD is a registered charity, who has an ongoing online project which aims to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records. As part of the same group is FreeCEN which offers free Census data and FreeREG which offers free access to Parish Registers.
No online site can guarantee to hold all the records that you want, so research what the site offers and whether that will be helpful to you Check the site gives you access to the details of all the records they hold and check how the records were created and how researchers are able to use them. Will you see copies of digitised documents, transcripts or will you have access only to indexes from where you order original documents?
When you have the basic details of your ancestor you can start searching for more specialised information such as parish records, wills, military or employment records. Knowing what regiment your ancestor was signed up to will make your search much simpler. Also, with military records in particular, check the site has records for the period you require.
When you have found a site you think will work, before you sign up, read an explanation of what records are available on the website and what you need to know to identify your ancestor and what you can expect to find out about them from the records they hold.
Sites often provide examples about what you can expect to see, as an encouragement for you to sign up. Other sites offer a trial period so that you can look around and see if the website suits your purposes.