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Family history and genealogy

There is a wealth of information available in Dumfries and Galloway to help you find out more about your family's history and trace your ancestors.

You can use registration records, military records, wills, census information and a wide range of other records to look into your family.

It's important that as much of the information you already know is readily available to help you find out more and get the most from the resources available:

  • Note down important names, dates and locations
  • Think about where/when people lived, were educated or work
  • Gather copies of relevant birth, death and marriage certificates
  • Talk to your family about anything they might know
  • Look through heirlooms such as photographs or personal letters

Help with your research

Our staff can help with some basic research work if you are visiting our archives but we also provide a full research service. Our researcher can help with more detailed or extensive research for a fee of £31.50 per hour.

Book a consultation with the researcher to talk about your research and get support searching records. We can also provide reports and photocopies of any relevant records or transcriptions through our written research service if you are unable to visit us. There may be some additional charges for postage and copies if necessary.

Call 01387 260301 or email research@dumgal.gov.uk to discuss your requirements. We can put together a fully costed research agreement for your consideration.

Local archives

We hold records that tell the story of over 600 years of Dumfries and Galloway's history. These include official council records as well as those of local individuals, families, businesses and institutions.

Registration archives

There is a legal requirement for all births, marriages and deaths in Scotland to be recorded by a registrar and we have access to most of these records through our systems and the Scotland's People website. Assisted searches are available for £15 per hour and there is a small charge for copies of certificates.

Online resources

Library members can get free access to Ancestry Library Edition which is an online genealogy database containing records for more than 5 billion people. You can only use this site by visiting one of our libraries, you won't be able to access it from home.

A range of research guides and useful links are also available from the National Records of Scotland website. Their guidance covers explains where and how to access the main records for tracing Scottish ancestors as well as resources and services to support your family history research.

Page last updated: 13/09/17