A rchivist ’s top tips
BEST WEBSITES TO AID YOUR RESEARCH
Ruaraidh Wishart, Aberdeen archivist says: “Remember that not all local records may be kept at your local archive, while some collections may be split between two or more repositories. Catalogues are available at nrscotland.gov.uk/research/ catalogues-and-indexes to help locate additional holdings at the National Records of Scotland, other local archives, and even many still held in private hands." providing transcriptions and translations, with a database for later entries from 3 October 1530 to 3 March 1531 already available at abdn.ac.uk/aberdeen-burghrecords-database.
A charter granted by William the Lion in 1179 confirms that Aberdeen was first given royal burgh status by his grandfather David I, with the city soon growing dramatically in regional importance as a consequence. In addition to a long history of fishing and shipbuilding, paper making was established as a major industry in the region from 1694, and while much diminished today, it still survives in the region at the Stoneywood Paper Mill. The textiles industry was a further big player in the local The civil registration records of births, marriages and deaths from Aberdeenshire are available on ScotlandsPeople ( scotlandspeople.gov.uk), along with pre-1855 Church of Scotland registers, censuses, valuation records and wills from 1657-1925. Aberdeenshire‘s Episcopal Church records are not digitised, but some transcribed collections are available on Ancestry at search. ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid= 5835, along with some Roman Catholic registers and other holdings.
ScotlandsPlaces ( scotlandsplaces.gov.uk) also hosts many regional holdings, including the burgh registers from 1398-1511, Ordnance Survey Name Books from 1865-1871, tax rolls from the 17th to 19th centuries, reports from the Land Ownership Commission from 1872-1873, and Medical Officer of Health Reports for the county from 1891.
For an overview of each parish in Aberdeenshire in the 1790s and again in the 1830s, the first two Statistical Accounts of Scotland collections have been published and made freely accessible online at edina.ac.uk/ stat-acc-scot, while historic maps for the county from 1583 to 1961 can also be found via the National Library of Scotland at nls.uk. The NLS has digitised Post Office Directories from 1824-1941 in partnership with the Internet Archive, which can be found at archive.org/ details/scottishdirectories. Two of the directories for Aberdeen City from 1881 and 1891 have been linked to contemporary maps on the searchable Addressing History website at addressinghistory.edina.ac.uk.
The Deceased Online website ( deceasedonline.com) hosts a substantial collection of burial and cremation records for both Aberdeen and much of Aberdeenshire, while the British Newspaper Archive ( www.britishnewspaperarchive.com) has a growing collection of newspaper records for the county, including the Aberdeen Journal. Ebenezer Bain’s 1887 book A History of the Aberdeen Incorporated Trades is available at electricscotland.com/history/guilds, while the Aberdeen Built Ships Project at aberdeenships. com includes a database and history of some local shipbuilders. Finally, the Scottish Emigration Database ( abdn.ac.uk/emigration) lists some 21,000 passengers who sailed from Glasgow and Greenock, listing voyages mainly between 1 January and 30 April 1923.
The Statistical Accounts of Scotland website
A collection of old directories at archive.org