Trace your family tree

Online resources

Here are some online sources of family history material.

Edinburgh Libraries resources

British Newspaper Archive offers access to millions of pages of British and Irish newspapers from 1710 to 1955. The British Newspaper Archive is a fantastic resource for everyone interested in history, and for family and local historians in particular. 

Capital Collections is the image library for Edinburgh Libraries and Museums and Galleries. View amazing images of old and new Edinburgh as well as of Scotland and the world - see where your granny was born!

Find my past can be used for free from any Edinburgh library. Search through millions of family history records including census, birth, death, marriage and parish records. Find my past also gives unique access to the British 1939 register.

ScotlandsPlaces lets you search historical tax rolls, Ordnance Survey Name Books, official reports, archives and maps.

Scotsman Digital Archive lets you search every issue of The Scotsman published between 1817 and 1950. Find an ancestor in the births, marriages and deaths notices - or maybe even a news story.

Scran has over 360,000 images, audio and video clips from world class museums, galleries, libraries, archives and the media. It is a fantastic source of images and historical information for Edinburgh. It has digital images of Scottish historical records including Highlands and Island emigration passenger list 1852 to 1857 to Australia and Scots currency converter.

Free family history resources 

FamilySearch is a good source of worldwide births, deaths and marriages.

Cyndi's List is a worldwide categorised index to genealogical sources. It has a section on Scotland, passenger lists, free chart and form downloads.

Genuki UK lists various genealogy sites in the UK with special section relating to Scotland. A wide variety of topics are covered ranging from court records to poor law, archives to taxation.

National Records of Scotland gives guides to the government, legal, church (kirk session and non established church records) private and corporate papers that you'll find in the National Archives of Scotland search rooms in Edinburgh.

Scotland's Emigration Database has over 21,000 passenger records for those who embarked at Glasgow and Greenock for non-European ports between 1 January and 30 April 1923, and at other Scottish ports between 1890 and 1960.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides a free searchable database giving the place of burial or commemoration of service personnel who died in the two world wars. In some cases gives additional information such as wife's name.

Paid family history resources

ScotlandsPeople is the official source of parish registers, civil registration and census data. A fee is charged to access these records. Information about wills and testaments from 1512 to 1901, coats of arms and access to the 1925 valuation rolls is provided for free.

Do you have any comments about this page?

Help us improve edinburgh.gov.uk

  • The City of Edinburgh Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.