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Genealogy Section








Ayrshire Archives


  Telephone 01292 521819.

We are open every Tuesday at the Watson Peat, Ayr  from 9.30am-1pm and 2pm-4pm by appointment only. Please telephone 01292 521819 to make an appointment or email archives@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

 e-mail archives@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  URL  www.ayrshirearchives.org.uk 

 Search the Records at http://www.ayrshirearchives.org.uk/archivesrecords.htm

Ayrshire Archives was formed as a result of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 and Section 53, in particular, which states that Local Authorities are required to make 'proper arrangements for the preserving and management of records transferred to them or created by them; and have due regard for any comments made by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland.'  In response to this legislation, the three local authorities in Ayrshire - East, North and South Ayrshire Councils - agreed to the joint funding of an Ayrshire-wide archives service. As a result, Ayrshire Archives was established on 1st October 1996.

Official Records Held

Commissioners of Supply and the Highway Authorities
Ayr County Council Records
Education Records
Parish Records
Burgh Records
District Records
Ecclesiastical Records
Estate and Family Papers
Business Records
Societies and Organisations
Valuation Rolls
Electoral Registers
Post Office Directories
Poor Relief Records
Kirk Session Records
Registers of Sasines

 North Ayrshire Heritage Centre

 at the North Ayrshire Museum, Manse Street, Saltcoats


  Please note that the Vennel Local and Family History Centre will close on Saturday 18th September and will reopen as the North Ayrshire Heritage Centre at the North Ayrshire Museum, Manse Street, Saltcoats on Monday 11th of October at 9.30am.

Opening hours Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9.30am - 1pm, 2pm - 5pm. Closed on Wed. Sat. 10am - 1pm, 2pm - 5pm

Advance booking advised but not essential

Email address  localhistory@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Contact Mrs Jill McColl or M Cullen Librarians.

Covers North Ayrshire and consists of the following communities:- Ardrossan, Beith, Dalry, Dreghorn, Fairlie, Irvine, Kilbirnie, Kilwinning, Largs, Saltcoats, Skelmorlie, Stevenston, and West Kilbride. The Isle of Arran and the Isles of Cumbrae also come within North Ayrshire.

For a full list of resources available at the centre you can also visit:

http://www.rootsweb.com/~sctayr/northayr.html  - note location details for the centre are wrong

Poor Relief Records    Census Returns 

Carnegie Library

(South Ayrshire - Local History Section)

12 Main Street, Ayr KA8 8ED  Telephone 01292 286385 Fax 01292 611593
carnegie@lib.south-ayrshire.gov.uk   Contacts Tom Barclay

Scottish & Local History Library:-  www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/libraries/branches/carnegie.htm

Library online catalogue:-  www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/frames/libweb.htm

Local History Dept Opening hours Mon, Tues, Thu, Fri 09:00 to 19:30. Wed and Sat 09:00 to 1700. 3 Microfilm/Fiche reader printers, book in advance for 2 hour periods. Charges are made for copies.

South Ayrshire consists of the following communities:- Annbank, Ayr, Ballantrae, Barr, Barrhill, Colmonell, Coylton, Craigie, Crosshill, Dailly, Dundonald, Dunure, Girvan, Kirkmichael, Kirkoswald, Lendalfoot, Loans, Maidens, Maybole, Minishant, Monkton, Mossblown, Newton-on-Ayr, Prestwick, St Quivox, Straiton, Symington, Tarbolton, Troon and Turnberry.

Old Parish Registers for all the towns and villages of Ayrshire; IGI available on Microfiche (1992) for Scotland; Census returns for Ayrshire; 1856 Ord. Survey maps; Extensive collection of Maps covering Ayrshire from around 1600; Graveyard Inscriptions; Local Newspapers microfilm and original copies of local Ayr newspapers including the Ayrshire Post (1880 to date), the Ayr Advertiser (from 1803 to date) and the Ayr Observer (1832-1930) other newspapers from towns in south Ayrshire are also held; Valuation Rolls for Ayrshire 1899-1942 (excluding Burghs of Ayr, Irvine and Kilmarnock), Ayr Burgh from 1906-1974, Kyle and Carrick District from 1975-1996, South Ayrshire Council from 1996-; Voters Rolls from 1892 Burgh of Ayr, 1975-1996 Kyle and Carrick District Council, from 1996 to date South Ayrshire Council; Local books, directories and pamphlets, and a large collection of photographs covering the whole of Ayrshire.

A few lesser known reference items available - 'The Register of Neglected Entries' nearly always births, which were not registered at the time they occured, were registered when Statutory Registration was introduced in 1855. The births were registered in retrospect and were not always recorded in the parish of birth but in the parish where living in 1855.

'Quad Sacra Parish' The Church Parish.  

Searches can also be carried out by Carnegie library staff. Charges will depend on which searches are carried out by staff, not on what is found or not found. The following tariffs applied at November 2000.

Search 1 :£11.75 inc VAT This basic search will include staff consulting the IGI, OPR, 1881 and 1891 Census Returns, and associated indexes on microfilm or microfiche.

Search 2 :£17.75 inc VAT  Basic search, plus newspapers for obituaries, death notices, plus the calendar of inventories and confirmations. Dates must be provided.

Search 3 :£23.50 inc VAT  As 1, plus a literature search, map locations plus copies and photographic archive search.

Payment for searches should be made in advance. Payment is for the search rather than any information that is found. All payments to be made in sterling or by credit/debit card.

Computer sessions 1Hr - £2, Internet 1Hr - £3, Concessions available to under 16s and Leisurecard holders.

The Baird Institute  

History Centre & Museum   (East Ayrshire)

3 Lugar Street, Cumnock, KA18 1AD Telephone 01290 421701 Fax 01290 421701       

Opening Hours  Mon., Tues., Thurs., and  Fri., 10:00 to 1:00 & 1:30 to 4:30  Wed., Sat., & Sun., Closed

Email    Baird.institute@east-ayrshire.gov.uk    Contacts Anne Geddes.


Facilities:- The Baird Institute has 4 microfilm/fiche readers available for public use. Should you require these facilities it is advisable to book them in advance

The principal communities within East Ayrshire are:- Auchinleck, Bellsbank, Catrine, Cronberry, Crookedholm, Crosshouse, Cumnock, Dalmellington, Dalrymple, Darvel, Drongan, Dunlop, Fenwick, Galston, Gatehead, Glenbuck, Greenholm, Hurlford, Kilmarnock, Kilmaurs, Knockentiber, Logan, Lugar, Mauchline, Moscow, Muirkirk, New Cumnock, Newmilns, Ochiltree, Patna, Priestland, Sorn, Stair, Stewarton and Waterside.

The Dick Institute   

(East Ayrshire)

Elmbank Avenue, Kilmarnock, KA1 3BU  Telephone 01563 526401  Fax 01563 529661   


Opening Hours Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., 9:00 to 8:00  Wed., 10:00 to 5:00 & Sat., 9:00 to 5:00 Sun closed      No Booking Req.

Facilities:- The Dick Institute has 3 microfilm/fiche readers available for public use. There is no booking system. A reader printer is also available to print material from the local newspapers.

Catalogue of records held at the Dick Institute, Kilmarnock

Census for whole of Ayrshire. Index for 1851 1861 1891 & 1901

Marr Collage Resource Centre

Troon Library, South Beach, Troon KA10 6EF Tel: 01292 313809

Opening hours Mon. Tue. Thur. and Fri. 10:00 - 7:00. Wed. and Sat. 10:00 - 5:00

E-mail merc@lib.south-ayrshire.gov.uk 

Kilmarnock FH Centre (LDS) 

1 Whatriggs Road, Bellfield, Kilmarnock  Telephone 01563 526560  

Opening Hours     Tues., 18.30 - 21.00.  Wed., 13.30 - 16.30  and 6.30 - 9.00  Booking is essential.

The Family History Centres are the local branches of the Family History Library of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was founded in 1894 and is now the largest of its kind in the world holding in excess of 1.5 million rolls of microfilmed records, 200,000 microfiche and over 195,000 books. Your local centre will not HOLD everything but will have ACCESS to the many sources detailed in THE FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY CATALOGUE which you can order on loan for a a small charge.

Records available at Kilmarnock include the following:-

Ayrshire Death Certificates  1855-63, 1864-73, 1874-75, 1881 and 1891

Ayrshire Birth Certificates  1855-65, 1866-75, 1881 and 1891

Ayrshire Marriage Certificates  1855

Scottish Death Indexes  1855-1920

Scottish Birth Indexes  1855-75

Scottish Marriage Indexes  a few

Ayrshire Census   1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891

UK Census CD and fiche  1881

Census Street Index  1851, 1871, 1881, 1891

OPR films  1500-1855

OPR Scotland fiche Index

IGI Scotland, England, Wales, London, Channel Islands, and Ireland on fiche

Civil Registration of Neglected Entries for birth, marriage and death.

Glasgow City Archives


The Mitchell Library

The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN  Telephone 0141 287 2999 or 2876

Fax: 0141 287 2815  E-mail: lil@cls.glasgow.gov.uk


The Mitchell Library holds approximately 1.3 million items which have been acquired since it opened in 1877.
These are mostly available only for reference, although an increasing number are now available for loan.


In the main, only the 300,000 titles acquired since 1976, (1978 for material relating to Glasgow, 1987 for music) are included in their catalogue,

although they intend to have included all materials relating to Glasgow soon.

Search the Mitchell Library online

A public search room is located in the Jeffrey Room (North Street entrance)  

Opening Hours Monday to Thursday 9 am till 8 pm, Friday 9 am till 5 pm and at other times by prior arrangement.

Official Records Held

Records of Former Glasgow Corporation.
Former Strathclyde Region county council and parish authorities.
Records of various Families and Estates
Business Records paricularly Solicitors
Glasgow incorporation of Trades
Poor Law Records for Glasgow, Barony, Govan 
The Burgess Rolls for Glasgow
School Records
Registers of local government employees.
Kirk and Session Records

Glasgow Genealogy Centre

22 Park Circus, Glasgow G3 6BE  Telephone 0141 287 8364 

Opening Hours Monday till Friday  09:30 till 04:00.


Trace your ancestors in Scotland Guide

There are 12 research positions with 11 available for prebooking and 1 available on a first come first served basis although if any are not booked these are also made available.  Computers are linked to the main Registry Office in Edinburgh with all formal civil and parish Records in Scotland searched. Microfiche data is only held for the Civil Registrations 1855 to date for the former Strathclyde Region area.

University of Glasgow Archives and Business Records Centre

13 Thurso Street, Glasgow, G11 6PE  Telephone 0141 330 5515

Opening hours Mon. Tue. Wed and Fri 9:30 to 5:00. Thur 9:30 to 8:00  Booking essential

 E-mail dutyarch@archives.gla.ac.uk        URL www.archives.gla.ac.uk/

Please make an appointment before visiting. Written enquiries should be addressed to the Duty Archivist

Records Held include:-

University Records - Students who attended Full since 1880 partially before.
University Records - Matriculation and Graduation from 1451
University Records - Class and prize lists from 1790
University Records - University Professors from 1451
Business Records - One of the world's largest collection of business archives - check their website for complete list
Parish Register transcripts for Glasgow High, Ramshorn, Gorbals, Barony, Kilbirnie, Beith, Dalry 1609 - 1854
Registers of Sasines: for Glasgow 1781 - 1983
Calenders of Confirmations and Inventories - giving a summary of all wills or inventories tested in Scotland. 1876 - 1959
The Edinburgh Gazette - official newspaper including military commissions and decorations; company, government and court notices and personal bankruptcy notices. 1793 - 1967
Lloyds Register of Shipping  - the register lists ships' captains up until 1921 as well as owners. 1834 - 1991
Glasgow Post Office Directories - (on microfilm) 1797 - 1896
Database of indices to Scottish sequestrations 1770 - 1814


Sources for Ayrshire Researchers

DC 1 Beith Parish - Family and estate papers re. families and locales in the Beith area 1637 - 1890
DC 17 Hamilton of Rozelle - Family and estate papers 1718 - 1930
UGD 5 Glenfield and Kennedy Ltd - Hydraulic Engineers Kilmarnock 1870 - 1944
Glenfield and Kennedy Ltd - Production Records 1872 - 1949
UGD 89 British Dynamite Co - Ardeer and Linlithgow 1860 - 1910
British Dynamite Co - Financial Records 1874 - 1876
British Dynamite Co - Production Records 1883 - 1923
British Dynamite Co - Photographs 1860 - 1904
UGD 93 David Ligat & Son Ltd - Muslin Manufacturers, Newmilns 1920 - 1960
UGD 112 Adam Wilson & Sons Ltd - Timber Merchants Troon & Ayr 1889 - 1966
Adam Wilson & Sons Ltd - Administative Records 1952 - 1954
Adam Wilson & Sons Ltd - Financial Records 1924 - 1961
Adam Wilson & Sons Ltd - Staff Records 1932 - 1964
Adam Wilson & Sons Ltd - Production Records 1924 - 1966
Adam Wilson & Sons Ltd - Plans 1889 - 1952
UGD 162 Ayrshire Employers Mutual Insurance Association Ltd 1898 - 1957
Administrative Records 1898 - 1957
Financial Records 1941 - 1957
UGD 163 Ayrshire Coal Owners Association 1946 - 1955
UGD 164 William Baird & Co Ltd -  Coal and Iron Masters Glasgow, Blair and Dalry Estates 1824 - 1972
Administration Records 1835 - 1971
Financial Records 1870 - 1966
Staff Records 1914 - 1919
Production Records 1894 - 1946
Plans 1834 - 1967
UGD 190 Ardrossan Dockyard Co - Shipbuilders Ardrossan
Ardrossan Dockyard Co - Administration Records 1916 - 1921
Ardrossan Dockyard Co - Financial Records 1916 - 1921
Ardrossan Dockyard Co - Photographs 1910 - 1962
GD 329 Andrew Barclay Sons Co Ltd - Locomotive Builders, Kilmarnock 1837 - 1970
Andrew Barclay Sons Co Ltd - Financial Records 1876 - 1959
Andrew Barclay Sons Co Ltd - Production Records 1837 - 1970
Andrew Barclay Sons Co Ltd - Photographs 1885 - 1955
Andrew Barclay Sons Co Ltd - Plans 1869 - 1961
GD 400 Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd - Shipbuilders Troon 1887 - 1986
Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd - Administration Records 1887 - 1975
Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd - Financial Records 1887 - 1965
Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd - Staff Records 1909 - 1965
Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd - Production Records 1887 - 1986
Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd - Photographs 1891 - 1970
Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd - Plans 1887 - 1981



General Register Office for Scotland

New Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YT  Telephone 0131 334 0380  Fax 0131 314 4400 

Opening Hours Mon to Fri. 09:00 till 16:30  (Fee payable)


You can search for Statutory Certificates (which are fully indexed) in person at both New Register House, Edinburgh, and the Glasgow Genealogy Centre at 22 Park Circus, Glasgow, or online at scotlandspeople. For reasons of confidentiality, births after 1905, marriages after 1930 and deaths after 1955 can only be viewed at either here or Park Circus in Glasgow (Glasgow Genealogy Centre see below).

ScotlandsPeople - The online source of civil registration, open census records, old parish registers and wills for Scotland.

The General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) administers the registration of events such as births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, divorces and adoptions, and is responsible for the statutes relating to the formalities of marriage and conduct of civil marriage. They take the census of Scotland's population every ten years and prepare and publish demographic and other statistics for central and local Government, for medical research, and for the private sector. They also make available to customers public records about individuals, and maintain for the Scottish Executive the National Health Service Central Register.   GROS is headed by the Registrar General for Scotland, Duncan Macniven.

List of Main Records in the Care of the Registrar General

Registers of births, deaths, and marriages from 1855
Old Parish Registers 1553 - 1854
Register of neglected entries 1801 - 1854
Register of still-births from 1939
Adopted children register from 1930
Register of divorces from May 1984
Marine register of births and deaths and Air register from 1855 and from 1948
Service records from 1881
War registers from 1899
Consular returns of births, deaths and marriages from 1914
High Commissioners' returns of births and deaths from 1964
Register of births, deaths and marriages in foreign countries 1860 - 1965
Foreign Marriages from 1947
Census Enumerators' transcript books from 1841

Famous names recorded in the registers held by the General Register office for Scotland

National Archives of Scotland

PO Box 36, H.M. Register House, Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YY  Telephone 0131 535 1314  Fax 0131 557 9569

URL  http://www.nas.gov.uk   E-mail enquiries@nas.gov.uk 

Hold old records such as wills, deeds, valuation rolls, pre-1855 baptismal records of churches other than the Church of Scotland, and Land Records.


Scots Ancestry Research Society

29b Albany Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YT

A non-profit making organisation which traces Scottish ancestry for clients on a Professional basis.


Scottish Genealogy Society Library

15 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2GL Tel: 0131 220 3677


David Wills has a great resource site 

with information on the Films available from FH Centres Click Here

 Family History Centres in Scotland


North Anderson Drive  Aberdeen, Grampian,
Phone: 01224 692206 - to book

Orchard Avenue  Mossgiel Road  Ayr, Ayrshire, 
Phone: 01292 610632 - to book.

36 Edinburgh Road  Albanybank  Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, 
Phone: 01387 254865

Bingham Terrace  Dundee, Tayside, 
Phone: 01382 451247

30A Colinton Road  Edinburgh, Midlothian, 
Phone: 0131 337 3049

Pansport Road  Elgin, Morayshire, 
Phone: 01343 546429

35 Julian Avenue  Glasgow, Strathclyde, 
Phone: 0141 357 1024

13 Ness Walk  Inverness, Inverness-shire, 
Phone: 01463 231220

Winifred Crescent at Forth Park Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire, 
Phone: 01592 640041

South Road Lerwick, Zer Orq, Shetland Islands, 
Phone: 01595 695732

Glenburn Road Paisley, Renfrewshire, 
Phone: 0141 884 2780

Note: These are not mailing addresses. Because of limited staff, Family History Centers cannot respond to mail inquiries.

For Other Countries search using this link:



The Family Records Centre

FRC, 1 Myddelton Street, London, EC1R 1UW, Telephone 020 8392 5300

Records held include: Microfiche index of British Citizens who were born, married and died in the ex-colonies between 1627 and 1968. Births and deaths at sea between July 1837 and 1965. Royal Naval returns of births, marriages and deaths from 1959. RAF records of births, marriages and deaths from 1920.



The following national archives and Libraries may be useful to family historians:

HHARP - http://hharp.org/    the home of 19th century children’s hospital records.  NEW -  the addition of a new database of admission records to the HHARP website: the Royal Glasgow Sick Children’s Hospital. Covering the period 1883 (when the hospital first opened) to 1903, the database offers insight into the health of the poor child in the Scottish city of Glasgow, complementing databases already available for three London hospitals: the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street, the Evelina Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease. In HHARP family historians can find patients by name, medical historians can study childhood diseases and investigate pioneering medical staff, while demographers can analyse incidence of disease in Victorian and Edwardian London. It provides access to nearly 120,000 individual admission records between 1852 and 1914; and a collection of articles on the early history of the hospitals, pen-portraits of personalities who inhabited them and a gallery of images.

SLAINTE the Scottish Libraries across the Internet services are found at the SLAINTE Website.

SCRAN The Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network (SCRAN). Scran is a learning resource base and toolset with 336,500 images, movies and sounds from museums, galleries, archives and the media. Their website has an easy to use search engine.

Museums around the UK on the Web There is a website which provides a comprehensive listing of museums around the UK  Website

British Library  96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB   Telephone 020 7412 7873. 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
This site contains a huge database of all those who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars. Searchable database online, with report results containing Name, Rank, Regiment and Data of Death.  Links on the names, result in description of the persons memorial and place of burial.

Edinburgh University Library
This site contains summary descriptions of its holdings and a users guide to its manuscript collections.

Glasgow Caledonian University Library
Contains a brief description of the collections held at the University, including the Norman and Janey Buchan Collection of books and pamphlets and the Children 1st archive.

Glasgow University Archives
Glasgow University Archive Services seeks to collect original and unique archival records to support teaching and research in Glasgow University and the wider community. Established in 1955, it preserves and provides access to the University's own institutional archive and those of predecessor or affiliated institutions. It actively seeks to acquire material which support these official records such as papers of students and staff.

Glasgow University Library
Contains a provisional, yet highly detailed catalogue of over 300 manuscripts from the library of John Ferguson who was Professor of Chemistry at the University between 1874-1915. These manuscripts and over 7000 volumes relate in particular to alchemy, although more diverse subjects including the occult, witchcraft and gypsy literature are represented in his library.

Institute of Historical Research 
This site contains information about the Public Record Office that is not currently available elsewhere. Also provides links to Bodleian Library (Oxford) and Guildhall Library Manuscripts section (the City of London).

National Library of Scotland
This well thought out site contains information about the library and details about its collections and a number of exhibits including an early map of Scotland.

National Maritime Museum 
Amongst the Museum's excellent pages is this one highlighting the opportunities for research at the National Maritime Museum including its manuscripts, photographs and artefacts.

National Railway Museum
includes summary information about the Jack Simmons Library and Archive.

The National Archives  Family History Section.

St Andrews University Library
Pages include brief descriptions of the manuscript, rare books and photograph collections. A More detailed information is available for those with an Adobe Acrobat reader.  

Victorian Census Project
Based at Staffordshire University, the Victorian Census Project contains details of the transcription of the mid-Victorian Censuses including downloadable statistics. 1931 Census project.






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