How to find your ancestors at Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives


27 January 2017
Boys-Fishing-at-Aberdeen-Harbour-39505.jpg Boys fishing at Aberdeen harbour
Discover how to find your Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire ancestors with our guide to family history resources at Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives.

After exploring the census records and civic and parish registers of births, marriages and deaths– available through ScotlandsPeople – Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives’ collections can help you discover more about ancestors from the north east of Scotland.

The archive holds a variety of church records, including the Kirk Session records of Church of Scotland churches in Aberdeen, and Free Church, Methodist, Congregational, and Episcopal churches across the region. The archive’s website provides further information on the church records held. Online access to other Kirk Sessions records is also available in the searchrooms at both branches. 


The archive holds burial records for a number of burial grounds in the north east: more information is available on the archive’s Burial Records webpages. Digitised versions of records relating to Aberdeen City burial grounds can be viewed on the pay-per-view site Deceased Online, which can be accessed in both searchrooms.  

The archive’s collections are split across two branches: the Town House in the centre of Aberdeen, and Old Aberdeen House. Please contact the archive for guidance on which branch to visit.

Both branches hold a range of reference books on local history in the region, including some copies of Post Office Directories for Aberdeen City (more are available online through the National Library of Scotland).

Other local resources include the NHS Grampian Archives, which hold records for more than 100 north east hospitals and health organisations, and the University of Aberdeen Special Collections Centre, whose collections include a range of family and estate papers and Episcopal Church records.

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The Aberdeen and North East of Scotland Family History Society may also be able to help with your research. The Routes to Your North East Roots website also provides useful guidance on family history research in the region.

Opening hours

Old Aberdeen branch: Old Aberdeen House, Dunbar Street, Aberdeen, AB24 3UJ. Telephone: 01224 481775. Searchroom open: Mon to Wed, 9.30 – 16:30

Town House branch: Town House, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AQ. Telephone: 03000 200 292. Searchroom open Wed to Fri, 9.30 – 16:30.

(Image: boys fishing at Aberdeen harbour; Shuttle Court, Aberdeen (1927)

Originally published January 2017. Reviewed November 2022.