New family history record office opens in the Borders

A NEW service where people can research their family history from national as well as local records is now open for business in Hawick.

The Hawick record office is the first in an extended network of new Local Family History Centres across Scotland, giving people access to records of over 80 million Scots stretching back 500 years

Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, launched the new service and said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for more people to connect with Scotland’s rich heritage through researching their own family history.

“There’s increasing evidence that ancestral tourism is a growing and important niche market for Scotland – some 50 million people worldwide claim Scottish ancestry.

“People visiting or living in the Borders can now research their family history by accessing a national resource at a location that’s convenient for them.

“People can also get access to local records and invaluable local knowledge, and combine their research with visits to local places that feature in their family history - it’s a great illustration of how national resources can be shared at a local level.”

George MacKenzie, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records said: “I am delighted that Borders Council registrars and archivists are working together and that we have connected the Heritage Hub in Hawick to the ScotlandsPeople databases, giving local people access to national records of over 80 million Scots stretching back 500 years.”

South of Scotland MSP, Paul Wheelhouse (SNP) said: “I have a keen personal interest in ancestral research and look forward to spending some time using the service myself this summer to continue my research into my own family history. I look forward to seeing people of all ages, nationalities and with varying interests using the Scottish Borders’ centre at the Heritage Hub and am extremely eager to get to grips with investigating my own ancestry.”