Tracing your Scottish ancestry

Researching your family tree in Inverness

Inverness is the ideal place to discover your Scottish ancestry and family tree. Where better to explore your heritage than among the beautiful Highlands of Scotland? Discover the land of your ancestors and follow in their footsteps…

How to get started

Begin by writing down what you already know. Start with a family tree template and enter your information and your family’s, including names, dates and places of birth, marriage and death and photographs where possible. Ask other family members for help. Then, you’re ready to start your research. You can now work backwards through the generations to fill in the gaps.

Old books, albums and photos on antique table
Start by looking through your own family records and talking to other family members.

Online resources

You can use the following online resources to help you research your Scottish ancestry.

A blank Family Tree diagram
Use a family tree template and work backwards through the generations.

Research facilities and tours in Inverness

If you want to get closer to your Scottish roots, a visit to Scotland is a wonderful way to immerse yourself. And for those with ancestry in the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is the perfect base.

Highland Archive Centre

The Highland Archive Centre is located on Bught Road in Inverness. It contains masses of material for genealogists, both professional and amateur enthusiasts.

Over the years the centre has built up a diverse, fascinating and truly unique collection of directories, biographies, registers, general Scottish history, education records, court records, police archives and poor relief records too. There are also many privately deposited archives. Namely business and industrial records, as well as estate maps, church records, family records and even information on the history of tartan.

With a dedicated family history room, you’ll have all the necessary tools to trace back your ancestry and identify your Scottish roots, with the archives dating as far back as the 14th century to the present day. The room is open to all members of the public free of charge, and manned by helpful staff who are more than happy to advise on your search. You can also book an appointment for a one-to-one consultation with a genealogy expert.

Robbie Mac Ancestry Tours

Robyn is a professional tour guide, specialising in ancestry research tours. She can personalise a tour specifically for you, helping you to research your family or clan history. Robbie Mac can pick you up from a chosen location in the Highlands and take you on a half-day, full-day or multi-day tour. Allowing you to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors by visiting the places where they lived and worked, or finding where they are now buried.

Start by telling Robyn what you already know and what you hope to achieve. She can then help you with your research or plan a bespoke ancestry tour of the Highlands. Contact Robbie Mac to find out more.

Scottish Clan Tours

If you discover you have links to a particular Scottish clan through your surname or your ancestors, you can delve deeper into the history with Scottish Clan Tours by Inverness Tours. These tours start in Inverness and visit important clan locations in the Highlands. Sometimes it’s even possible to meet the Clan Chief!

The eight most popular clan tours are; Cameron, Chisholm, Fraser of Lovat, Mackay, Mackenzie, Mackintosh, Munro and Rose. However, further clan tours are available. Contact Inverness Tours to find out more.

Clan Fraser memorial stone at Culloden Battlefield
Stones at Culloden Battlefield near Inverness carry the names of clans that fought there.

Set base for your ancestry adventure by staying at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, for a true Scottish experience. Book one of our luxurious rooms today and get ready to discover your family heritage.