Family History Centre opens in Hawick
A new service where people can research their family history from national as well as local records opens today in Hawick.
Scotland’s national records are a rich resource of archive material which will be made available at a local level, giving people access to records of over 80 million Scots stretching back 500 years.
The Hawick facility, the first in an extended network of new Local Family History Centres to be established across Scotland, was launched by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.
Ms Hyslop said:
“In the Year of Creative Scotland, 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.”
Vicky Davidson, Executive Member for Culture, Sport and Community Learning, from the Scottish Borders council said:
“I am delighted to host the launch of Scotland’s People in the Heritage Hub, which continues to be a benchmark service offering family and local history resources to the public and encouraging people to visit the Borders through ancestral tourism.
“Being able to offer Scotland’s People services through the Heritage Hub in the Borders is a real achievement after the new archive facility was opened a few years ago. For staff here at the Hub, this is the ‘icing on the cake”.
“The Scotland’s People website will be a great addition to the work by registrars’ and archivists’ departments, which already work together to meet the needs of our local people and visitors to the Borders.”
The Borders centre at the Heritage Hub in Hawick is part of a network being established to link local areas with the ScotlandsPeople family history centre in Edinburgh, promoting the availability of genealogical information. Two existing centres, at Glasgow and East Ayrshire, have had connections upgraded. Hawick is the first of a new series of centres. Around 20 further councils have expressed interest in connecting an LFHC to ScotlandsPeople.
The ScotlandsPeople software is made available at specified computer terminals located at LFHCs operated by local authorities and bringing together archivists and registrars to provide a family history research service. The majority of indexes and images of the digitised records available at the ScotlandsPeople centre can be accessed at an LFHC. More records are being added regularly.