Researching your ancestry in Scotland has just become much easier thanks to the opening of Dundee City Council's Family History Centre, based in the Central Library, within the Wellgate Shopping Centre, in Dundee City centre. This new facility was opened on 14th December 2007 by local singer / songwriter, Michael Marra. The Family History Centre is the first of its kind in Scotland and is a totally new concept, designed to provide a turnkey solution for those researching their ancestry. It brings together for the first time under one roof several local authority services, which all provide information essential to the compilation of a detailed family tree. In the event that answers cannot be produced onsite, there are electronic links to other agencies and an effective referral service. Staff from the Registrars and Local History Sections are based within the Family History Centre and there are close links to the records of the City Archivist and Burial Administration.
Qualified staff from Dundee Registrar's Office are on hand in the Family History Centre to offer advice and to undertake research. Using the complete birth death marriage and census records for Scotland which are at their disposal, Registrars staff based in the Family History Centre are able to trace vital events throughout Scotland for researchers and also supply authenticated certificates for any vital event in Scotland, if required. The registrar can also research and complete an entire family tree from the slightest of information, regardless of whereabouts in Scotland the family originated. In most instances the registrar will be able to trace each branch of a family back to the late 18th century. Staff can also attempt to trace a family line forward from earlier generations and supply contact details of surviving family in Scotland.
Burial records also reveal a wealth of information and in Dundee, the City Archivist has custody of records relating to, for example, poor relief, property valuation and the disciplinary and pre-1845 poor relief functions of Kirk Sessions. Within the Family History Centre, Dundee City Council also has a very successful Local History Section which has a responsibility to maintain a wealth of printed and written information in the form of books, directories, maps, plans, photographs, drawings and other resources which help add detail to family trees, giving them shape and form. The records maintained by the Archivist and Local History staff help to give researchers some idea of what life must have been like for their ancestors in Dundee - at home, at work, at play.
Once a family tree has been traced by the Registrar, finer details can be added, e.g. Burial records from Graves Administration and period photographs of streets where family lived from Local History Section. It is also possible to add your own family photographs to the completed family report.
Enquirers can make bookings with a registrar of between 1 and 6 hours. The fee for this research is £27.00 per hour although it is recommended that at least 2 - 3 hours research is commissioned to provide a comprehensive report. Simple queries however, can normally be dealt with within 1 hour of research. Researchers can also commission staff to undertake research and pay securely using an online family history research form.
The Family History Centre is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 until 4:30 p.m. and research may be conducted with a registrar at the cost of £27.00 per hour. This fee will include a family tree and a full report of the family members traced. Please note that due to the popularity of this service, it is advisable to book a personal search in advance. Postal and e-mail applications will also be accepted for minimum fee of £27.00, although it is advisable to initially commission 2 or 3 hours research. If you wish the staff to deal with your request by post, please include all relevant family details, a cheque and any specific instructions that you may have. You can also request and pay for a search using the family history research form.