Routes to your North East roots

Stonehaven Town Hall
Stonehaven Town Hall

Ancestor hunters interested in their north-east roots will be able to speak with experts at a family and local history fair this weekend.

The Route to Your Roots event, which is being held at Stonehaven Town Hall on Saturday September 26 from 10.30am to 4.30pm, is being organised by the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Ancestral Tourism Partnership.

People interested in their family or local history will also be able to chat to representatives from more than 15 organisations including the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society, the Family History Society of Buchan, the Aberdeenshire Libraries Local Studies team, the National Records of Scotland and Deceased Online. There will also be stalls from the Special Collections Centre at the University of Aberdeen, Grampian Books and Kincardineshire Ancestors.

One of the participants is Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives which holds a huge range of original records for the North East of Scotland, including a charter which is essentially the founding document for Stonehaven.

The document, which is a 1626 copy of the original, was a feu contract between William Keith, 7th Earl Marischal, and the inhabitants of Stonehaven. It shows the Earl granting them the right to nominate their own baillies, and sets out how land in the burgh was to be measured and divided up.

The beginning of the charter lists all the inhabitants who possessed land in Stonehaven, which makes it a highly significant document for anyone with roots in the town and for local historians.

A series of talks will also be taking place at the event throughout the day with speakers including genealogist Chris Paton, heraldry expert Gordon Casely and Tristram Clarke from the National Records of Scotland.

The event, which follows on from last year’s successful Homecoming event at Haddo house, has involvement from Aberdeen City Council’s Archive Department, NHS Grampian Archives, Aberdeen University and the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society.

The Archive Department has unique 800 yer-old archives which cover Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland.