Since time began unions have been forged, wars have been waged and dynasties have been built based on one thing – bloodline. Historically, proving the right ancestry could mean the difference between prosperity and poverty, influence and impotence.

A family name is more than just a label – it is a starting point on a journey that can take you back in time and tell you everything you want to know about your line of descent. So it is interesting that so few people know the full history behind their name.

My own interest in genealogy began in a Parisian cemetery when I stumbled upon a gravestone bearing my maiden name. Having spent my entire life without ever meeting another person with that name, it prompted me to look into my own lineage. Today, I am still putting together the branches of my family tree and with the help of the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society, so can you.

The Society is one of a network of Scottish family history societies that assists locals and those with links to the area to trace their heritage. Established in 1978, the Society has a large research centre and library on King Street and operates on a membership basis, with a minimal annual subscription fee.

Members are given access to a vast amount of data, to all Society publications and are invited to attend regular meetings and events. With all of the information that is made available, the first challenge will be deciding where to begin.  Fortunately, there are volunteers on hand to impart their experience and the Society even runs regular Family History courses, which are available to members and non-members alike.

We spend a lot of time at school studying the history of others, it only makes sense that we should also study the history of ourselves. At Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society, they help to ensure that we do just that.

T: 01224 646323
www.anesfhs.org.uk

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