Over the past few weeks, members of Central Library’s Edinburgh and Scottish Collection team have been busy trying to solve various family and local history queries that members of the public have been sending in by email.
Examples of the kind of questions asked have ranged from the straightforward to the devilishly tricky. So far, staff have fielded questions about whether the Library holds Edinburgh Electoral Rolls for the year 1845 and copies of the Evening News for 1959. (‘Yes’ was the answer to both questions). They’ve helped trace ancestors by finding birth, marriage and death certificates. And really got their thinking caps on when asked – what influenced 19th century emigrants to the US and Canada to choose one town over another in where they eventually settled! There have been some great questions about the local area too, from helping to date a school building in Leith, to finding resources on who was working as a pharmacist in Edinburgh in the early 1800s (and under what conditions).
With only having online resources to access currently and sadly, not the full library collection there are limits to what can be answered. However, if you do have your own local or family history query, please send it to email@example.com and they will do the best they can to help out.
Here are some links to great history and heritage resources that may begin or continue your own research journey and assist with enquiries also.
- Stay at home family history help from Edinburgh Libraries
- The Lost Edinburgh Facebook Group. This 40000-member Facebook group is a goldmine of fascinating stories and photos from Edinburgh’s past.
- The Scottish Local History forum recently produced an extensive edition of their newsletter which was absolutely stacked full of great family history resources. You can read the newsletter online.
- Findmypast, the family history resource have extended access to library members from home during lockdown
- National Library of Scotland’s eResources page has a wealth of digitised content to discover (requires registrations).