Guides To Your Journey

Moray Family on BeachMoray is fortunate to have many organisations, including heritage groups and museums often staffed by volunteers, who share your passion for family history and the detective work needed to trace your family back through time.

You’ll find enthusiastic and helpful people, with local knowledge and insight who will happily offer advice and assistance to help you get the most from your research and from your visit to your ancestral homeland. Many have developed excellent websites to help you to prepare for your visit to Moray.

Moray Registration Service
The Moray area is covered by one Registration District.  The Moray Registration Service has premises in Elgin, Forres, Buckie and Keith. As well as its responsibilities for ongoing registration of births, marriages and deaths in Moray, it also offers an ancestry research service for a standard charge set by the General Register Office of Scotland.
Births, marriages and deaths in Scotland have been recorded by government since 1855.

The Registration offices also have the burial records (lair books or cemetery records) for their areas dating back to 1855.

Please note that ancestry research is by appointment. Please contact the service prior to visiting.
Phone: 01343 554600

Moray Council Local Heritage Service
The Moray Council Local Heritage Service is based at old East End School in Elgin.  The service is responsible for an extensive collection of local history and archive material relating to Moray and its people including –

  • Old Parish Registers prior to 1855
  • Non-established church records
  • Census records 1841 – 1901
  • Valuation rolls 1855 – 1900 yearly
  • Electoral rolls c. 1835  – produced annually
  • Gravestone inscriptions
  • Books and pamphlets relating to Moray. Newspapers from c. 1830
  • Photographs – a vast resource of information
  • Maps
  • Archives dating from the 13th century to the present
  • Architects’ Plans from some of the best architects in the North East

Local libraries hold duplicate copies of locally relevant material, where available

Moray CroftersA series of leaflets have been produced to help you with your research link to pdf versions of these.
Discovering Family History
History of a House
Exploring Moray’s History

A key tool in accessing the collection is LIBINDX, the local heritage index of people, places and subjects. The index can be searched online via the local heritage service web site

The Local Heritage Service offers a research service for a fee.
Phone: 01343 569011

Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society
The Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society is, with some 6000 members, the biggest in Scotland and has a research centre, bookshop and library in premises in King Street, Aberdeen. Members can use the research centre free of charge; non-members are asked to make a small donation.  ANESFHS Moray and Banff Branch also has regular meetings in Elgin, see the website for further information.
The Society’s web site provides information about the society and its resources. One of the society’s major activities is the recording of monumental inscriptions found in burial grounds throughout the area. There is a particularly useful Google Maps-driven tool available on the web site, providing information about burial grounds.
Phone:           01224 646323

The Moray and Nairn Family History Society
The Moray and Nairn Family History Society website provides information about the society and its resources, and also has articles of local interest.  The Society has regular meetings at venues throughout Moray and Nairn, see the website for infomation.


Other Family History Societies
There are family history societies covering the whole of Scotland. Two new societies are in the process of being set up – contact the Aberdeen and North East Scotland family History Society for information about the new Moray & Nairn society and the Banffshire one.

Moray Burial Ground Research Group
The work of the Moray Burial Ground Research Group is complementary to that of the family history society. The group is surveying the 140 or so public and private cemeteries in Moray and Banff, locating, conserving and recording tombstones.

The MBGRG web site provides information about the group’s activities and includes two invaluable online surname indices containing around 13,700 names.

Buckie & District Fishing Heritage Centre [ ]

Cullen, Deskford & Portknockie Heritage Group [

Keith & District Local Heritage Group [ ]