Family History

Our main family history sources are held by Archives and Local Studies at the William Patrick Library, Kirkintilloch and Bearsden Library. Our specialist library and archive staff can provide free help and advice to beginners and more experienced genealogists alike.

Resources for Researching Your Family History

Statutory Records

Records of births, marriages and deaths after 1855 can be found on the ScotlandsPeople website or by visiting a local Registration Office. Special discounted ScotlandsPeople vouchers are available to buy from Bearsden and Kirkintilloch libraries.

Old Parish Records

For births, marriages and deaths before 1855 search the Old Parish Registers (OPRs). OPRs for East Dunbartonshire parishes (Baldernock, Cadder, Campsie, Kirkintilloch and New Kilpatrick) can be viewed on microfilm in the William Patrick Library. Alternatively you can search all Scottish OPRs on ScotlandsPeople.

Census Returns

Census returns from 1841-1901 for East Dunbartonshire parishes (Baldernock, Cadder, Campsie, Kirkintilloch and New Kilpatrick) can be viewed on microfilm in the library. Alternatively you can search UK census returns using our Ancestry Library Edition  subscription at any EDLC library. Please note that the 1911 Scottish census is only available on ScotlandsPeople.

Archives

Our archive collections include school admission registers, burial records, poor relief registers, valuation rolls and the records of local businesses, clubs and societies. For more information about the archive collections contact our archivist or visit our archive collections page.

Cemetery Records

EDLC Archives hold a number of local burial records including those for for the Old Aisle Cemetery, Kirkintilloch, and Hillfoot Cemetery, Bearsden. Our leaflet Graveyards in East Dunbartonshire gives more details. Cemetery records for all other areas are held by East Dunbartonshire Council Cemeteries Service, Kirkintilloch.

Monumental Inscriptions

In areas where parish registers of burials are defective, gravestones are often the only source of pre-1855 information. Both William Patrick Library and Bearsden Library hold published lists of monumental inscriptions for Dunbartonshire and West Stirlingshire. A detailed record of gravestone inscriptions in Baldernock Churchyard (both before and after 1855) is held by both libraries.

Directories

Bearsden Library has a set of Glasgow Post Office Directories (1825-1978), which includes the localities of Bearsden (from 1881) and Milngavie (from 1885). The William Patrick Library has photocopy Post Office Directories for Bishopbriggs (1847-1901) and Lenzie (1880-1901).

Local Newspapers

Bearsden Library holds partly-indexed files of the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald (1901-date). The William Patrick Library holds a complete backfile of the local Kirkintilloch Herald (1886-date), together with a card index of the contents for the period 1886-1975. Obituaries and other biographical news items can be traced by means of the indexes.

Photographs

Large collections of local photographs are held at the William Patrick Library and Bearsden Library. The collections include a wide range of subjects, e.g. street scenes, industries, farms, churches, transport, houses. You can now access a selection of these photos via our new photo library website, where you can also purchase prints online.

Maps

Both William Patrick Library and Bearsden Library hold a collection of local Ordnance Survey maps, from the mid 19th century onwards.  Maps can often be useful to the family historian, perhaps to establish the whereabouts of addresses obtained from census returns or civil returns or civil registration certificates.

Local History Publications

Find out more about where your ancestors lived from the published histories of East Dunbartonshire's towns and villages. East Dunbartonshire Libraries publish a wide range of  local history titles  which are available for sale and also for reference and lending in local libraries.

Family History Tuition

Archives and Local Studies staff offer a range of tuition in family history research ranging from courses for those just starting out to more advanced research techniques. We also provide tuition to community groups in a local setting and short courses for families who want to discover their family history together. Throughout the year we also offer a variety of taster sessions and workshops on specific topics such as family photographs, archives for family history, ScotlandsPeople and Ancestry.