Highland Family History Society

Inverness, c. 1890-1900.  Photochrom PrintInverness, c. 1890-1900. Photochrom Print

Highland Family History Society was established in 1981, their aims being to promote and encourage the study of genealogy and family history in the Scottish Highlands and to collect and publish information to help people wishing to conduct research into their Highland ancestors.

They also offer advice and assistance to those starting their own family history research journeys and share the results of their research with other members through their monthly talks and their journal.

Based in Inverness, the Society has over 650 members worldwide.

The Society covers the old counties of Sutherland, Ross, Inverness, and Nairn.  They also hold information relating to Caithness and the northern parishes of Argyll and Perth.

Information about Highland Family History Society

Research Centre

The Society has a Library, which is situated in the Highland Archive and Registration Centre at Bught Park, Inverness. 

If you are in Inverness City Centre, you have to go to the bottom of the High Street and cross the bridge, turn left, and walk alongside the river until you reach the Centre.

If you wish to travel to the Archive by bus, there is a limited seasonal service, with three or four buses a day in operation.

Many resources are accessible, including:

  • Biographies
  • Census Returns and Indexes
  • Church Histories and Records
  • Genealogies
  • Genealogical Reference Books
  • Military Books
  • Monumental Inscriptions
  • Records of Emigrants

For full details of documents available, please peruse their Library Catalogue.


Many databases are available, which comprise:

  • 1851 Census Indexes
  • Alphabetical List of Topics from Back Issues of their Journal
  • Burials Index: Individuals recorded in Monumental Inscriptions transcribed by the Society
  • Genealogies
  • Members Interests: surnames currently being researched by members of the Society
  • Pedigrees Database
  • Strays Index: People recorded in census entries, obituaries and other records away from their parish of birth


Many publications are available for sale, which include:

  • Clock and Watchmakers of the Scottish Highlands and Islands 1780-1900
  • Deaths as reported in the Inverness Advertiser Newspaper 1849-1855
  • Free Church Records
  • Genealogy in the Gaidhealtachd - Clan and Family History in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Highland Clan and Family Histories - A Guide to Published Histories, Genealogies, Family Trees and some Manuscript Sources
  • Memorial Inscriptions
  • Nairn Cemetery (Victorian Section)
  • Nairn War Memorial 1914-1918
  • Septs, Septnames, and Surnames of the Highland Clans
  • War Memorials of Nairnshire - Ardclach and Auldearn


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