Family History

At South Ayrshire Council we have access to a comprehensive choice of Scottish and local Ayrshire records to bring your Scottish ancestry to life.

Using online access to ScotlandsPeople and local records held by Ayrshire Archives our expert staff can help you research your family tree.

Starting your search by working backwards from your own or a close family member’s details, we can use our records to step back with you through time and generations.

Scottish Registration records available include:

  • Births, Marriage and Death 1855-current
  • Old Parish Registers of Baptisms, Marriage Banns and Burials 1553-1854
  • Census Returns 1841-1911
  • Register of Correction, etc 1855-current
  • Register of Civil Partnerships 2005-current
  • Register of Divorces 1984-current

Ayrshire Archives records available for Ayrshire include:

  • Valuation Rolls for parishes throughout Ayrshire
  • Electoral Registers for parishes throughout Ayrshire
  • Estate and Family Records
  • Historical Maps (1850s to 1980s)
  • Monumental Inscriptions for many Ayrshire parishes
  • Ayr District Asylum/Glengall Asylum, Ravenspark Hospital/Asylum
  • Official records from the days of the Burgh Councils and Ayr County Council including poor relief records, Education Records (individual schools as well as any school boards and education authority records) and many burial records
  • Access to Kirk Session records online for the whole of Scotland

Searches may also be made in South Ayrshire Cemetery records which are held at Masonhill Crematorium.

Cemetery maps are also available, to assist the location of each individual grave.

Contact the registration offices if you require a copy of a birth certificate.

Search Fees for Registration records

A particular registration search for details of a single entry: £5.00.

A general registration search for a number of entries over a period of years: £15.00 per hour.

General searches are carried out by appointment and with a qualified member of staff.

You may make pencil notes from any relevant entries traced.

Extracts of any entries found may be purchased at a cost of £10.00 each. Alternatively, paper prints costing £1.00 each are available for older historical entries.

Ayrshire Archives search fees start at £35.00 per hour – the first 30 minutes of searching is free. Archives fees details.

Contact the relevant registration office or Ayrshire Archives for a suitable appointment.

Local and Family History Library

Carnegie Library

The Scottish and Local History Library is located on the first floor of the Carnegie Library in Ayr. We hold a wealth of free resources for anyone who is researching their family tree or studying the local history of the area. We have dedicated, friendly, experienced staff who are happy to assist and give advice on all aspects of your research. We aim to help customers bring family names, dates and places to life.

The department houses a unique collection of books, local newspapers, photographs, pamphlets, directories and maps. Disabled access is at the rear of building and there is a lift to the first floor.

Genealogical sources

Records available in the department

Family History

Pop into the department and the staff will be happy to give you guidance on how to start your research. We are happy to help anytime but if you wish to book a Starter Session please contact the department and we will give you a timeslot and information on what you need to bring along to help with your research.

Free Online Sources

Free access to these services using our library computers or your own devices:


If you have any questions or would like further information please contact us or tel: 01292 272231.