Join us for our next Moray/Banff Group online meeting on Saturday, 2nd December 2023 from 2 pm to 4 pm (GMT).

"Celebrating our 30th Zoom Meeting and thinking about what I have learnt along the way"

We’ve had thirty wonderful Zoom meetings in the three years since our first one in June 2020. Number increased from the original thirty or so to anything up to 80+ and we have covered so many topics so we thought it would be interesting to look back, perhaps at some of those topics , and consider how much we have all learnt on the way.
This is an open meeting. You don't need to be a member in order to attend - everyone is welcome.

If you are a member, please log in to our website and visit the Events Page.

If you're not a member, please click here and contact the email address listed for your invitation.
Do you have a knack for numbers and a keen eye for financial management? If so, we have the perfect volunteer role for you!

We are on the lookout for a dedicated individual to join ANESFHS as a Treasurer.

ANESFHS online Beginners' Course on six consecutive Thursdays, 1 February to 7th March 2024

Dates:  Thursdays, 1 February to 7th March 2024 (inclusive).
Time:  7pm to 9pm GMT.  (EST: 2pm to 4pm.  Pacific Time: 11am to 1pm.)
Presenter:  Kenneth Nisbet (Scottish Genealogy Society).
Medium:  Zoom online meeting (invitation link to follow).
Format:  First hour: presentation (attendees muted).  Second hour: Q&A.  Afterwards: handouts e-mailed from presenter.
Zoom etiquette:  Ken Nisbet politely requests: "The students have to agree not to record the class as it belongs to me."

Course fee:  £46.00 sterling, or £42.00 concession for OAPs, or unemployed, or registered disabled.
Payment method:  please see details on inside front cover of any ANESFHS Journal.
*  UK members:  preferred method (please): Internet banking, or PayPal.
*  Overseas members:  please use PayPal: on the Society's website, go to "Services" and select "Ad-Hoc Payments".  (Any problems: please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Once the Society has received your payment, you'll receive an e-mail with a single Zoom invitation link which you'll click on to join each instalment of this course.  Keep the e-mail with the invitation link in a safe and accessible place!  If you don't receive the link within a couple of days of making your payment, please check your Junk/Spam folders, and please let us know if the invitation still hasn't reached you.




This 6-week course, tutored by Ken Nisbet, will look at the sources available both online and offline that can help you to start researching your family history, and importantly what additional sources can be found to research your ancestors' employment, military service, appearance in local newspapers, education and so on.  Ken will also explain how to put the acquired information together to give a story to your relatives’ lives.

Ken Nisbet has been involved in family-history research for over 40 years and is currently Secretary of the Scottish Genealogy Society and the Scottish Association of Family History Societies.  He has been a member of the Scotland's People Family History Centre User Group since its inception.  He is the resident expert on Scottish Ancestral Records Podcasts and does talks to many of Scotland's Family History Societies.  Through the Scottish Genealogy Society, he has had published a Roll of Honour for Nairnshire 1914-1921, and a History of the 2nd Battalion 78th Foot 1804-1816.  He has extensively researched his own family history, which covers all parts of Scotland.  He has also researched family members who emigrated to Australia (voluntarily or involuntarily), Canada, South Africa, the USA and many other countries.


More detailed description:

Week 1: what is family history? and how do you create one?  Also a detailed examination of Scottish Statutory Registration and the records created, so looking at birth, marriage and death records 1855 to date, and also how the rules regarding what is a legal marriage have changed.

Week 2: the census from 1801 to 1921.  Examples from 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 and 1921 will be shown and examined.  The tutor will also look at what other lists can help us with our family history, such as Valuation Rolls, voters' rolls, Post Office and trade directories.

Week 3: church records: where to find them, the various kind of records that exist, parish registers and kirk session records, an examination of how the Church of Scotland split up and then reunited, and the effect it had on its records. a look at Roman Catholic Church records and what they are.

Week 4: education and employment records, what records can we find on our relatives' schooling and further education, if they went to university, what employment records can be found online and offline; government employment, railway, shipping, nursing; also a look at industrial accidents, trade union records.

Week 5: military records from the 17th to the 20th century, looking at what records are available and what they can tell us about our relatives' service (the advanced course covers the Great War Records in detail).

Week 6: an introduction to the use of DNA in family history and how, having got the information, you put it together to make a family history.

 Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested.  

Memorial Inscriptions for Strichen and Auchterless

The Kirkyard of Strichen strichen cover image 01 1


The latest addition to the Society’s series of Memorial Inscriptions is “The Kirkyard of Strichen”  An incomplete version (lacking a plan) had long languished among the “Unpublished MIs”, but ANESFHS member Jim Campbell has now produced a fully revised reading, which is accompanied by all-new kirkyard plans.  

The Kirkyard comprises three sections: the original “Old Ground”, a small extension dating from around 1870, and the larger “New Ground” opened in 1906.  These contain a total of 733 stones (as against 549 in the “Unpublished” version) with details of over 2,700 individuals, dating from 1691 to 2019.

The transcription plus index runs to 114 pages, and the plans cover both sides of an A3 sheet.  As this is well beyond the capacity of one of our usual stapled booklets, “The Kirkyard of Strichen” (catalogue number AA068) is offered as a “perfect-bound” A5 volume with the folded plan in a pocket in the rear cover, at a cost of £9.00.  Copies can be obtained at our King Street Research Centre or by contacting our Publications Department (details below)







The Kirkyard of Auchterless


auchterlessAuchterless lies 8 miles South West of Turriff & 30 miles from Aberdeen.  The parish is best known for it being the birthplace of Lewis Grassic Gibbon in 1901. He spent part of his childhood there, before his family headed for the Mearns, south of Stonehaven. 

Little information exists about the church before 1157. St. Donan is the patron saint and local folklore says he threw his staff into the Ythan, which runs close by, and where it came to rest is where they built the original church. The pre reformation church ruins are still to be seen in the graveyard, and the gable wall of a church built around 1780 is still standing. This church was significantly changed in 1832 to seat over 650 parishioners. Today's magnificent church with its tall spire can be seen from miles around. Local people paid for the Mears and Steinbeck bell, which weighs just over 22 cwt. The Wadsworth organ was installed in 1904 at a cost of £300.

It is remarkable that between 1811 & 1946 there were only three ministers in the parish, George Dingwall, Alexander Gray & Alexander Duncan.

Our thanks go to the members of ANESFHS and volunteers who turned up for the outing at Auchterless Kirkyard. The weather was perfect for such a large undertaking and we did it!

Some of you may be wondering why it took so long to come to print, but with such a large and complicated shaped churchyard, which is split into 3 sections (and with further memorials inside the church), this has been a challenge and sometimes a monumental job given that it was the first outing we had ever organised.

We also wish to thank Gavin Bell and John Florence for their invaluable help with the graveyard plan and also the Reverend Potts for giving us permission to use the church facilities whenever necessary.

We have had the very daunting but enjoyable task of putting the whole Monumental Inscription (MI) book together but this book has long been asked for by members of the North-East and abroad so here it is and we hope you enjoy it. 

As we believe in typing what is written on the headstones you will find many strange spellings of surnames and places. You will see that even on the same stone there will be different spellings so please do not think we have made mistakes. 

Heather Mitchell (member no. 10642)
Doreen Florence (member no. 13880)



Note from Gavin Bell (MI Coordinator):  A number of inscriptions which were formerly noted (by Andrew Jervise in the 19th century, and in the “draft” MIs of Auchterless, as recorded by ANESFHS members some years ago) cannot now be found.  These are included as an Appendix, together with inscriptions from some buried stones,

How to Order:
To place your order, please visit:  How to Order Publications
Kirkyard of Strichen, Item Code: AA068        Price: £9.00 (plus postage and packing)
Kirkyard of Auchterless, Item Code: AA085   Price: £9.00 (plus postage and packing)
In addition to the above titles, check out our online Publications List which has a wide range of family and local history titles particularly relating to Aberdeen and the North-East.