Family History Society Of Buchan

Scottish Registered Charity SC039533

Established 2008

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Society Press Releases

Beginner’s Workshop - 10th September 2012

FHSBLogoHot on its heels from its three very successful Scottish Week events the Family History Society of Buchan is about to host a Beginners Workshop for all budding family historians.

Alan Fakley, the society’s Chairman says that family history is a fascinating subject which is now studied by millions of people worldwide. Genealogy, giving it its proper name, is now a major contributor to Scotland’s Tourism trade with many overseas visitors travelling to Scotland seeking details about their ancestors. Any new family historian will soon find themselves discovering how, when and where their ancestors lived and the major events that affected their lives. Soon the new genealogist will find themselves weaving through the social, political and economic history of the nation. Many family historians soon find themselves unearthing details of ancestors who travelled from further afield to this area and details of the roots that they set down here. Conversely, many seek out information from countries that welcomed the Scots emigrants. Family myths are often proved or disproved and the odd ‘skeleton in the cupboard’ is unearthed by these budding investigators. Like other historians, family historians learn to collect the evidence and then from this deduce the facts.

Why take up this hobby? The answer is simple, other than your brothers and sisters your family history is unique, nobody in the world has the same set of ancestors as you do. If you do not collect the information, record the stories and document the events then who is going too? However, the study of Family History does come with a health warning - it may start as an interest, but it soon becomes a hobby then an obsession.

If you are interested in finding out more, the FHSB is holding a two hour “Beginners Workshop” on Monday 10th September, starting at 19:00 in Arbuthnot House, Broad Street. This Workshop, aimed that the true beginner will get you started; inform you what information is available; how to collect and record that information and which agencies can assist you. Non-members are particularly welcome to this Workshop .An application form is available on the Society’s website or at its office at 22 Harbour Street, Peterhead. The cost is 5.00 which covers costs, a cup of tea and a fine ‘piece’, payable with the application. Numbers are restricted so places are allocated on a first come – first served basis.


Buchan Observer - 1 Aug 2011


The Family History Society of Buchan, located in Peterhead has just completed a very busy and challenging six months. Alan Fakley, who was elected as its new Chairman in March of this year stated that that he is very proud of what the Society has achieved over this period.

Since March the Society has organised two major exhibitions in Peterhead; A photographic exhibition of the people who supported the fishing industry and an exhibition of images of Peterhead one hundred years ago.  It has also published its fourth publication “Peterhead Shipmasters” which has been an outstanding success. The Society has also held two open meetings which included presentations on The Poor Law Records of Buchan and the Aberdeenshire Healthcare Archives.  In addition, during Scottish Week we hosted a highly interesting graveyard tour. The FHSB has also been attendance at several local events including the recent Peterhead Mission Open Day.

FOOT002 NS UnknownOutwith these public events, the Society also has a new Website  which has a database of over 23,000 family history records and over this period the Society has seen a fantastic rise in membership from all over the world.

However, the Society is not standing still, we have a number of new exciting publications in the final phases of production, a major project with Aberdeenshire Museums is about to commence and more Open Meetings are planned.  We are already looking for other agencies or organisations which would like to undertake presentations at our open meetings.

At next year’s Peterhead Scottish Week, the Society is already planning its next major exhibition to coincide with the London Olympics. The FHSB would like to hear from anyone who has relations or ancestors (with a tie to the Buchan area) that has represented Great Britain, Scotland or any of the Home Nations at any sport or at any age level. The Society will endeavour to research their family trees and display all the information at next year’s exhibition. We are also collecting old team photographs, especially of local teams that that no longer exist. In fact a photograph has just into our possession and we are trying to identify the team and the players – did you father or grandfather play in this team? The shirts have the initials “NS” embroidered onto the light blue shirt. So if you have a local team photograph that your grandfather (or mother) played for then please pop in and see us.  To local club secretaries/historians we invite them to contact us with a view in participating in the exhibition.  Please note that we scan all photographs and immediately return the originals to their owners. The FHSB can be contacted at or pop into our centre at 35 Broad St, Peterhead.

Buchan Observer - 19 Apr 2011

Annes presentThe Family History Society of Buchan met for the 2011 Annual General Meeting recently. After her report, the current Chair, Cllr Anne Allan sadly announced that due to her forthcoming election commitments, she would be standing down as Chair.


Anne has been the Chair of the FHSB since its formation in 2008. She chaired the initial steering group that established the Society before going on to Chair the Society for the next three years. In her first year of office Anne guided the committee through the process of producing a constitution and helped the Society gain charity status. During her time leading the FHSB, the Society has held dozens of open meetings with a myriad of diverse and interesting presentations. Under her leadership the Society has grown from less than a dozen members to its current, two hundred.


The FHSB then elected Alan Fakley as the new Chair of the Society, Alan who has lived in Peterhead for ten years is married to local lass Shona. Formerly the Society’s Treasurer, Alan has also been involved with the Society since its inception in 2008. In his acceptance speech, Alan listed all the wonderful achievements accredited to Anne Allan and stated that the best accolade he could make was that “Without Cllr Anne Allan there would be no Family History Society of Buchan”. Anne was then presented with an engraved crystal vase as a token of the Society’s appreciation for all her efforts.


As a further mark of appreciation, the Society’s membership unanimously voted Anne as their first Honorary President.


Following the AGM, Fiona Watson from the Northern Health Service Archives presented an excellent and highly informative lecture on the Historic Hospital Records and Family Historians. This presentation weaved though 300 years of local, social, medical and family histories which gave a great insight to hospital care over this period.


Fiona explained the origins of healthcare in the area from the establishment of the Aberdeen Infirmary in 1739 through to the modern NHS. She explained which records were available to genealogists and information they could reasonably expect to find. During her presentation Fiona gave an insight into conditions that the patients endured within the local hospitals. The hospital and health care establishments ranged from 19th century poorhouses to the former lunatic asylums and the modern cottage hospitals.


After her presentation Fiona generously donated a 1920’s copy of a medial dictionary, which will be an invaluable tool to the Society’s members when trying to decipher death certificates and other medical records.


A highly enjoyable meeting concluded with Fiona answering questions from members during refreshments.


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