About Familia

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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)

Principal Public Libraries with family history resources
Research services
Registrar General's Index
Census records
Electoral registers
Poll books
International Genealogical Index
Unpublished indexes
Parish registers
Published transcripts
Other materials
Guides to collections
Record Office address
Other information

Library Services URL:
Chapman County Codes (BS 6879): INV, ROC, WIS

2. Principal Libraries with Family History resources

Stornoway Library
19 Cromwell Street
Isle of Lewis
Tel: 01851 708631
Fax: 01851 708676
[email protected]

Opening hours:

Monday 10.00 - 5.00
Tuesday 10.00 - 5.00
Wednesday 10.00 - 5.00
Thursday 10.00 - 6.00
Friday 10.00 - 6.00
Saturday 10.00 - 5.00

Other Libraries:

Community Library
Sgoil Lionacleit
Isle of Benbecula
Tel: 01870 603532
Fax: 01870 602817
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: Monday: 0900-1600
Tuesday: 0900-2000
Wednesday: 0900-1230, 1330-1600
Thursday: 0900-1600
Friday: 0900-2000
Saturday: 1100-1300, 1400-1600

Community Library
Castlebay Community School
Isle of Barra
Tel: 01871 810471
Fax: 01871 810650
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: Monday: 0900-1630
Tuesday: 0900-1630, 1800-2000
Wednesday: 0900-1630
Thursday: 0900-1600, 1800-2000
Friday: 0900-1530
Saturday: 1000-1230

3. Research Service

Service available? Minimal level only

Fee-based? Copying charges only

Provided by local Record Office? Registrar's Office
Some searching; also copies of birth etc. certificates; has Lola Lite facility
4. Births, Deaths and Marriages

Registrar General's Indexes from 1837 (microform), or Registrar General for Scotland's Computerised Index from 1855.

Locations -

5. Census returns

1841-1901: parishes within Western Isles area:-
Stornoway Library has complete run
Lionacleit Library has Uists, Benbecula and Barra parishes
All microfilm

6. Directories

6(a) County and Regional Directories


6(b) City and Town Directories

Stornoway directory 1898, 1899, 1931

6(c) Telephone Directories

Current BT directories, all libraries
Stornoway and Lionacleit have local/community directories (1970s -)
Current BY Yellow Pages, all libraries

7. Electoral registers and polls books

7(a) Electoral Registers

Electoral rolls 1975 to present: -
Stornoway Library has Lewis and Harris areas
Lionacleit Library has Uists and Benbecula areas
Castlebay Library has Barra area
Valuation rolls 1975 to present:-
Stornoway has Lewis area mainly including some pre-1975 (some microfiche format)
Lionacleit has 1988 to date

Apply to local office for current registers.

7(b) Poll Books


8. International Genealogical Index (IGI)

1992; microfiche; Stornoway Library

9. Unpublished Indexes


10. Parish Registers

Church of Scotland parish registers approx. 1800-1850; microfilm
Stornoway has Lewis and Harris parishes; Lionacleit has Uists and Barra parishes
Roman Catholic baptisms and marriages: Lionacleit has Uists and Barra parishes

11. Periodicals (excl. newspapers)


12. Published Transcripts of Archival Material

Stornoway has photocopies of miscellaneous rent rolls from Lewis area

13. Other material

McKirdy Index: acquired as they become available.

Croft histories:-
Stornoway has copies of all which have been published
Each library has copies of croft histories relevant to their area
Marriage histories:-
Stornoway has marriage histories for Harris area
McKirdy Indexes of Deaths:-
Stornoway has some microfiche copies (Bute, Lanark, Sutherland only)

14. Guides to Collections


15. Local Record Offices

Registrar's Office
Town Hall
South Beach Street
Isle of Lewis
Tel: 01851 709438
[email protected]

Other information

The following genealogical/historical centre specialises in family history research within the Western Isles area. Commercial charges are incurred.
Co Leis Thu?, Genealogical Research Service, The Old Schoolhouse, Northton, Isle of Harris, HS3 3JA. Tel: 01859 520258
Also a number of historical societies have published and unpublished croft and family history records