The Archives

The Atholl family have been interested in their archives for generations. The 7th Duke listed all 40 boxes of estate charters and built new rooms in which to store them, now the public restaurant. He also wrote a 5 volume family history “The Chronicles of Atholl and Tullibardine” which is a mine of information on the family and area. The 9th Duke was responsible for encouraging a project by Aberdeen University which listed the next 35 trunks into the 19th century. The present archivist, Jane Anderson, has been in post for 30 years and been listing the more recent documents. Another volume of the Chronicles covering 1907-57 has also been compiled. After a fire in 2011 the archives were transferred from the north end of the castle to a purpose built store and search room in the historic clock tower on the castle forecourt. The documents are kept in a temperature and humidity controlled environment and researchers have a separate room

The Dunkeld Community Archive holds the regimental records for the Scottish Horse Regiment, which was raised by the 7th & 8th Dukes for service in the Boer War and fought at Gallipolli in the First World War. In the 2nd World War they became artillery and the records are less comprehensive. Contact 01350 727786 or for more information.

Ancestral Research 

If you are trying to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors in Highland Perthshire, perhaps we can help you in your quest!

Atholl Estates cover an area from Dunkeld to north of Blair Atholl, formerly incorporating parts of Huntingtower, Tullibardine, Balquidder and Glenalmond at various periods.

Records of the local people who lived and worked on the estate are held in the Blair Castle archive, located in the historic clock tower. Many of our records go back hundreds of years and provide two main sources for individual researchers; the rentals of farms and lists of servants.  

If you are looking to trace a person, we require some family research to be done beforehand.  Researchers should have a name, place and date in order for us to dig out any information.

The rentals only show the rent payer, not members of his family or his workers and the servant’s lists give their position and wage. Unfortunately, our records do not show parents or descendants of these individuals. For help with tracing your family tree as fully as possible, we recommend using the Scotlandspeople website or the AK Bell library and Family History centre in Perth.(01738 475122) The more background you have before making an enquiry, the better the result!

When you’ve found your ancestor, submit your enquiry by clicking here. There is a £10 fee to cover the cost of initial research. After payment has been received, Jane will contact you. Alternatively, you can send a letter and a cheque to Ancestor Research, c/o Archivist, Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH18 5TL.

The initial research will tell you if there is any trace of your ancestor, the position they held or the location they lived on the estate. If there is substantial further information, such as letters, we will get back to you to see if you want to proceed with further research or a site visit.

If you are researching your family history and are in the area and we have provided information on your request, you are welcome to make an appointment to visit the castle archivist, Jane Anderson. However booking is essential as she only works part time. Please email for more information. 

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