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If you are trying to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors in Highland Perthshire, perhaps we can help you in your quest! Many of our records go back hundreds of years and two of our most heavily used collections relate to rentals of farms and lists of servants.
The Atholl family has been interested in their archives for generations. The 7th Duke listed all 40 boxes of estate charters and built a new archive room, which is 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 the local area. The 9th Duke was responsible for encouraging a project by Aberdeen University which listed the next 35 trunks of documents and through into the 19th century. The present Archivist, Keren Guthrie, continues the listing of more recent documents. Another volume of the Chronicles covering 1907-1957 has also been compiled by the previous Archivist Jane Anderson. 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 with a dedicated room for researchers located in the historic clock tower.
Atholl Estates cover an area from Dunkeld to the 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 archive.
We welcome family research inquiries and 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 more background you have before making an inquiry, the better the result! 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.
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 visit as there may be a charge. If you are in the area and we have provided information on your request, you are welcome to make an appointment to visit the castle archivist, Keren Guthrie. However, booking is essential as she works part-time.
For a maximum number of 6 guests, you will get an exclusive behind the scenes tour with our Archivist, visiting the attics of the Castle to discover what happens behind the scenes, you will also get a chance to visit our state of the art Archives below the Castle Bell Tower and also see some ancient documents and artifacts. We can tailor this tour to your interests and pull out documents in advance to meet your needs.
This exclusive tour is available Tuesdays – Thursdays by appointment and for a maximum of 6 guests at any one time. £50 per person with a minimum charge of £200. Please note any catering requirements would be an additional cost. The castle’s guide book is £4.95 and can also be added to the cost.
To book please contact: Email or phone 01796 481 207