Find your Ayrshire ancestors with Ayrshire Archives Service

25 January 2023
Discover what life was like for your Ayrshire ancestors using the records cared for by the Ayrshire Archives Service, which cover 800 years of history.

Founded in 1996, the Ayrshire Archives Service was established to preserve Ayrshire’s documentary heritage, and make it accessible to everyone. The archive service cares for and provides access to historic records belonging to three Ayrshire local authorities and their predecessors, as well as private records relating to the history of Ayrshire and Arran.

Anyone searching for ancestors in Ayrshire, including the Cumbraes and Arran should find something of interest within the archives, which contains material dating back to 1205, beginning with the Burgh Charter for the town of Ayr.


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There are three archive centres – The Ayrshire Archives headquarters in Ayr, at the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock and within the Town House in Irvine. Researchers will be advised which location to visit when making an appointment, depending on which material will be consulted.

Ayrshire Archives collections

Ayrshire Archives is home to thousands of historic documents, which are broadly catergorised into the fields of burgh, business, church, family & personal, school, and association & society records. You can see summaries of each of these collections on the website with more detail available in the online catalogues. The Archives HQ also hosts the Ayrshire Family and Local History reference library.

Visiting Ayrshire Archives

To visit any of the three Ayrshire Archives searchrooms, please make an appointment on 01292 616260 or by e-mail. Staff are available to help with queries, or for more in depth questions, research can be undertaken for a fee. 

(image © Tuck DB Postcards)