The Shetland Family Historian

The first edition of this website went online in 2006. Here I would like to present the third and latest version – perhaps the result of a seven year itch. The main change has been to refresh the layout of the site together with adding material to assist in finding out more about your ancestors. Therefore, the focus is on the Shetland Family Historian and to compliment the wonderful resources already available online.

In this version I have added “da Blog” - this will feature some of the research processes, links and example documents when trying to track Shetland Strays. Should you wish to contribute a short article to da Blog I will add it.

I am also going to add a number of links to YouTube videos. These have all been carefully reviewed and considered appropriate to add to the Shetland Family Historian experience.

Shetland Islands

Here is a 10 minute video developed and presented by visitshetland. I think this is a good video with good scenes and voice over. A glimpse of Shetland.

About this video

  • There are some lovely views of Shetland taken from the air.
  • We see many images of wildlife with a special mention at the end for seals at Mousa.
  • A brief history of Shetland is covered, including the Vikings and reference is made to the wartime Shetland Bus.
  • Another section on getting to Shetland, followed by commentary on good roads and ferries.

In Shetland we are fortunate to have access to four wonderful resources.

The first is the comprehensive online database run by Tony Gott. It has a collection of over 300,000 names and is continually growing. They are faithfully recorded and presented in searchable family trees. This is the Shetland Genealogist. The search facility is available at

The second is the website developed and run by Janice Halcrow. Here, she has spent hours faithfully transcribing birth, marriage and death notices from Shetland newspapers. A great resource. A link to Shetland Newspapers Transcriptions

The third is the Shetland Museum and Archives. Now in a new building with excellent facilities to search many historical documents. A link to Shetland Museum and Archives

The fourth is the Shetland Family History Society with their premises at Hillhead, Lerwick. It maintains their own database of Shetland families, not online. The centre also houses a good collection of books, publications and documents that add to build interest to the family tree. A link to Shetland Family History Society

About me – John Robertson

I was born in Shetland where my father worked at the Union Bank. He was also a member of the Shetland Territorials and went on active service when the war broke out. As a result we moved from Shetland when I was only 10 months old. My only return was in 2004, although I am in the process of planning a 2013 visit.

This website acts as my personal homepage when researching my Shetland Roots. Using it, I can quickly access those "can't remember the URL" resources.