Useful Local InformationFamily History Resources

For centuries, Stronsay folk have emigrated to other parts of the world, and every year, their descendants return to the island looking for traces of those who have shaped the people they are today. If you visit Stronsay, you’ll have access to a wide variety of family history resources.

For those interested in genealogy and their family history there are a number of records and photographs in the Heritage Centre that may be of interest. These include:

  • Copies of the Stronsay census from 1841 to 1911, along with the results of some in-depth research into the demographics of these records;
  • A record of the tombstones in each of Stronsay’s three cemeteries;
  • A list of Baptisms from 1861 to 1981;
  • The South School roll of pupils from its opening in 1874 until it closed in 1959
  • A Family Register of births and marriages from 1744 to 1843;
  • A list of Stronsay house and place names as recorded in1897;
  • A record of Stronsay houses and inhabitants from c.1930 to date;
  • A ‘Teind Roll’ for Stronsay and Eday dated 1847;
  • A number of albums of photographs, including school photos (North, South, Central and Rothiesholm schools), from around 1900 to 2020, and church photos from 1900 to 2020. These Stronsay photos and the local records are very much a ‘work in progress’ and are being added to as more resources are found.

In addition to these resources at the Heritage Centre there are two large wall-mounted maps of Stronsay hanging in the Fish Mart café. One of those gives a list of all the local field names, many of which would have been related to houses in that area, while the other map shows the location of a great number of houses long gone, the remains of some which may still be in evidence but many more whose location is now sadly only a dot on the map. These maps were the work of the late Jim Cooper of Cleat and are well worth a look.

More formal records are kept by the Registrar, Barbra Smith, at Strynie (phone 01857 616239) and the Burial Ground Clerk, Ian Cooper, at Steenysheed (phone 01857 616322, email, both of whom would be happy to try to help with any queries.

The Orkney Family History Society based in Kirkwall also has an amazing amount of family history resources and are always willing to help, although a subscription is necessary to access many of these resources.