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  Orcadian Genealogy

The Towries and the Leonards: Graphic by Sigurd TowrieSince the beginning of recorded history Orcadians have travelled the world - if legend is to be believed even beating Christopher Columbus to the New World.

The fact that the Orcadians were a seafaring race, together with the simple truth that life in these islands was harsh and frequently cruel, led numerous Orcadians to try their luck elsewhere.

The descendants of these folk are now littered across the globe, from Canada to New Zealand, Hong Kong to Africa.

Rather than duplicate the large quantity of specific information that can be found on the internet, I will instead list a number of sites that have comprehensive pages dealing with Orkney ancestry and genealogy.

Orkney Family History Society - the first point of contact for anyone interested in Orcadian roots.
Blob Research Orkney - Do you want to know more about the heritage of Orkney? Research Orkney provides a professional research, advisory and consultancy service dedicated to Orkney's Heritage; be it cultural, historical, archaeological, onomastic, toponymic, topographical or genealogical.
Ancestral Orkney - Orkney Tourist Board's official site on tracing your Orcadian family tree.
SouthRonaldsay.net - containing 19th-century Civil Death Registers, 19th-century Marriage Registers, plus the only original on-line source for the South Ronaldsay, Burray, Swona and Pentland Skerries 1821 Census... also a Genealogy Queries page specific to the area, and 19th-century - early 20th-century photographs contributed by the site's visitors.
The Cursiters of Orkney - contains the marriage, birth and baptismal records of many Orcadian surnames.
www.janealogy.co.uk - Scottish roots? Want to learn more about your ancestors? Not sure where to begin? Hit a brick wall?  Let Janealogy find the answers.
The Hudson's Bay Company Archives. In the 17th and 18th Century thousands of young Orcadian men headed to the Nor' Wast to find work in Canada. For more information on the Hudson's Bay Company, click here.