Do you have ancestry in the far north of Scotland?

Genealogy service at Mackays Hotel

Here at Mackays Hotel, we welcome guests who are eager to know more about their Scottish ancestry. If you’re keen to explore your family history during your stay, we have a wide collection of books and maps, which may be able to help you. We can also put you in contact with a fantastic local independent researcher, who can delve deeper into any particular topic for you. Find out more with our guide to tracing your ancestors in Caithness. In addition, we have put together this list of useful family research sites and local heritage activities. We hope you enjoy your journey into Scottish family history.

Closeup of a pile of vintage family photos
Begin your research by looking through old family papers and photographs

Discovering your roots in Caithness

If your genealogy research has brought you here to Caithness, that means you have links with a fascinating and historic region. Caithness is located at the north east tip of mainland Scotland. We are a unique part of the beautiful Scottish Highlands. It’s wild, rugged and coastal. This is the most northerly county on the island of Great Britain and home to the famous village, John O’ Groats.

Wick has a rich history, from a prehistoric settlement to a modern town. It features stories of Viking invasions, clan battles and the Highland clearances. These events have shaped the town and its people, and there is so much to discover here. Our unspoilt landscapes look much the same now as they did in centuries past, so you can walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and see the same sights they did.

The remains of the Castle of Old Wick on a cliff top in Caithness
The Castle of Old Wick is one of our local historic sites.

Find your clan and tartan

Perhaps you’re part of a Scottish clan? Clans are historic kinship groups, which occupied different parts of the Scottish land for centuries. The residents of each clan land were led by a Clan Chief. They would pledge allegiance to the chief and would often adopt his surname. Here in the far north of Scotland, the prominent clans were the Sinclairs, the Gunns, the Oliphants and the Mackays. If you or your ancestors have one of those surnames, then you’ve found your clan! And each clan has its own unique tartan. Enter you surname here to find out if you have clan connections.

A selection of colourful Scottish tartans
Tartan is a traditional checked Scottish fabric and each clan has its own design.

Delve deeper into Scottish ancestry

So, book your break at Mackays Hotel and explore your Scottish family history in Wick and Caithness. You can start your research right now with our guide to tracing your ancestors in Caithness.

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