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Ancestral Welcome Scheme - Membership and Regional Factsheets

Release Date: 2 June 2016

Ancestral tourism is a growing and important niche market for Scotland. Worldwide, there are 50 million people who claim to Scottish ancestry. Scotland’s archives play a unique role in assisting this market, and VisitScotland’s Ancestral Welcome scheme gives services’ the opportunity to publicise your knowledge and commitment to meeting the needs of the ancestral visitor.

VisitScotland has now finalised the revised Ancestral Welcome Scheme criteria, and are ready to start recruiting Genealogy Support Services (businesses/ individuals) who would like to be included in the Scheme.  It is also beginning the process of collating the contact details and areas of expertise of Genealogy Support Services for inclusion in Regional Factsheets.

Over recent months VisitScotland has been updating its Ancestral Welcome Scheme, to be launched during Autumn 2016.  As part of the revived Ancestral Welcome Scheme, the Scheme will now be available to genealogy support services free of charge.

The Ancestral Welcome Scheme criteria for Genealogy Support Services, the application form for joining the Scheme, and a form to be completed if a business/ individual is interested in having their details included in Regional Factsheets can be downloaded fromt he links on the right.

VisitScotland are also keen to collate genealogy support services’ areas of expertise and business details for inclusion in Regional Factsheets, to be circulated across the VisitScotland Information Centre network and be provided as a resource for all businesses who join the updated Scheme.

If you are interested in joining the Ancestral Welcome Scheme and/or being included in the Regional Factsheets, please fill out the necessary documentation attached, then scan and send to

We would be grateful if you could please also send copies of your documentation to the Scottish Council on Archives, to Robert Wright at We’re interested in collecting this information to allow us to help better support and promote the services archives offer to ancestral tourists.

On the form, VisitScotland asks for financial information from applicants; this is to assist VisitScotland in complying with EU requirements and forms part of the conditions of the European Regional Development Fund which the Scottish Ancestral Tourism Group make use of as part of their marketing activity. However, you do not need to provide all the details asked for.

The following questions from Section 3 must be completed:

1.       What is the legal structure of your business?

2.       How would you define your business?

The requests for Date business established, How many full time or equivalent employees do you have, Annual Turnover and Balance Sheet total and these four sections can be left blank.

The Ancestral Support Services Welcome Scheme is open to all businesses both large and small, and, any business can apply. From a large museum or archive centre to an independent researcher, all are welcome to apply.