We Are Family – Cupar’s Unique Resource

Cupar is home to a unique resource – the Fife Family History Society – promoting Fife family and local Fife history … and offering to help like-minded folk by sharing resources, archives, publications and more. We dropped in to catch up with the society’s chair, Alison Murray, at their Archive Room within Cupar Library‘s Reference Room – their home for the last three years.

Sitting in the Archive Room – book shelves bowing with meticulously researched archives, donated books and all kinds of reference publications – it is clear the team running the Society are a passionate bunch keen to share their knowledge and expertise to help anyone who is interested in Fife history.

Alison explains: “The Society is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year – and continues with its founding aim, to join together people with an interest in the research of their Fife ancestors.” She adds: “We produce a journal three times a year that is free to members – members who are from just around the corner and from all corners of the world.

Walk into the reference room and you are just as likely to meet someone from Ceres as you are from Sydney! We know from our work with CuparNow that the sharing of information from the town can spread like wildfire across the continents – family and friends sharing it with contacts. We have seen content picked up and liked by people in more than 40 countries – from New Zealand and Australia, through South Africa and Europe to Canada and the USA. Cupar really is a global brand!

Alison says: “We have had many people from all over the world visit to use our resources – and we have our team of volunteers to thank for that. All very knowledgeable, they make the archive available three days a week and are willing to encourage members and visitors researching their Fife family history.

The Archive is open between 10am-3pm every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday – no appointment necessary.

The picture above shows a Family History is Fun open day run by the society in the Reference Room at Cupar Library.

The archive boasts all manner of materials – books, newspaper archives, maps, photographs as well as free access to Ancestry on the library’s public PCs. Please note – to use these, you’ll need to bring ID to join the library.

Alison talked of the Society’s plans that are looking to digitize more of their materials, saying: “We have huge amounts of data – on births, deaths, homes and news reports. Much is contained in published format but we are investing in transferring all to digital to enable easier access to those at home and abroad.” Alison also spoke of an exciting project they are working on – the results of which should be announced in late August. The clue is in the image below … watch this space!

Publications and books are available to buy from the Society’s website: you can access their online store via this link. They are a charity (Registered in Scotland SC025246) so all monies are ploughed back and invested in their work and service. If you have a question for them, please use their contact form.

The Society works closely with other groups and organisations and is always willing to help to support those who are delving into the area’s past. The latest exhibition at Cupar’s Cupar Museum and Heritage Centre – Fife (at the town’s station) features ‘Historic Shops of Cupar’ – and the Society’s team helped with elements of the exhibition’s research. It’s a gem of a collection featuring fabulous photos, documents, gadgets and memorabilia that will take you back on a wave of nostalgia! Check our Facebook video link that gives you a taster …

New Society members are always welcome to join. If you are interested, below are the benefits of membership together with a link to their website where you can find more and sign-up …

Benefits of Membership

  • Use of our members only area
  • Support and help from other members through our Discussion Board
  • A copy of our Journal 3 times a year (with option for electronic download) These normally come out as follows: Jan/Feb – Winter, April/May – Spring and Sept/Oct – Summer.
  •  Newsletter (electronic download)
  • Free entry to 8 talks a year from September to April
  • Members’ Outing in May
    Records & Records Archive to help with your research
  • Some help with research. (Max 2 hours)

Research (for Society Members only)

We are able to provide a free research service to members of the Society under the following guidelines:

  • The Fife Family History Society membership id should be advised with each request.
  • The time spent on any query will be restricted to a maximum of two hours.
  • If it is agreed that there is a requirement to visit a Record Office in Fife or Edinburgh the member will be advised of the likely travel costs and entrance fee if applicable.
  • Expenses will be charged even if a search of the Record Office doesn’t provide any additional information.
  • Research expenses are to be paid in advance of forwarding a reply to the query.
  • We are unable to guarantee a response time, as we are dependent on the goodwill of our voluntary researchers and their workload at any given time.
  • Members will be advised if there is likelihood that further research beyond the initial two hours may be productive. The Society can provide the names of professional genealogists whom members can approach if desired.

Please note, Fife Family History Society will not be responsible for any information or advice given to a member by a professional genealogist, as this will be a private arrangement between these parties.

To join, just click on the image below that will take you to the Society’s website …

Thanks for reading!