Meet Frances who works as an Information Officer at East Lothian Council.

Ask Frances! Frances works as an Information Officer, managing archives and records at East Lothian Council. She originally wanted to be an estate agent and studied at Heriot Watt University. However, after watching the tv programme “Who do you think you are?” she became interested in the idea of tracing family trees and making historical connections. Frances therefore decided to do a long distance learning course at Dundee University studying Archives and Records management. And well the rest is history!

Frances has worked at the council for 12 years and is based in the John Gray Centre. She enjoys dealing with the physical collections and said “I enjoy looking at old archive documentation such as the charter of Robert the Bruce dated way back to 1318. It’s always interesting to help someone look back at their family tree – this may include looking at birth, death and marriage records, even school log books. East Lothian Courier hold records dating back to 1859 with local events and adverts and there have been cases were people have found family connections through this. We often help academics find appropriate records to support their research also”.

Frances said “We would love to encourage younger people to make use of the archives and take a greater interest in their history and where they are from. We are currently trying to get more historic photographs of East Lothian so would encourage people to share these with us! During the pandemic we wanted to increase our online content and engage with our customers so we have started a John Gray Centre YouTube channel as well as an Instagram account. This year it will be 25 years of East Lothian Council so we will have some exciting information to share in the coming months.”


frances woodrow


Published: Tuesday, 2nd February 2021