Latest news

Latest issue of Coontin Kin now available

October 1st, 2019

The Hairst issue of the society magazine Coontin Kin is now available, it’s now full colour throughout as we continue to develop and improve the publication. Issue no.112 has a wide range of interesting new material.

Society balance sheet 2018

June 2nd, 2019

Annual balance sheet published

Sharing Shetland Surnames

All Welcome at the Launch of


Sunday Teas, Skeld Hall
18th October
2pm – 5pm
Hosted by Sandsting History Group and Shetland Family History Society


Origin of Abernethy

Presumed to come from a Scottish place name.

Abernethy in Shetland

Magnus Bennatie appears in a court book from 1604. The form Abernethy was first recorded in Shetland in 1627. Said to be pronounced Pernetty in Unst.


In 1881 there were 217 people recorded in Shetland with the surname Abernethy, being 0.6% of the population.

Notable Abernethys

Andrew (1871-1950) and Arthur (1863-1950) Abernethy  from Brouster, Walls were photographers in Lerwick at the beginning of the 20th century. Many of the old family photographs that you see were taken by them.

Mitchell Abernethy (1841-1867), a sailor who died on the Diana

Publications Available

Shetland Surnames by Dr. Alan M. Beattie

The Diana of Hull by Arthur G.Credland

A Kist of Emigrants by J. Laughton Johnston

Lerwick during the Last Half Century (1867-1917) by Thomas Manson

Humours of a Peat Commission Vol. 1 by Thomas Manson & Arthur Abernethy

Fond Hopes Destroyed by Mary Prior

Sons and Daughters of Shetland by Margaret S. Robertson

The Surnames of Scotland by George F. Black