Thousands of Scottish Records Released

Family history website ScotlandsPeople has uploaded a tranche of birth, marriage and death records from across the country, dating from 1913, 1938 and 1963 respectively. The records are available to view on the web for the very first time.

The documents – which consist of over 220,000 separate scans – were released on New Year’s Day as embargoes on their public access were lifted.

Although the documents date from three individual years, they join an existing collection of scans dating back to 1855, when Scotland first began systematically recording its citizens’ births, marriages and deaths – a process known as Statutory Registration.

Users can search the records by name and date, revealing a range of crucial details about the individual. In the case of the 1913 births, the scans not only show the infant’s date and place of birth, but additional clues about their parents, including the father’s occupation.

The total number of BMD (birth, marriage and death) images that were added to the website early in the morning of 1st January 2014 is 94,537 – comprising 46,109 birth images, 23,310 marriage images and 25,118 death images.

“The new images represent a new chapter of Scotland’s story now available to the public,” says Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

“I’d urge anyone who is interested in finding out more about their history, or that of their family or the place where they live, to have a look at the wealth of records now available as part of our wonderful online resources.”

A spokesperson for Scotlands People said: “We’ve been looking at some of these new BMD records and have uncovered some terrific personal stories behind the documents. In particular, we loved the story about the marriage in Glasgow on 5 January 1938 between a German poetess and a lion tamer – we do hope that she was an ailurophile and he a lover of poetry!”

The records can be viewed by visiting the Statutory Registers section on the left side of the ScotlandsPeople webpage. Choose the set of records you wish to search – i.e. Births, Marriages or Deaths – and then do a search for the record you’re looking to view.

The records can also be viewed in person by visiting the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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