Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


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Other Scottish census indexes which are not available on the Web

Information for Family History Searching describes the information held on the ScotlandsPeople database.

Why do you put on the Internet only historical index entries and records?
We currently make all our ‘historical’ birth index entries over 100 years old, marriages over 75 years old, and death index entries over 50 years old linked to digital images of the register pages easily accessible by putting them on the Internet. We do not put more recent records on the Internet.

Some people might be uneasy about the idea that anyone with Internet access and a credit-card could sit at a computer anywhere and search among Scotland’s recent index entries – many of which of course relate to living persons. We wish to avoid raising such concerns. We feel that these time periods, and restrictions, take account of such sensitivities, while still enabling family historians to access this public information.

What are the prices for this service, and what do they buy?

Two prices have been set.
For a payment of GBP6 (six pounds sterling, about ten US dollars, USD10) a customer can see and download up to 30 computer-screen pages of index data.

For an additional GBP10 (about USD16) the customer can highlight a particular index entry and send an electronic order for an extract of the full record to which the index entry relates. This extract, an official paper document, is then sent by ordinary mail as soon as possible.

Our target is to despatch all extracts ordered within three weeks. All non-UK orders are sent air mail.
Please allow time for postal delivery.

Why should I pay to use the ‘ScotlandsPeople’ site when sites like offer information for free? The General Register Office for Scotland operates an official searching site called ‘ScotlandsPeople’ ( This permits users to access index entries and digital images of historical records in the care of the General Register Office for Scotland at our headquarters in Edinburgh. The site at present contains over 37 million index entries. It alone contains indexes and digital images of the Scottish census for 1891 and 1901, and a large number of years for Scottish statutory records (after 1875).

Because our index material is in very active daily use, we and our search-room customers, many of them professional genealogists, frequently bring to light simple errors or mis-interpretations of the records of the past. Because we have the original paper documents to hand, we are often in a position to correct the computerised records, which are therefore being continually improved and made more reliable.

The International Genealogical Index (IGI) part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) site includes some Scottish information obtained from statutory registers of births, deaths and marriages after 1855. These records can be subject to possible material alteration by the Registrar General for Scotland, at any time after their original registration, in the light of new more accurate information made available to him. Users of the site need to be aware that, while most entries will be the same, some entries may have been corrected on the source registers. The LDS cannot reflect these changes within their IGI index, which was compiled from old microfilms of these records made in the 1950s and 1960s.

Users are therefore recommended to check the authoritative set of statutory indexes on the ScotlandsPeople website. Only through ‘ScotlandsPeople’ can you order over the Internet an authentic extract of the full record.

Please note we do not have any affiliation to Scotlands People and are unable to answer your technical queries concerning their service.

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