Scotland Civil Registration

  • Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For details of these and other records held at the General Register Office in Edinburgh, see the GRO tutorial. Copies of post-1855 civil registration certificates are also held at local registrars' offices across Scotland. A list of addresses for these is contained in The Parishes, Registers & Registrars of Scotland edited by S.M.Spiers and published by the Scottish Association of Family History Societies.
  • GRO and OPR indexes have been online since 6th April 1998. Indexes are available for births or christenings 1553 to 1905, marriages 1553 to 1930, and deaths 1855 to 1955. (Those are dates as at Jan 2006 - a later year is added each year). For further information please see ScotlandsPeople.
  • Scottish Registration Districts at the National Records of Scotland contains lists in alphabetical and numerical order of all registration districts in Scotland with the dates during which each was operative. It is based on the General Register Office for Scotland publication 'The registration districts of Scotland from 1855' (known as the blue book).  It lists all changes up to January 2009 combined with the references and earliest dates for the 901 Old Parish Registers from 1553-1854. Scanned copies of the appendices showing the registration districts for the cities of Aberdeen, Dundee , Edinburgh, and Glasgow are available for download in portable document format (PDF).
  • Parishes and Districts From the middle ages until 1975, Scotland was divided into parishes and many historical records are structured by parish or parish names occurring within them. In 1855 Scotland was divided into registration districts to administer the new system of civil registration of births, marriages and deaths, and the resulting civil registers are arranged by registration district. The terms ‘district’ and ‘parish’ are also used in other ways, so if you are researching Scottish history, geography and family history, it pays to familiarise yourself with the concepts of parishes and districts, with the help of this guide by ScotlandsPeople.
  • An example of an 1828 Certificate of Proclamation (Marriage Certificate).
  • David Wills has provided a listing of LDS Microfiche and Microfilm numbers - Birth, Marriage and Death Records in Scotland. The website  no longer seems to be available.
  • Wayne McKirdy has compiled an Analytical Index to the Statutory Registers of Death for Bute, Clackmannan, Kinross, Peebles and Sutherland over the years 1855-1875, and for Lanark 1855-1857 and Selkirk 1855-1859. The index includes most details given in the registers for ALL deaths in that period. The website  no longer seems to be available.