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Statutory Registers

Statutory Registers 02What are Statutory Registers?

The Statutory Registers contain the official records of births, marriages and deaths in Scotland from 1 January 1855 onwards. They are exclusively available on the ScotlandsPeople website and at ScotlandsPeople networks. A network is located in the Family History Suite in the Highland Archive Centre in Inverness.

What dates do they cover?

The Statutory Registers start in 1855 which is when registering births, marriages and deaths became compulsory in Scotland. This replaced the system of Old Parish Registers. ScotlandsPeople hold the complete registers from 1855 to the present day.

What can I use them for?

You can use the Statutory Registers for searching for a birth, marriage or death in Scotland from 1855 onwards.

What will they tell me?

Generally, a Scottish Statutory Register entry includes the names and ages of the people involved in an event, the date, time and place of the event and a range of other information. Births include the names and occupations of both parents and the mother’s maiden name. Marriages include the addresses of both parties and their parents’ names and occupations. Deaths include a cause of death, parents’ names and the name of the informant. A large amount of information can be extracted from these certificates for the purposes of family history.

Will there definitely be useful information in there?

If you are researching a person or family who lived in Scotland from 1855 onwards, it is highly likely that you will find a certificate documenting an aspect of their life in the Statutory Registers.

Do I need to know anything first?

The name of the person you are researching and the approximate date of the event: birth, marriage, death. Any additional information you can provide (such as a location or parents’ names) will help to narrow down the search and pinpoint the correct person. It is worth keeping an open mind about things such as spellings and name variants as these can vary greatly even through the life of an individual.

Are there any viewing restrictions?

If you are viewing entries on the ScotlandsPeople website from home there is a closure period of 100 years on births, 75 years on marriages and 50 years on deaths. If you are using the ScotlandsPeople network in the Family History Centre births, marriages and deaths are generally all available to date.

Can I have photocopies?

Yes, copies can be obtained of birth entries over  100 years old, marriage entries over 75 years old and death entries over 50 years old. You can download our charges here.

Can I take photographs?

No. It is not permitted to take photographs from a screen: microfilm, microfiche or computer.

Where can I find out what you hold?

The ScotlandsPeople website/network holds all the Statutory Registers for Scotland from 1855 to the present day.  If you only require one specific entry please ask a member of staff who will advise.

Where do I go next?

If you would like to use the ScotlandsPeople hub to conduct your own research please contact the Inverness Registrars:

Tel: 01463-256400, Email: [email protected]

If you would prefer one of our Family Historians to undertake the research for you, either remotely or in a face-to-face consultation, please contact us:

Tel: 01463256433, Email: [email protected]

If you would like more contextual information about the life of the person you are researching in the Highlands why not try original archive material? Kirk Session records, school records and maps might tell you more about the place in which a person lived. Archive Staff will be able to advise what records we hold for the area/date you require.