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Civil Registration Records

This is the most logical place to begin your search for Scottish ancestor information. The general rule is that tracking your ancestors back as far as 1855 is fairly straightforward; this is because civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1855. Before then, churches maintained registers of these records, and the information becomes more sketchy.

The first registration certificates in 1855 were very detailed; later, information requirements for birth, marriage or death certificates were scaled back. Scottish birth certificates from 1855 list the names of both parents, and the date and place of the parents' marriage. Marriage certificates show the names of both parents, including the mother's maiden name, and death certificates show the names of the decedent's parents. It's easy to track your ancestors back through many generations to 1855 just by following the trail left in these civil registration records. These records are held by The General Register Office for Scotland.


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