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Scotlandspeople: Genealogical Records Online

For all of you Internet-savvy Scot-descended researchers out there, there is indeed happy news. The government of Scotland is utilizing advanced technology to the fullest to aid you in your search for your ancestors.

The General Register Office has created a website called ScotlandsPeople as the official government source of genealogical data for Scotland on the Internet. The site presents not only indexes to the key civil registration, census, and parish records, but also selected images (scanned from the original registers and digitized) of the actual documents themselves. There is a charge to access these records: Online payment of a nominal fee will entitle you to a certain number of page views on the site (at the time of this writing, £6 for 30 page credits). The following is a list of the information available online.

Statutory records. ScotlandsPeople offers online access to indexes of all Scottish births (1855-1903) and marriages (1855-1928), and death records (1855-1953); in addition, you can view images for birth (1856-1901) and death (1855-1941) registers and/or documents.

Census records. You can access indexes of the 1881, 1891 and 1901 returns for all Scotland; images of the 1891 and 1901 census returns are available. It is estimated that the images of the 1841, 1851, 1861, and 1871 census returns will be available by the end of 2004, but digitizing these old records is a very time-consuming process.

Old Parish Registers. The goal of the GROS is to one day offer access to all OPR records, but the process is slow going. Indexes to the OPRs can be viewed on the ScotlandsPeople website, and digitized images are presented for a significant portion of the marriage and birth records.


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