A catalogue of new developments and ideas. Each month we'll feature a
different area of research. This
which can be very fruitful for budding genealogists is the grave subject
of Death records. There are two main avenues of research for this
topic, both of which are held by the General
Register Office for Scotland. The first are the Death records from
the Statutory Register Index which holds over 6 million records from the
period 1855-1927. The second of these is to look for Old Parish Records
which date back as far as 1553. The Statutory Register Index is fairly
straightforward to deal with, the only caveat being that entries are restricted
to no more recent than 75 years to protect the privacy of living persons.
Records are much more challenging for the amateur genealogists but finding
some gem in them is equally very rewarding. These records were kept locally
by individual parishes of the established church, the Church of Scotland,
and so are known as Old Parish Registers.
The bad news about these records though, is that they are far from complete.
Parishes did not always maintain proper records and so may have no entries
for long periods. Also, although Church of Scotland registration was in
theory compulsory for all denominations, it was costly and unpopular and
so members of churches such as Free Church of Scotland or Roman Catholics,
may not be recorded. Also as the population shifted in the 19th century,
religion began to lose its hold, and as few as 30% of events may be recorded
for certain urban parishes.
All these records can be accessed from the Scots
Origins website, which is the official, Governmental source of genealogical
data for Scotland.
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