Prior to 1855 we rely on Old Parish Registers (OPRs) for documenting baptisms, marriages and burials. The Church of Scotland (the Kirk) compiled these following the Scottish Reformation of 1560 when the country broke with Rome. Not all survive, but those that do are on ScotlandsPeople, and indexes are also on Findmypast and FamilySearch (marriages for 1561-1910 are at familysearch.org/search/ collection/1771074 and baptisms for 1564-1950 at familysearch.org/searchcollection/1771030).
The records vary wildly in the information they contain, but if you’re lucky, they may provide occupations and residences. TheGenealogist and Ancestry have a selection of transcriptions, found via thegenealogist.co.uk/coverage/britishinternational-records/# Scotland and search. ancestry.co.uk/Places/UK/Scotland.
Catholic Registers from the Scottish Catholic Archives are on ScotlandsPeople. The National Records of Scotland ( nrscotland.gov.uk) houses many nonconformist records, and Statistical Accounts of Scotland from the 1790s and 1830s at edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot describe a parish’s religious make-up.
The Calendar of Confirmations needs to be consulted at the National Records of Scotland to find wills and inventories after 1925 ( nrscotland.gov. uk/research/guides/ wills-and-testaments).
A special collection of First World War soldiers’ wills is also on ScotlandsPeople. Many of these were found in pay books strewn across the battlefields.