The statutory registration of births, marriages and deaths in Scotland was not introduced until 1 January 1855, 17 years after England and Wales. Nevertheless, the certificates (or registers) issued north of the border are more detailed than their southern counterparts.
In the first year, 1855, a huge amount of information was provided but this proved unsustainable. Thereafter, death registers give the deceased’s parents’ names, while birth registers give date and place of parents’ marriage from 1861.
The indexes are online at scotlandspeople.gov.uk, as are scanned historical registers with a 100-year closure rule for births, 75 years for marriages and 50 years for deaths. The online indexes extend beyond these closure periods however, and copies of more recent registers can be ordered via the website.
Statutory BMDs did not begin in Scotland until 1855, but they are filled with useful information