Scotland’s People and Scotland’s Places

The Scotland’s People website ( is the official Scottish Government site for searching government records and archives.  It is used by hundreds of thousands of people each year to apply for copies of official certificates and to research family history, biography, local history and social history.  The site gives you access to the parish records before 1855 and to the statutory registers of births, marriages, deaths from after 1855 when registration became mandatory.  It also includes census returns; other denominations church records; kirk session records; valuation rolls; and legal documents from Scotland’s courts of law; amongst others.  It is the only place to find and obtain these records that are not found anywhere else.

The website does require a membership account, which is free.  With your account, you are free to search the records, which will give you information, but it will be limited.  If you are interested in obtaining a particular record, they do have a pay-per-view fee.  You can purchase credits online and each document that you would like to view will cost you a certain number of credits.  Once you have paid for your access to a particular record, you can save the record online or download it for your files.  If you choose to go back and look at it later, you will continue to have access to that document while you maintain your free account.  Please do note that copyright rules forbid you from posting these documents online.


Scotland’s Places website is another fantastic resource for genealogists that is available online at (  The website was created from three national resources – The National Library of Scotland (NLS), The National Records of Scotland (NRS) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES).  On this free site you will find maps and surveys, old photos, tax rolls and ordnance survey name books.  Some of the records go back as far as the 1600’s and many of the pictures are downloadable.