Family history and ancestry

Tracing your Scottish ancestry

Available records

  • All Scottish Birth, Death and Marriage Records from 1855 to the present day
  • Old Parish Records from 1553 -1854
  • Census records from 1841 - 1911(A Census was taken every ten years)

What form do the records take

There is on-line access to all the Scottish records shown above using the ScotlandsPeople system

How to search the records

  • Book one of the four ScotlandsPeople computers in The Family History Centre in Highland Archive and Registration Centre which are available for unassisted research
  • Book an appointment for a General Search with a Registrar

Ideally contact us in advance to avoid disappointment, particularly if you are travelling any distance.  However, if this is not possible, staff will always do their best to accommodate you.


  • A Particular Search is a search made by the Registrar for a specified entry over a period of five years and costs £5 an entry whether or not the entry is traced
  • A General Search costs £30 an hour or part of an hour  with a Registrar conducting the search for you

When you have identified an entry which relates to your family you may

  • Make notes from that entry
  • Buy a certified extract for £10
  • Buy a historic paper copy for 50p (births over 100 years old, deaths over 50 years old, marriages over 75 years old, Census Records and entries in the Old Parish Registers)