A treasure trove of Scottish history is to be made available on the
Internet for the first time via a new partnership between Scotland On
Line and the General Register Office for Scotland.
An innovative new website, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, officially
launched at Edinburgh’s New Register House today (Wednesday 18th
September), by Deputy Minister for Justice, Dr Richard Simpson, will
provide online access to a wealth of Scottish historical information,
much of it previously unavailable on the Internet.
Created by Scotland On Line, one of the UK’s leading new media
publishers and Internet business solutions providers, the new Scotland
’sPeople service will enable Scots at home or abroad to track back
through hundreds of years of historical data to trace their family
The site will provide an easily accessible route to the unrivalled
store of Scottish history which is preserved for the nation by the
General Register Office. Amongst the material available for the first
time will be:
· Indexed digital images of the statutory registers of births for
· Indexed digital images of the statutory registers of deaths for
These will soon be followed by:
· Indexed digital images of the statutory registers of marriages for
· Browsable digital images of the 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871 census
returns for Scotland.
The site will also include the following records, previously available
· Indexed digital images of the 1891 and 1901 census returns for
· Indexes to the 1881 census returns for Scotland.
· Indexes to the Old Parochial Registers of baptisms and
proclamations/marriages for Scotland, 1553-1854.
The service will be further enhanced in 2003 when digital images of
the Old Parochial Registers of baptisms, proclamations of
banns/marriages and deaths and of the 1881 census returns also become
The site also includes a number of free features, including a free
surname search where the user can see how many entries there are under
their name on the indexes and a regularly updated feature on Famous
Scots providing data on well-known figures in Scottish history.
Once registered on the Scotland’sPeople website, users only need to
enter their username and password each time they return. For a fee of
£6 payable by credit or debit card, the user can access the index
database and is entitled to 30 “page credits” over a period of 24
hours. In addition, if a user wishes to order an extract of any
register entry found in the index, they can also do so online for a
fee of £10. The system automatically transfers the request to the
General Register Office for Scotland to fulfil the order and mail the
Dr Richard Callison, Chief Executive of Scotland On Line, said:
“One of the principal challenges for Scotland On Line in creating the
new Scotland’sPeople site has been to assimilate and make accessible a
vast amount of data and images – tens of millions of separate images
will now be available online.
“Also, by the very nature of genealogy, each search for a family
history is very much an individual one, with each user heading off in
many different directions to trace their own particular family roots.
The need to be able to guide the user through an enormous number of
possible trails was achieved by the blend of specialist skills within
our technical team.
“There is now a huge amount of interest in the subject of genealogy
and demand continues to grow. Our principal objective in working on
the project was to assist in popularising the idea of genealogical
research and to help make the subject and the relevant material more
accessible to the individual.”
John Randall, Registrar General for Scotland, said:
“I am delighted to be able to introduce our new website which, for the
first time, will give online users access via digital images to the
information contained in Scotland’s official registers of births and
deaths. With Scotland Online we are looking forward to putting
online images of all the historical records that GROS holds. The
result will be probably the most comprehensive online set of family
history information for any country in the world.
We are pleased to be working with our new partners, Scotland On Line,
and look forward to the future development of the site.
Scotland On Line employs over 60 staff and is one of the UK’s leading
new media publishers and Internet business solutions providers.
Services including Managed Hosting, Connectivity, Application and Web
Design, Security and eCommerce Solutions are offered to clients such
as Scottish Widows, Standard Life, Abbey National and the Scottish
Parliament. Further details on Scotland On Line’s range of products
and services can be obtained at www.scotlandonline.co.uk. Information
on the company’s leading Scottish-interest websites is available at