View Full Version : records on scotlandspeople site

11-09-2009, 4:25 AM
Hello all, I'm thoroughly confused, can someone tell me how complete are the records on Scotlandspeople - the old Births and Marriages.

I have finally found a death for my great grandfather x 3 since they updated the Death Registers- but his birth or marriage cannot be found.

He is Henry Brash born c 1800 and died 1845 Edinburgh - death record says his father is John Brash. I'm assuming the family comes from the Dalmeny/Abercorn/Queensferry district - Henry married a girl from Bo'ness around 1819.

Where would I go from here -


11-09-2009, 5:43 AM
If by "complete" you mean do they cover all people and all BDM events in Scotland before Statutory Registration began in 1855 then the answer is - absolutely not!

Just as records pre-1837 don't do so in England and Wales.

You were very fortunate to have found Henry's death record!

And remember that pre-1855, SP has only records from the OPRs (Old Parish Registers) of the 'established' (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland.
And not even all of those have survived.
There were also other churches - especially including other Presbyterian churches which broke away from the 'established' church. See:

Tell us everything you know about Henry and family in case anyone can suggest any other avenues of research.

Good luck,


13-09-2009, 2:07 AM
thanks for this,I suppose what I should have asked is 'are ALL existing records on the Scotlandspeople site'? or is it an ongoing project?

I have the Brash family living in Edinburgh on 1841 and 1851 census - father Henry died 1845- four children dying young between 1841 and 1848, all St Cuthbert's.
None of these childrens births are in the Birth Registers, this made me think that the records exist but just have not been added yet.

In 1855/56 the mother, Margaret, and remaining children left for Australia-

13-09-2009, 2:51 AM
four children dying young between 1841 and 1848, all St Cuthbert's.
None of these childrens births are in the Birth Registers

As JAP1 has said, civil registration did not begin until 1855. What is 'missing' are their baptisms. The dates for these can be at any time after birth, if they were done in the established church.

13-09-2009, 2:52 AM
Hi Jan,

As far as I am aware, births/baptisms from all the known pre-1855 Old Parish Registers (OPRs) of the 'established' Church of Scotland are on ScotlandsPeople i.e. in that sense it is not an ongoing project.

The children you mention might not have been baptized at all, or might have been baptized in one of the 'breakaway' Presbyterian churches, or ...

Good luck,


13-09-2009, 6:36 AM
thanks again, I might try asking Scotlandspeople - I thought that the records were 'complete' until I read in the last edition of Ancestor here in Vic. that the death registers had been recently updated and that was when I found the Henry Brash death - couldn't find it in earlier searching,

13-09-2009, 7:51 AM
Hi again Jan,

That's a very good idea to ask ScotlandsPeople/GROS - if anyone knows, they should! :)

But you did specifically ask about Births and Marriages.

And I actually confined my comment to OPR births/baptisms (which were what I understood to be your main interest) and (being 'chicken') I gave myself an 'out' by saying "as far as I'm aware". :D

I certainly wouldn't dare to make such a confident (foolhardy?) comment about OPR deaths/burials because I simply don't know. Indeed, any OPR deaths/burials are a recent addition to SP. My understanding (could very well be wrong) is that they only came online this year - possibly around the very end of March ...

Very best regards,


Chasing Caseys
13-09-2009, 8:40 AM
Hello Jan

Have you looked on the scotlandspeople web site - taken a look at their help sections ? if not these links should really answer what you are asking, scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk/research/list-of-oprs.html, scroll down to List of OPR's by parish within each county and click on the particular area you are looking for and it should tell you if its available ............ or this section scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?r=554&1353ection.

This site http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/scottishwayofbirthanddeath/introduction/which i like as its simple ! reminds us that

The most extensive information about pre-1855 vital events can be found in the old parish registers of the Church of Scotland, but since there was often a fee for entering an event in the parish register, poor people sometimes avoided registration.

Sometimes links are not much use at all, being difficult to navigate but these are worth bookmarking and refering back to.

13-09-2009, 8:56 AM
It could be that Henry was the name he was known by and not his 'official' name. In which case he would have used the official one for his marriage, not Henry.