Thursday 5 January 2017

ScotlandsPeople's New Year records update

From ScotlandsPeople (

Entries from important statutory records have been released today onto ScotlandsPeople; the family history website operated by the National Records of Scotland.

Digital images of 110,000 birth entries from 1916, more than 47,000 marriage entries from 1941 and 64,000 death entries from 1966 are now available for members of the public to search, view and save, no matter where they are in the world.

Three entries give details relating to the lives of three Scots of note. These are:

* The birth of Jessie Grant Kesson (nee McDonald) (1916 – 1994), who wrote The White Bird Passes. Born in Inverness on 29 October 1916, Kesson rose from humble beginnings to become an acclaimed author receiving honorary degrees from both the University of Aberdeen and the University of Dundee.

* An entry detailing the birth Jack Milroy (1915 -2001), the Scottish comedian, who was born James Cruden on 28 December 1915 in Govanhill, Glasgow. Being born so near to the end of the year, Jack’s birth was not registered by his father until 17 January 1916. Jack Milroy was best known for his double act with comedy actor Rikki Fulton. Jack played Francie in the famous comedy duo Francie and Josie.

The death record entry for Alexander Carrick, RSA (1882 – 1966), one of Scotland’s leading monumental sculptors of the early twentieth century. Carrick’s extensive body of work includes war memorials include those at Fraserburgh, Berwick and Killin in Perthshire.

The 1941 marriage records reveal the details of those wed in wartime Scotland including one couple whose union was cut tragically short by the Clydebank blitz in 1941. They were married from just one month.

Alexander Clarkson and Margaret O’Donnell, were married on 12 February 1941 in a civil ceremony by the Registrar in the district of Old Kilpatrick. Sadly, Margaret was killed when the Benbow Hotel where Alexander and Margaret were residents was hit by a bomb on the evening of 13 March, leaving only the shell of the building.

Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“The releases of these records give us a richer understanding of Scotland’s story and our people. The marriage certificates from the early '40s in particular provide further insight into the consequences of the Second World War, and how it affected the things we take for granted today.

“I’d encourage anyone interested in finding out more about their local history or genealogy to have a look at the wealth of records now available as part of our new ScotlandsPeople website. No matter where you are in the world, you can instantly find out more about your own personal story.”

The new version of the ScotlandsPeople website launched in September 2016; it has experienced an average 3.4 million site views a year and around 1 million unique users since its launch in 2002.

Since September, visitors to ScotlandsPeople can now search statutory record indexes including birth, death and marriage certificates for free. Users are now only charged if they wish to view or download a record image.

The records will be released at 09.30 GMT on Thursday 5 January.

(With thanks to Richard Holligan)


For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit

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