Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sheriff court closures in Scotland

Ten sheriff courts in Scotland have been earmarked for closure, as part of changes being introduced to the Scottish Courts Service. They are as follows:
  • Arbroath (business moving to Forfar)
  • Cupar (business moving to Dundee)
  • Dingwall (business moving to Inverness)
  • Dornoch (business moving to Tain)
  • Duns (business moving to Jedburgh)
  • Haddington (business moving to Edinburgh)
  • Kirkcudbright (business moving to Dumfries)
  • Peebles (business moving to Selkirk)
  • Rothesay (business moving to Greenock)
  • Stonehaven (business moving to Aberdeen)

From a genealogy point of view this will have an impact for those wishing to access copies of confirmation records (the equivalent of probate records elsewhere in the UK) at a local level from sheriff courts.

Scottish confirmation records prior to 1926 can be accessed on ScotlandsPeople ( whilst records and indexes from 1926-1986 are available at the National Records of Scotland ( The most recent records, however, are still held at local sheriff courts. It is possible to obtain copies of these records from any of the sheriff courts, or from HM Commissary Office in Edinburgh. Details of all of the courts can be found at

The BBC has more at


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

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