National Archives of Scotland
You will need to ask for a reader’s ticket (free) – bring some form of ID. Use of the Historical Search Room is free and is first come,...
Located next door to the Cafe Royal Circle Bar, the Guildford is another classic Victorian pub full of polished mahogany, brass and...
Café Royal Oyster Bar
Pass through the revolving doors on the corner of West Register St and you're transported back to Victorian times – a palace of glinting...
ScotlandsPeople Centre information
Lonely Planet review
This collaboration between the General Register Office, the National Archives and the Court of the Lord Lyon brings together millions of useful records in one place. The main records used in Scottish genealogical research – the Statutory Registers of births, marriages and deaths (1855 to the present), the Old Parish Registers (1533−1854) and the 10-yearly census returns from 1841 to 1901 – can be consulted here for a daily search fee of £15; tutorial sessions are available for first-time visitors.
The registration of births, marriages and deaths became compulsory in Scotland on 1 January 1855; before that date, the ministers of the Church of Scotland kept registers of baptisms and marriages. The oldest surviving parish registers date back to 1553, but these records are far from complete, and many births and marriages before 1855 went unrecorded.