What Information Will I Discover In A Scottish Birth Certificate ?

Posted on Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 by Chris

Civil registration began in Scotland in 1855 and this year was the first and finest of all the subsequent years. The amount of information requested in the certificates was astonishing and it was decided that the difficulties of obtaining in every case, these very full details made it impracticable. The details required were reduced in 1856 and again were modified in 1861, but from then on have remained virtually the same. 

  • Name: forenames and surname (and whether illegitimate, recorded until 1919)
  • Sex
  • Year, date of month and hour of birth
  • Place of birth : street, number, name of farm, name of parish or district
  • Father’s name, rank, profession or occupation
  • When and where the parents were married
  • Mother’s name and maiden name and any previous married names
  • The signature of the father, mother or other informant and residence if out of the house in which birth occurred
  • When and where registered and the signature of the Registrar


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 In 1855, in addition to all the information listed above, a birth record stated:

  • The baptismal name of the child (if this was different from the registered name)
  • The ages and birthplaces of the child’s parents
  • The number and sex of the child’s brothers and sisters, both living and deceased.

Unfortunately the Registrars did not record the date and place of the parent’s marriage from 1856-1860. However it is worth checking for brothers or sisters births to get the information either in 1855 or post 1860.

So lots of information can be gleaned from the details entered on the certificate. Remember though, this is only as good as the accuracy or truthfulness of the information provided by the parties involved. 

Please contact -  info@scotlandsgenealogy.com   if you need to locate a Scottish birth certificate or if you have any questions.