Coverage - Sheriff Court Paternity Case Index

We would like to begin this section by telling you about our wonderful volunteer Margaret Hamilton! Margaret has been working tirelessly to index these valuable records. We have a large number of clients who tell us that these records have helped them break down a brick wall that they have had for years. Not only do these records help you trace your Scottish genealogy they also help you understand your ancestors and can lead to the discovery of precious items such as long-lost love letters! (See our Learning Zone to find out more about that!) We would also like to thank Scottish genealogist Kirsty Wilkinson who has kindly supplied details of a number of court processes from several Scottish sheriff courts.

This record set contains paternity cases (known as "actions of affiliation and aliment") heard before the Sheriff Courts. We have also included a few other cases of genealogical interest, such as aliment cases where no children were involved (for example when a wife was deserted by her husband), and also 'breach of promise to marry' cases. The main bulk of the data has been indexed from the 'Registers of Extracted Decrees', which for most Sheriff Courts are complete from about the 1830s-1840s onwards. Not all cases resulted in an extracted decree, so we are also gradually indexing cases found in the processes, or original case papers, for many Sheriff Courts. For privacy reasons, our index does not go beyond the year 1919. Entries for the years that follow will be added on an annual basis. The database currently contains 32,737 entries.

Registers of Extract Decrees

Completely indexed registers:

Aberdeen 1834-1837, 1875 (2 cases only), 1903-1919
Arbroath 1887-1919
Airdrie 1846-1919
Ayr 1837-1919
Banff 1895-1919
Campbeltown 1830-1919
Cromarty 1833-1919
Dingwall 1830-1919
Dornoch 1855-1869
Dumfries 1793-1801, 1830-1919
Duns 1830-1919
Falkirk 1841-1919
Fort William (Argyll) 1841-1861
Fort William (Inverness-shire) 1836-1919
Greenock 1874-1877, 1881-1919
Haddington 1829-1919
Hamilton 1845-1919
Hawick 1894-1919
Inverness 1799-1806, 1825-1919
Jedburgh 1748-1753, 1831-1892
Kirkcaldy 1881-1919
Kirkcudbright 1748-1765, 1830-1919
Lanark 1842-1919
Leith 1831-1850, 1887-1919
Linlithgow 1860-1919
Lochmaddy 1890-1919
Nairn 1831-1853, 1874-1884, 1888-1892, 1896-1919
Oban 1881-1919
Paisley 1830-1919
Peebles 1837-1919
Portree 1887-1919
Selkirk 1751-1757, 1782-1793 and 1830-1919
Stonehaven 1832-1869
Stornoway 1829-1834, 1849-1919
Stranraer 1887-1919
Tain 1830-1919
Tobermory 1821-1824, 1830-1832, 1836-1880
Wigtown 1830-1919

Indexing in progress (showing years indexed so far):

Edinburgh 1830-1901
Kilmarnock 1850-1889
Wick 1830-1892

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Processes

Completely indexed series:

Arbroath 1887-1917
Falkirk 1850-1917
Kirkcaldy 1882-1917
Lochmaddy 1895-1917
Oban 1886-1917
Stranraer 1849-1917

Indexing in progress (showing approximate years covered so far):

Aberdeen 1752, 1761-1762, 1802, 1811, 1817, 1820-1822, 1830, 1836-1837, 1856-1859, 1900-1917
Airdrie 1849-1864, 1882-1883, 1889-1890, 1913-1917
Ayr 1816, 1861-1865, 1880-1881, 1912-1917
Banff 1860-1917
Campbeltown 1830-1913
Cromarty 1906-1917
Dingwall 1912-1917
Dornoch 1915-1917
Dumfries 1796-1815, 1834-1835, 1844-1848, 1850-1853, 1857, 1911-1917
Duns 1798-1800, 1849-1850, 1858-1859, 1914-1917
Edinburgh 1788, 1808-1809, 1819, 1829-1860
Greenock 1912-1917
Haddington 1825-1917
Hamilton 1857, 1912-1917
Inverness 1799-1806, 1825-1859, 1914-1917
Jedburgh 1822-1917
Kirkcudbright 1817-1830, 1835-1836, 1844-1860, 1915-1917
Lanark 1847-1849, 1915-1917
Leith 1916-1917
Linlithgow 1860-1917
Nairn 1909-1917
Paisley 1843-1847, 1850-1852, 1854, 1858-1859, 1914-1917
Peebles 1915-1917
Peterhead 1859-1910
Selkirk 1844, 1860-1917
Stonehaven 1860-1917
Stornoway 1860-1917
Tain 1844-1846
Tobermory 1860-1886
Wigtown 1825-1830, 1837-1847, 1853-1855, 1915-1917

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