Learning Zone - Census Records on Scottish Indexes

The census indexes on this website are not complete. Long before Ancestry and ScotlandsPeople came along we (find out more about Graham and Emma here) had been transcribing census records. This was back in the early 2000s and everything was done in hard copy, sending out books all over the world through the mail. Thankfully, genealogy resources have improved a great deal and we now don’t need to print so many books!

The Scottish Paternity Index includes cases from three different sources; Sheriff Court decree volumes, Sheriff Court processes and the records of the Kirk Sessions. You may find your ancestor in any, all or none of these. See our coverage page for a breakdown of what we have indexed so far.

We had already transcribed many of the census records from 1841-1861 for the south of Scotland. Rather than deleting all this hard work we decided to make it available for free. You can see a breakdown of the parishes covered here. We hope this is helpful but do be aware that it is not complete.

From 1841 the census enumeration books for Scotland were preserved. However, the first decennial census was 1801. Sadly few records relating to the 1801, 1811 and 1831 censuses containing personal names survive; in most parishes only the statistics were retained. We have indexed some of the personal names that survive and you can see our coverage here. We have also indexed some ‘Population Lists’ found within church records. We have included these in this category so that you can search them together.