The Scottish Parish Register Guide with Archive & Family History Society Directory
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The historic counties of Scotland are listed in the table below. For each county there is a link to the local archive and family history society. If you are visiting an archive in person, you can check their website to see details of collections, opening times, appointment procedure etc. The family history societies often have their own databases and online shops where you can buy discs of transcriptions of parish records. They can often also help you with your research for a fee.
Unlike England and Wales, the local archives in Scotland usually only have transcriptions of parish registers. The actual documents are held by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) in Edinburgh. If you are in Edinburgh, you can visit the NRS Scotland’s People Centre and access scans of parish registers as well as civil registration records on the computers in the search room for a fixed daily fee. See the website for current costs and how to book an appointment.
The scanned registers can also be accessed online on the Scotland’s People website on a pay per view basis. See the website for current charges.
Family Search has transcriptions for a proportion of parish registers entries for births and marriages. These are two large collections and are not organized into counties. They are: Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 and Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910.
Ancestry have the same two collections sourced from Family Search; Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 and Scotland, Select Marriages, 1561-1910.
FindMyPast also has the Baptism collection from Family Search; Scotland, Parish Births & Baptisms 1564-1929. In addition, they also hold the following (incomplete) collections: Scotland Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms , Scotland Roman Catholic Parish Burials and Scotland Roman Catholic Parish Marriages .
The Genealogist has a small collection of Scottish parish register transcriptions: Scottish Records.