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Scotland Deaths - What else you can try

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This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find death information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the death section of the Scotland Guided Research page.

Additional online resources


Additional Databases and Online Resources

ScotlandsPeople ($) is the premiere website for Scotland death records. The site requires the user to register in order to search the index for free. It costs a small fee to view any image. ScotlandsPeople is the only site with the images to Scotland church and vital records; all other sites only have indexes to these records. The FamilySearch Catalog has some of these records available online as digital images.

Substitute records


Additional Records with Death Information

Substitute records can contain information about more than one event, and are used when records for an event are not available. Because the substitute records may not be created at the time of the event, it may contain incorrect information. Search for as many substitute records as possible to corroborate information found in substitute records to help improve accuracy.

Use these substitute records to locate death information about your ancestor:
Wiki Page
FamilySearch(FS) Collections
Why to search the records
Probate Records
See Wiki page
Wills and probate list death date and place.
Cemetery Records
See Wiki page
Monumental or tombstone inscriptions and records created when a deceased individual was interred in a cemetery.
See Wiki page
May contain death notices and obituaries.
Military Records
See Wiki page
Military records, after 1707, may include any death information for servicemen who died in service.
Nonconformist Records
See Wiki page
Roman Catholic and other nonconformist churches, such as the Presbyterian Church, also have death and burial parish registers.

Improve searching


Tips for finding deaths

Successfully finding death records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:

  • Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Search given name. Search by given name (leave out the last name) with the approximate date of birth or death.
  • Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate birth date or parent's names if known.
  • Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
  • Search place. Search using the county or parish name (if known). Go to Finding the Scotland County of Origin to learn how to find the county.

Why the record may not exist


Known Record Gaps

Records Start
Mandatory death registration started in 1855. Before this, deaths and burials can be found in church records (mainly the Church of Scotland or Roman Catholic Church). However, churches recorded deaths and burials less frequently than baptisms and marriages.

Records Destroyed
Some church records may have been lost or destroyed, although more specific information is not known. Civil registration records are generally complete.

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