National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

About the Catholic Parish Registers

About the Catholic Parish Registers

What's Available

There are 415,887 sacramental and other records dating from before 1855 available. For the period post 1855, 771,222 sacramental and other records are available. In total there are 1,181,109 records available.

Digitisation project

The Catholic Parish Registers project began with a focussed plan to digitise and index all pre-1855 Catholic parish registers that existed. It became very clear during the project that more than pre-1855 records were being digitised and indexed for three reasons:

  • Some volumes which began before 1855 continued on after 1855, in some case up to 100 years
  • Some parishes had chosen to deposit more than pre-1855 parish registers at the Scottish Catholic Archives
  • The records of the Bishopric of the Forces; Dalbeth Cemetery, Glasgow; and Mount Vernon Cemetery, Edinburgh were available in full

The decision was taken to carry on digitising and indexing the records because it was felt there would be a demand for them. If the records survive, they have been digitised and indexed and made available online. No surviving records are thought to be missing from the collection however this does not mean that all localities are covered by all records at all times. If the records were available to the Scottish Catholic Archives, they were digitised and indexed. In the post-1855 period, the collection of records is far from complete.

There are no plans at the moment to continue gathering, digitising or indexing more records from the post-1855 period. It may be something considered in the future.

Access to digital records

To preserve the privacy of living individuals, closure periods have been set on the records. Once the relevant time period has elapsed, they are released to the ScotlandsPeople website. These are currently:

Births and Baptisms

100 years

Deaths, burials, funerals and cemeteries

50 years

Marriages

75 years

Confirmations

100 years

Confessions

100 years

Converts

100 years

Communicants

100 years

Status Animarum

100 years

Seat Rents

100 years

Sick Call

100 years

 

Missions and Parishes: Scotland Pre-1855 Post-1855

Births and Baptisms

1703-1855

1855-1909

214,527

278,555

Deaths, burials and funerals

1782-1855

1855-1959

7,500

10,060

Marriages

1736-1855

1855-1934

32,735

64,795

Confirmations

1794-1855

1855-1909

13,329

31,386

Confessions

1839-1846

1890-1909

6,646

0

Converts

1741-1855

1855-1909

505

119

Communicants

1782-1855

1855-1909

104,458

69,337

Status Animarum

1804-1855

1855-1909

15,255

5,415

Seat Rents

1829-1855

1855-1909

8,171

12,995

Sick Call

1827-1855

1855-1909

2,594

0

Dates

1703-1855

1855-1958

Total number of records 405,720 472,662

 

Catholic Cemeteries: Scotland Pre-1855 Post-1855

Glasgow: Dalbeth

1851-1855

1855-1959

7,996

248,058

Edinburgh: Mount Vernon

 

1895-1959

 

32,818

Dates

1851-1855

1855-1958

Total number of records 8,063 280,876

 

Catholic Bishopric of the Forces: British Armed Forces Worldwide Pre-1855 Post-1855

Baptisms and births

1855

1855-1908

94

12,248

Deaths

1855

1895-1959

6

2,997

Marriages

1836-1855

1855-1934

2

1,401

Confirmations

1855

1867-1909

2

1,038

Dates

1836-1855

1855-1958

Total number of records

104

17,684