Family history: Registrars

Situated in Aberdeen Registrars' Office in Marischal College, family history research can be undertaken with the help of a Registrar. You can access:

  • Birth, death and marriage records for the whole of Scotland from 1855 to the present day 
  • Census results from 1841-1911, and 
  • Baptism and marriages in the Old Parochial Registers covering the whole of Scotland from 1554-1854. 

Access to the birth, death and marriage registers in Aberdeen is available by booking a 'particular' or 'general' search.

  • A particular search requested in person at Marischal College is conducted by staff a Registrar on your behalf and costs £5 per entry. If you have more than four entries to view then it is advisable to book a general search.
  • A general search gives the user access to the whole of Scotland's births, deaths and marriages on computer, with digital images available. This can be booked on an hourly basis costing £20 per hour.

To book an hourly session, call 01224 522 616 or email

Bookings must be made in advance.

General searches can also be requested by post or email. We will conduct a search on the computer on your behalf and send you the digital images.  The charge for this is £20 per hour.

Extracts of entries may be ordered during a general search for £10. Extracts can also be ordered online for a fee of £15.

If you require more information about this service, please email or call 01224 522 616. 

Aberdeen City Records

The records are held in registers for the years 1855 to 1984, with each year comprised of three to six separate volumes for the different registration districts of Aberdeen.

Records for the St Nicholas and the Old/St Machar districts, dating from 1855 to 1930, are held in the larger volumes, whilst the smaller registers hold the districts of Rubislaw (1914-1930); Old Aberdeen (1886-1930); Woodside (1886-1930); and Nigg (1855-1931). 

After 1930/1 six districts were reduced to three: Northern, Southern and Eastern Aberdeen. They were all amalgamated into one registration district for the City of Aberdeen between 1968 - 1972.

Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Records

Birth, death and marriage registers for Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire date from 1855 to 1899 for births and to 1939 for marriages and deaths.

The cost to research the paper records is £20 per hour. A maximum of 20 books can be used at one time. In order to have your books ready for your visit you must tell us at least 48 hours before your appointment which books are needed. 

A list of books that are required can be emailed to or can be given by phone 03000 200 292 or given in person at our office in Marischal College.

The inventories of the records for Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire are given below:

'Be prepared' is the motto for a visit to the search room.

It is advisable, especially if you are travelling any distance, to book about a week in advance. You should bring pencils, an eraser and plenty of paper. A laptop computer may be used, provided it can be operated with batteries.

Before your first visit to the search room look at your birth certificate, which will show the names of your parents and possibly provide the date and place of their marriage. The marriage certificate will give you their ages and the names of your grandparents, to help trace their birth certificates and so on. You could also speak to your family and try to obtain copies of relevant birth, death and marriage certificates.

We use the Scotlandspeople system which covers the whole of Scotland. For a full guide to the records held on Scotlandspeople, please view our SearchRoom Leaflet.


Any record deemed 'historical' (a birth which is more than 100 years old, a death which is more than 50 years old and a marriage which is more than 75 years old) can be printed off and given to you to keep. This is included in the £20 hourly fee. If a record is not historical, you may record the information onto a separate piece of paper.

It is possible to purchase extracts of entries for £10 during a General Search. If you have any feedback after your visit to the search room please email 

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