Family history: Registrars

Birth, marriage and death records and how to search them

Our Registrars can help you carry out family history research in the search room at the Aberdeen Registrars' Office in Marischal College. You can access:

  • Birth, death and marriage records for the whole of Scotland from 1855 to the present day. 
  • Census results from 1841-1911.
  • Baptisms 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 a Registrar on your behalf and costs £5 per entry. If you have more than four entries to view then we advise you to book a general search.
  • A general search gives you access to the whole of Scotland's births, deaths and marriages on computer, with digital images available. You can book this on an hourly basis. It costs £20 per hour.

To book an hourly session, call 01224 522616 or email

You must make bookings in advance.

You can write to us or email us to request a general search. 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.

You can order extracts of entries during a general search for £10. You can also order extracts online. This costs £15.

If you would like more information about this service, please email or call 01224 522616. 

Hints and tips for researching

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

We advise you to book about a week in advance, especially if you are travelling any distance. You should bring pencils, an eraser and plenty of paper. You may use a laptop computer, provided it can run off the battery.

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 ScotlandsPeople which covers the whole of Scotland. You can search the ScotlandsPeople indexes for free.

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.

You can buy extracts of entries for £10 during a General Search. If you have any feedback after your visit to the search room please email 

Contact the Registrars team

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