Family history: Registrars

Situated in Aberdeen Registrars' Office in Marischal College, family history research can be undertaken with the help of the Registrar. Birth, Death and Marriage records for the whole of Scotland from 1855 to the present date are held on computer. Census results from 1841-1911, and Baptism and Marriages in the Old Parochial Registers covering the whole of Scotland from 1554-1854 are also held on computer. These can also be searched with help from the Registrar.

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

  • A particular search requested in person at Marischal College is conducted by staff on your behalf and costs £5 per entry. If you have more than four entries to view then it is advisable to book a computer search.
  • A computer search gives the user access to the whole of Scotland's births, deaths and marriages on computer, 1855 to the present, with digital images available. This can be booked on an hourly basis costing £20 per hour.

To book an hourly session, call 03000 200 292 or email

Search Room times from 1 February 2017 will be:

  • Monday: 9.30am to 11.30am and 2.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Tuesday: 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Wednesday: 2.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Thursday: 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Friday: 9.30am to 11.30am

Bookings must be made in advance.

Searches may also be requested by post or email. We will conduct an hour search on the computer and send you the digital images.  The charge for this is £20 per hour.

Extracts of entries may be ordered during a computer search for £10. Extracts ordered at Marischal College by mail or telephone cost £15 per entry. Payment can be made over the phone, at Marischal College with Cheque or debit/credit card; or by post with a postal/money order or Cheque, in sterling pounds only.

If you require more information about this service, please email or call 03000 200 292.

Aberdeen City Records

The records are held in registers for the years 1855 to 1984, arranged by year, 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. From 1968/72 all were amalgamated into one registration district for the City of Aberdeen.

Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Records

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

The cost to research the books is £20 per hour. A maximum of 20 books can be used at one time. The registers will require to be taken up from the basement records area and therefore we must know 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. Basic tools to bring are pencils, an eraser and plenty of paper. A laptop computer may be used, provided it can be operated with batteries.

To prepare for a first visit to the search room, begin with 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 their ages, names of your grandparents, to help trace their birth certificates and so on. Beforehand, ask around 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, the information from the record can be transcribed onto a separate piece of paper.

It is possible to purchase extracts of entries for £10 during a General Search. We would welcome any comments or suggestions on the information on this web page and following your visit to the Search Room.

Contact the Registrars team

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