10th January 2018

More than 233,000 newly-released Scottish records of births in 1917, marriages in 1942 and deaths in 1967 show how we used to live and record important events in the lives of people living in Scotland.

Births in 1917 were at the lowest number since 1856 as a result of the disruption to family life caused by the continuing conflict in the First World War. During the year 106,469 births were registered, and among them was an artist of Italian parentage who painted vibrant, lively scenes; a respected scientist and world authority on brewing and distilling; and a young RAF pilot who gave his life on a bombing mission during World War Two and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery.

In 1942, foreign servicemen were stationed in Scotland and our marriage entries record the attraction between these men and local Scottish women. We highlight three marriages of Norwegian, Polish and Canadian servicemen out of the 47,514 marriages recorded in Scotland that year.

The newly-released images include entries for 59,729 deaths recorded in Scotland in 1967. In 2017, there were 55,511 deaths recorded. Over the past 50 years there has been a dramatic increase in life expectancy in Scotland: in 1967 only 109 people died aged 100 years or older, but in 2017 this figure was 379.