What we are working on

Last updated 14 May 2019

Recently completed service improvements

  • The search criteria for Old Parish Registers have been amended so that parents' names can now be inserted.
  • For customers in our search rooms, the ‘Viewed’ box changes colour when an image is viewed.
    For earlier improvements and issues resolved see below under other work completed.

Issues, future service developments and enhancements

  • Surname variants and complex searches - there are currently technical problems affecting some searches in statutory registers, church registers and census returns, where the name variant search option is chosen. The problem affects some searches where a second name (such as a mother's maiden name, spouse's name or second person's forename) is added to the search. The issue does not affect other search options (such as wildcards and 'names that start with'). The issue is under investigation and we recommend that you use other search options when making a complex searches with additional name fields.
  • Name variant development work is underway to improve the name variant search option to ensure that choosing surname variants as an option will include the exact name entered as well as any variant of that name which is in the variant database. Longer term work is underway to ensure that as many valid variants of each surname are included in the name variants database. If you think a variant of a surname exists in the records but is not being included in the search, please contact us to let us know why you think that variant should be included (and give an example of a record which contains it). If a search using name variants produces no results, please use 'names beginning with' or 'wildcards included', as appropriate.

New record sets and data enhancements

  • Indexes and images of the 1940 valuation rolls were added to the site on 14 May 2019.
  • Digital copies of the passenger lists for the Highland and Island Emigration Society were added to the site on 27 February 2019. The Society assisted the emigration of almost 5,000 people from Scotland to Australia between 1852 and 1857.
  • Images for statutory registers of births for 1918, marriages for 1943 and deaths for 1968 were released on the site in January 2019.
  • We continue to develop a gazetteer-based search system for the site that will allow access to thousands of volumes of kirk session records and other court records.
  • Work is underway to identify and delete duplicate index entries for the Old Parish Registers (OPRs). In thousands of cases these duplicate entries point to records such as kirk session minutes or duplicate registers retained by parishes. Researchers usually find, if they obtain copies of these, that there is no extra information in the duplicate record.

Other developments

Further development, data enhancement and other possible work underway or under consideration includes:

  • Geographical plotting of search results
  • Church registers of baptisms - parents' names search fields
  • Results page print command which excludes guidance text on first page of results

Other work completed

  • Thousands of maps and plans have been released since 2018 and we plan to continue to add to this collection.
  • The log-in and registration process has been simplified, especially the password re-set process.
  • More than one hundred forename abbreviations were added to the name variant database in December 2017, improving the chances of success if you use name variants search option in the forename field when searching. Abbreviated forenames occur commonly in certain records, such as church registers, early census returns and early valuation rolls and less commonly in others, such as statutory registers and legal records. If you come across a variant of a forename in the records that is not being included in the search results, please tell us and give us an example of a record which contains it.
  • The 1935 valuation rolls were released on 10 October 2017 with 2.7 million indexed names and addresses for owners, tenants and occupiers of properties throughout Scotland.
  • More than 30,000 Other Church Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials were added to the site on 26 June 2017.
  • Downloading and printing images of multi-image records in a single file - it is now possible to download or print a legal record (such as a will and testament) consisting of many images in a single protable document format (PDF) file. Bear in mind that this is effective for most documents that are a few pages long. For documents that run to dozens of pages a single PDF file will be too large to work effectively.
  • Search options not being consistent in repeated (refined) searches - searches made using the 'Wildcards enabled' option should now work for an asterisk (*) and question mark (?) as well as the percentage sign (%) and underscore (_). For more information about wildcards, see our guides on Surnames and Forenames.
  • Statutory death registers (birth year) – we have improved search functionality in the statutory death registers and the approximate year of birth search field can be used to narrow your search.
  • Spouse's name in statutory and church marriage registers - we have improved the functionality of searching in the statutory marriage registers, searches using the spouse name search field can be used to narrow your search. For the majority of searches this will have a successful result. We created extra indexing to enable this search to work and therefore there are on occasion extra indexes for the same record. You will not be charged any further credits to view duplicate index entries.
  • Return to image view - customers will now be returned to the image they were viewing at the time of reporting an issue.
  • Statutory divorce and dissolution registers - a gender field has been added to statutory divorces and dissolutions
  • District and parish drop-down lists - remedial work on district and parish drop-down lists has been completed, including parishes whose names include apostrophes.
  • Census 1881 (LDS) - this can now be searched by address.
  • Deleting images – customers are now able to delete images from saved images.
  • Returning to search results after buying credits - after completing a search and then buying credits it is now possible to return to the search results after completing the purchase process.
  • Payment methods - PayPal has been included as an alternative method of payment.
  • Viewing/printing images on some devices and Internet browsers - the issue with Safari and iOS blocking the download of images to iPads and other devices has been resolved (for more details see our printing guidance).