SEARCH FOR A PERSONAL NAME Whats in a name - a survey of first names

Use * for one or more unknown letters
Use ~ before name for Soundex search
ScPStarting (S)>

ScPStarting (surname)

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Input from ip, JL

N.B. In summer 2010 the Scotland's People site layout was significantly modified.  These Notes have not been updated since that event and may be out-of-date, particularly regarding the sequence of screens and their layouts.

Getting Started using the Scotland's People website at

  • NB: These suggestions are personal, not official. Please note the caveats on the ScP initial page.

These are the pages currently available:

1. ScPOverview - Overview and Introduction
2. ScPStarting - Getting Started  [this page]
3. ScPPayments - How to Pay, and what you get
4. ScPSearching - How to Optimise Searches
5. ScPImages - How to Download Images

"Free Surname Search" 
The Home Screen for Scotland's People allows you to make a simple search of a surname and a date range without registering or making a payment. However, unless the surname is very unusual, the resulting response is unlikely to be enlightening. It just gives a count of appropriate records held.

To get useful results you must Register - a straightforward process but see below if you have a Library Start-up voucher.

Tip: Chose a suitable user name and a relevant password. Our password is a place in Scotland that we will never forget, but no-one else knows of our interest!

Tip: If you live in Scotland, the local libraries have the following scheme:

Library Voucher Scheme

ScP have made available, through the Scottish Public Libraries, a discount system.  For this one can purchase a Start-up voucher and additonal Top-up vouchers.  You will be given a pre-determined Library account identity and password.  The Start-up voucher costs £6 and gains you 60 credits.- a 50% discount on the on-line registration  The Top-up vouchers, which can only be used with a Library account, cost £4.80 and gain you 30 credits - a 20% discount on the on-line price.

Initial Access
Once you have registered you will need to make a small payment [see ScPPayments] to gain initial access to the site. This gives you 90 days access and some Credits.

Next, click on an entry in the table of Available Records at the foot of the Home screen. [Note: This table appears on most pages on the site.] Clicking on an entry will take you to the appropriate Search screen [see ScPSearching]. From this you can download a List of Hits and from there you can access any Image(s) in which you are interested. The Hit Lists and Images use up a number of your credits, 1 per page and 5 per image, respectively.

Tip The table of Available Records shows Birth and Death to be available up to 2006.  However, Images cannot be downloaded for Births later than 100 years before the start of the current year or for Deaths later than 50 years before the start of this year.  Thus Birth Certificates for 1908 will not be downloadable until 1 January 2009.  Ditto for Death Certificates for 1958.  Paper copies can be ordered for these and all other Certificates from GROS on screen.  These are fully authenticated copies but are necessarily more expensive then downloaded Images.

Occasionally an Image has not been digitised. In this case you may be able to order a paper copy from the relevant Office. 

Tip This is far more expensive [see ScPImages] than downloading the Image.

Your previous accesses
You can, at any time, search through indexes of Previous Searches or Previously Viewed mages for which you have already paid.

You can Logout at any time but Scotland's People will log you out automatically if you are inactive for a certain length of time. There is no penalty for this - you just have to Login again!

There are other facilities on the site but we will leave you to explore these for yourself.