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Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Gretna Green Marriage Registers

Wednesday, 2nd December, 2009

Gretna Green became the destination for eloping young lovers following the introduction of Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753. The law in England was changed so that anyone under the age of 21 had to have the consent of guardians or parents. There was no lower age limit but the marriage had to be celebrated in church, entered in the parish register and signed by both parties.

In Scotland, the minimum age limit had remained 16, so many young couples from England headed north for their weddings. As Gretna Green was on the London to Edinburgh stagecoach route and was the first stopping point across the border, many couples decided to marry there – often only just getting through the ceremony before their pursuers arrived.

The Gretna Green registers are not just simply a record of marriage but provide a view of forbidden love. Young couples who wanted to be together against all the odds. You can now search these registers at Ancestry.

Scottish Burial Records now online.

Friday, 3rd April, 2009

Newly digitised images, on, the official Government source of genealogical data for Scotland, of deaths and burials contained in the Old Parish Registers of Scotland (OPRs) have now been made available online.

The OPRs are the records which the Church of Scotland kept of births and baptisms, banns and marriages and deaths and burials for the 300 years before the start of the civil registration system in 1855.

When the office of Registrar General for Scotland was created in 1855, every parish in Scotland was required by law to deliver to the Registrar General all its registers of births and baptisms, banns and marriages and deaths and burials up to and including those for 1855. The earliest surviving entries in the OPRs were created in the 16th century.

“Making available on the internet the images of the Old Parish Register burial and death records dating back to the 16th century marks the completion of the digitisation project begun by the General Register Office for Scotland in 2001,” said Duncan Macniven, Registrar General for Scotland.

ScotlandsPeople holds digital images of Scottish records of births, deaths and marriages dating back to 1553, the open census records from 1841 to 1901, wills and testaments from 1513 to 1901 and Coats of Arms from 1672 to 1907.”

Macniven says that more records will be digitised and placed online in the future.

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