Thursday, June 11, 2009

Scotland and genealogy

Birth Death Marriage records Family history search Census family - ScotlandsPeople


The position in Scotland regarding access to the 1911 Census differs from that in England and Wales. The Census in Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Parliament and Administration. Scottish legislation (Section 38 and 58 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002) exempts personal Census records from disclosure until after a 100 year closure period.

So, while 1911 Census information for England and Wales is being made available, the same does not apply to information in the Scottish 1911 Census.

The Registrar General for Scotland believes that this strikes a balance between the interest of the records to family historians and the privacy of the people recorded by the Census, some of whom will still be alive. People who completed the 1911 Census were promised confidentiality. Although that is a long time ago, it is important not to call into question the validity of the equivalent promise on modern Census forms. That could deter people from filling in the Census form, reducing the response rate and making the Census results (which are so important for many aspects of Scottish life) less accurate.

The Registrar General for Scotland plans to release the Scottish 1911 Census information just after the date of the 2011 Census (27 March 2011), by which time the 100 year closure period will have ended.


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