Common problems when tracing your ancestors with the ScotlandsPeople Index

The GROS index used by ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk does not give sufficient information to do the job completely. You can't be sure whether you have the right person before buying the certificate.
For example, the index to the birth records after 1855 does not give the names of the child's parents (although these are on the certificates).
In any case, there is always more information on the actual certificate than there is in the index.
The index cuts off at 1904 for births, 1929 for marriages, and 1954 for deaths. Later records are only available inside New Register House.
However, if you want to search for marriage or death certificates for people with common names, or for any records after the cut-off date of the index, then you still need somebody to go there in person and copy it down by hand from the microfiche (in pencil - no ink allowed).

As many users of ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk have found, there are some problems in trying to trace your ancestors using the index, or even by buying £10 certificates one at a time from New Register House's web site.

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