Recent reports of the ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk website indicated that the website was down. Well, it is back online with a new look and a completely new design. As indicated in the article, "Welcome to the New ScotlandsPeople Website:"
As part of the most extensive upgrade to our service since 2010, you will be able to search indexes to records, including statutory records of births, deaths and marriages, free of charge for the first time. You will now only be charged when you view or download a record image.The website lets its users search records for free. But as was the case in the past, There is a system of pay-per-view to view and download the digital images. The cost of downloading the images is outlined on the Pay-per-view page. As was always the case, there is an additional charge for ordering official certificates of statutory birth, death, marriage, divorce, civil partnership and dissolutions of a civil partnership records. You need to register and login to view any of the records.
The new site features an improved web design which allows you access to ScotlandsPeople across digital devices, and an enhanced search function which lets you locate and view records with greater ease.
The difficulty of determining whether or not an entry found with a search still remains one of the major issues with this type of payment system. You cannot view the entire record without paying for the copy and you cannot tell for certain that the record is your ancestor without seeing the record. Since the records are protected by the Crown Copyright, this type of arrangement will likely not change.
With the changes to the website come some important additions. Continuing the quote from the introductory article:
New features include the choice between a quick search for people across all records indexed by personal name, or the advanced search for specific types of record.
You can also now link to the Register of Corrected Entries from the relevant entry in a statutory register free of charge. Transcriptions of the 1881 census (1881 LDS) can now be read without charge.
We have added indexes to births, marriages and death for 2015 and early 2016, and you can now search coats of arms up to 1916.
An exciting change is the addition of more than 150,000 baptism entries from Scottish presbyterian churches other than the Old Parish Registers (OPRs) of the Church of Scotland. More of these records will be added in the near future, including marriages and burials. Look out for further news, and meanwhile to find out more, read our church records guide.
Over the next few months more types of records held by National Records of Scotland (NRS), including records of kirk sessions and other church courts will be added.