This week ScotlandsPeople announced in an email to customers that it was making updates to the mother’s maiden name search field in the statutory register of deaths index. This is as part of their ongoing improvements to their website and in response to requests from users in a customer survey that they undertook.
The ScotlandsPeople website is the official Scottish Government site for searching government records and archives and is used by hundreds of thousands of family history researchers each year to apply for copies of official certificates and to research their Scots family, biography, local history and social history.
Before 1974 the deceased’s mother’s maiden name was not routinely included in Scottish death index but where this information was included on the death records before this date ScotlandsPeople are retrospectively adding this to the index. The website is beginning with the years closest to the introduction of statutory registration in 1855 and they now report that they have now updated most years up to 1880, adding mother’s maiden names to more than 1 million records. Their plan is to have completed the records up to 1883 by the end of this year.
If you have Scots ancestors then you can use their site and populate the name search fields as well as choose to ‘include unrecorded mother’s maiden surname’ in your search. Of course you may find that if you enter a name in this search field and the information has not yet been added, or it was unavailable at the time of registration, that a result will not be found. For more information relating to statutory death registers and how to search them, have a look at their online guide. https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/statutory-register-deaths