Wednesday, 23 December 2009 - free access for Christmas

World Vital Records ( has announced free access to its site from December 23rd to December 28th, and without credit card registration. Amongst collections worth having a look at for Scottish input are:

1) a database of 14,000 burials extracted from the OPRs by Shauna C. Anderson at Brigham Young University, available at World Vital Records (, covering the following parishes - Cockpen, Midlothian; Cranston; Crichton; Dalkeith; Dunfermline, Fife; Edinburgh; Fala; Gladsmuir; Heriot; Humbie; Newbattle; Pencaitland, Midlothian; Prestonpans, East Lothian; Salton; Shotts; Tranent and East Lothian.

2) Records of Scottish militiamen within the Militia Attestations Index (1886-1910) and within the Irish Militia Attestations Index (1872-1915)

3) Directories such as the General Almanack of Scotland and British Register, for 1810, being the second after bissextile, or leap year, Containing an improved kalendar, with the usual lists; directories for Glasgow, Greenock, Paisley &c; Jones’ Directory of Glasgow for 1787; and an Orkney 1926 Almanac and Directory (including a list of the Justices of the Peace for the Orkney District, as well as a Kirkwall and Stromness Trades Directory).

4) The UK Marriage Witness Index 1655-1992 database, a small collection of records with just 58,816 names from across the UK, though there are many Scottish entries. The marriage records can be searched not only by the names of the contracting partners, but also crucially by witnesses.

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