General Register Office for Scotland - Edinburgh, Scotland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 55° 57.207 W 003° 11.349
30U E 488188 N 6200914
Quick Description: The General Register Office for Scotland, formerly only responsible for the registration of births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and adoptions in Scotland, was merged with the National Archives of Scotland in 2011 to form National Records of Scotland.
Location: Southern Scotland, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/23/2012 10:55:13 AM
Waymark Code: WMFB6Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 6

Long Description:
"The General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) (Scottish Gaelic: Oifis Choitcheann a’ Chlàraidh na h-Alba) was a non-ministerial directorate of the Scottish Government that administered the registration of births, deaths, marriages, divorces and adoptions in Scotland. It was also responsible for the statutes relating to the formalities of marriage and conduct of civil marriage in Scotland. It administered the census of Scotland's population every ten years. It also kept the Scottish National Health Service Central Register. On 1 April 2011 it was merged with the National Archives of Scotland to form National Records of Scotland. All the former department's functions continue as part of the new body.


Initially ministers of the Church of Scotland were responsible for keeping parish records of baptisms and marriages, but only for their own church members. Later the Privy Council of Scotland, following the suggestion of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland enacted that all parish ministers should keep a record of baptisms, burials and marriages. This situation continued until 1854 when Parliament passed an Act transferring responsibility to the State.

The Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1854 created the General Registry Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages, headed by the Registrar General with the appointment of registrars in every parish. It also provided that the Registrar General should produce an annual report to be forwarded to the Home Secretary to be laid before Parliament containing a general abstract of the numbers of births, deaths and marriages registered during the previous year. The first general abstract (relating to 1855) was submitted in 1856.

On 1 April 2011 GROS was merged with the National Archives of Scotland, with which it already had close ties and shared management of the Scotland's People Centre on Princes Street, Edinburgh, to form National Records of Scotland.

Registrars General for Scotland

The Registrar General was also Deputy to the Lord Clerk Register. The Deputy Clerk Register had to be an Advocate of not less than ten years standing.

William Pitt Dundas was the first holder of the combined post of Deputy Clerk Register and Registrar General from September 1854 until April 1880. His successor, Roger Montgomerie, died six months after his appointment, and Mr Pitt Dundas resumed office for around a year, until the appointment of Sir Stair Agnew KCB. The last person to hold the combined posts was Sir James Patten McDougall KCB, in office from May 1909 to March 1919.

Originally, this was the supervision of birth, death and marriage registration. It was expanded to include the conduct of the 1861 Census and all subsequent ones (working closely with the Registrar General to ensure consistency) and other statistical functions.

In 1920 the Registrar General (Scotland) Act 1920 was passed which provided for the appointment by the Secretary of State for Scotland a whole-time Registrar General, Dr James Craufurd Dunlop, (previously Medical Superintendent of Statistics) was appointed.

On the formation of National Records of Scotland, the positions of Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland were initially kept separate, but on the retirement of Duncan Macniven in August 2011, George Mackenzie was appointed Registrar General in addition to his existing role as Keeper."

-- Source

Wikipedia Url: [Web Link]

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