Moray Registration Offices - Ancestry Research

Tracing Your Roots In Moray

In Scotland compulsory civil registration of births, deaths and marriages commenced on 1 January 1855. Prior to 1855, the recording of births and marriages was largely in the hands of the Church of Scotland Clerks. There are no Parish Records available for Deaths. In 19th century Scotland over a third of the population were not members of the Church of Scotland, but belonged to other churches. Consequently the births and marriages of many people may not have been recorded.

Tracing back to 1855 can be reasonably straightforward and it will be possible to obtain an extract of an entry from the birth, death or marriage registers.

Copy Certificates

Please view information on how to apply for a copy certificate for a birth, marriage or death

How and Where to Start

Start with your own birth certificate and work backwards in time using such details as full name, date and place of birth, death or marriage. It may be of some use to check with older members of the family if possible, to clarify or help with names, dates, places, etc. Once on track you often find that tracing your line of descent back to 1855 is relatively simple.

Scottish certificates generally give more information than English ones, e.g. Death certificates name the parents of the deceased, and marriage certificates name mothers as well as father of the couple.

Registration Offices

The Registration office in  Elgin, has experienced, friendly staff who will gladly assist you in your search for your ancestors. The records they have available are Elgin, Buckie, Forres, Keith and Upper Speyside.


There are two types of Search:

1. A particular search made by a Registrar for a specified entry.

2. A general search means a search (in the indexes only) over any period of years for any number of entries made by any person with the permission of the Registrar.

Searches can be carried out using ScotlandsPeople for a fee of £5.00 per 15 minutes with the assistance of a registrar.

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Fees Payable

Particular Search in the record books (one event only) is £5.00 flat rate
General Search - £15.00 per hour flat rate
Extract if search fee paid: £10.00 from this years index and £15.00 if out with year of registration
Computer Searches a- £20 per hour charged per15 mins (ie 30 mins = £10)

National Records of Scotland

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