Search billions of records on

FreeCEN Scotland

Putting 19th century Scottish census transcriptions online
Scottish thistle FreeCEN logo

The project

Welcome to the the Scotland Free Census Project. This project’s aim is to provide a “free-to-view” online searchable database of the 19th century Scottish census returns. It is part of the larger UK Free Census Project (FreeCEN).

For more information on the project and how to get involved, please read the project questions and answers.

Records online

More than five and a half million Scottish Census records are now available for searching! Uploaded returns can be searched in the UK FreeCEN database. If you need help searching the database, or would like more information on the Scottish transcriptions, please read Michelle Jeffery’s database search hints.

For information on a specific county, please select the relevant county home page in the table below or email the County Coordinator.

Volunteers needed

If you are not yet involved, why not think about volunteering to become a transcriber, or even a County Coordinator? We need more volunteers now to help keep this project moving forward. If you are interested, please contact one of the County Coordinators listed in the table below or one of the Scotland Coordinators, Rena Mitchell and David Robertson. We provide full support for all our volunteers. In addition, there is a page of resources for transcribers and checkers, plus a corresponding page of resources for coordinators.

Please keep in mind that most of our County Coordinators also work full time and have personal priorities. We try to answer immediately but that isn't always possible. Please give us a week or so to answer. If we don't answer in that time, please contact one of the Scotland Coordinators (see above) for assistance.

We would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all the people who have made the Scotland Free Census Project a success.

Scotland project progress

Transcription status by county and year, with coordinator email addresses and county websites.
Completed years are marked  thus , external links with a 
County Current coordinator 1841 Pop.
Records online
1841 1851 1861 1871 Later years
Totals 2,479,026 2,211,205 622,399 303,806 50,092
Scotland (approx.) 2,620,200 2,888,700 3,062,300 3,360,000
94.6% 76.5% 20.3% 9.0%
Total records online = 5,666,528
Aberdeen Rena Mitchell 192,400 194,159 213,844 221,816 126,451 X
Angus Rena Mitchell 170,500 171,833 52,417 X X X
Argyll Jim Baird 97,400 101,339 5,232 0 0 X
Ayr Bill McKinlay 164,400 168,142 189,045 X X X
Banff Susan Snowdon 49,700 46,399 50,906 56,003 X X
Berwick Suzy Cairns 34,400 0 X X X X
Bute Bill McKinlay 15,696 15,696 16,538 16,141 16,753 X
Caithness Betty Martin 36,300 37,285 40,025 42,122 40,831 1881: 39,029
1891: 11,063
Clackmannan David Robertson 19,200 17,794 X X X
Dumfries Nicky Young 72,800 72,960 X 75,757 X X
Dunbarton Nicky Young 44,300 45,794 46,690 X X X
East Lothian Inactive 35,838 35,838 36,301 37,588 X X
Fife Nicky Young 140,100 [1] 105,423 154,412 X X X
Inverness Susan Snowdon 97,800 93,201 86,035 X X X
Kincardine Rena Mitchell 33,100 33,515 34,943 X X X
Kinross David Robertson 8,800 9,557 0 0 0 X
Kirkcudbright Kenny Mair & Kathy Litwin 41,100 41,000 X X X X
Lanarkshire Margaret Singleton 427,000 427,251 532,054 X X X
Midlothian Inactive 225,500 225,256 258,328 X X X
Moray Rena Mitchell 35,000 37,134 41,074 44,239 44,521 X
Nairn Rena Mitchell 9,200 7,173 8,018 8,335 8,353 X
Orkney Paul Hercus 30,500 30,488 31,297 X X X
Peebles Nicky Young 10,500 10,542 10,783 11,311 12,191 X
Perth Nicky Young 137,500 94,481 64,767 X X X
Renfrew Jim Baird 155,100 135,666 121,489 0 0 X
Ross & Cromarty Fiona Downie 78,700 79,811 15,501 X X X
Roxburgh Janis Hall 46,000 45,434 51,569 53,730 X X
Selkirk Joan Gerhard 8,000 8,125 9,781 10,407 14,334 X
Shetland Paul Hercus 30,600 30,170 X X X X
Stirling Nicky Young 82,100 79,633 83,621 X X X
Sutherland Grant Forsyth 24,800 11,240 12,950 X X X
West Lothian Inactive 26,900 27,428 X X X X
Wigtown Rena Mitchell 39,200 39,219 43,585 41,864 38,403 X
Scottish Shipping Michelle Jeffery With parish Destroyed 3,086 1,969 X


  1. In 1841 a small ferryboat sank in the Forth estuary, on its way to Edinburgh, and returns for fourteen Fife parishes were lost. These were Abdie, Auchtermuchty, Balmerino, Ceres, Collessie, Creich, Cults, Cupar, Dairsie, Dunbog, Kinghorn, Kinglassie, Kirkcaldy and Leslie. In addition, some parishes (Arngask, Burntisland and Kennoway) are known to have missing books.
  2. A 0 (zero) in one of the “Records online” columns means that year has been started for that county.
  3. An X in any cell in the table indicates that we at FreeCEN Scotland do not at present hold data images for the census in that county for that year. As we are currently unable to obtain any further images, it seems unlikely that these records will become available through FreeCEN for the foreseeable future.