Frequently Asked Questions

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The Mitchell Library North Street Glasgow G3 7DN
0141 287 2910
Fax: 0141 226 8452

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about our collections please don't hesitate to contact us. However, these frequently asked questions may be of assistance with your query:

Do you hold records of births, marriages and deaths?

No.  These are held by the General Register Office for Scotland.  Some of these records can be searched online at ScotlandsPeople  Alternatively, copies of the records are available at the Genealogy Centre, 22 Park Circus, Glasgow.  The Old Parochial Registers, which contain birth, marriage and death material prior to 1855, are available on microfilm in the Family History Centre on level 3 of the Mitchell.

Do you hold census records?

Microfilm copies of the Census are available in the Family History Centre on level 3 of the Mitchell.

Do you hold burial records?

Very few.  A comprehensive list of burial records for Glasgow can be found in "Burial Grounds in Glasgow: A Brief Guide for Genealogists" (Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society, 1997).  The Family History resources in Special Collections, located on Level 5 of The Mitchell, include microfilm copies of some burial registers for Glasgow.  This is not a comprehensive set; for information about holdings you should contact Special Collections on 0141 287 2988 or you can email
The Archives holds lists of lairholders from 1870 for the following cemeteries:
  • Gorbals, Old Rutherglen Road
  • St Andrew's Episcopal Church, Greendyke Street
  • Anderson Old, Heddle Place
  • Calton, Abercromby Street
  • St Mark's Churchyard, Cheapside Street
  • North Street
  • Wellington Street Church Crypt
  • St Mary's Calton Roman Catholic Churchyard, Abercromby Street
Additional records are held by Archives for the following cemeteries:
St Andrew's Episcopal Church, burial register 1798-1972 (indexed)
  • Anderson Old, burial register 1840-92
  • Ramshorn Churchyard, Ingram Street, lairholders list 1849-63 
  • Bridgeton, Tullis Street, lairholders list 1876
  • Glasgow Necropolis, Wishart Street, burial register 1832-date 
  • Sighthill Cemetery, 225 Springburn Road, lairholders list 1841-68

I have been asked to provide proof of my tenancy. 

Do you hold records that can help me?

Voters and Valuation Rolls can be used for this purpose.  For further information, please consult our section Voters and Valuation Rolls

I have been asked to provide a copy of my academic record.  Would the Archives hold such information?

The Archives hold admissions registers from various schools in Glasgow and the surrounding area.  These admissions registers include the name of the pupil, address, the name of the guardian, date of birth and the dates on which they began and left school.  The registers do not include results of examinations.  If you specifically require this information, please contact the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

My ancestor was in a poorhouse.  Do you hold poorhouse records?

In the main, few poorhouse records have survived.  However the Archives do hold the Poor Relief Applications from 1851 onwards and if your ancestor spent time in a poorhouse, there will be a Poor Relief application relating to them. 
Because of the sensitive information they contain, these applications are closed for 75 years (children's applications are closed for 100 years).  A database for applications from 1851 to 1920 is available in the search room and can be searched by surname.  Searches can also be conducted by our staff for a set fee.  

Do you hold building plans and warrants for areas outwith the city of Glasgow?

Yes, though Glasgow is the only area for which a complete set from 1885 survives.  For details of building plans and warrants that we hold, please refer to our section Architectural Plans

My ancestor was a policeman.  Do you hold any information relating to him?

The Archives hold the surviving historical records of Strathclyde Police.  A database has been compiled of police personnel records from 1832 to 1927.  This database is available for use in the search room.  Alternatively our staff can search the database on your behalf. 

I am getting married and require proof of my baptism.  Where should I go?

Church of Scotland records for Glasgow and the surrounding area are available from the Archives.  Some baptismal registers survive and we can provide you with a copy of your entry.  However the Archives do not hold baptismal certificates.  We also hold church records for other denominations.  Please consult our section Church Archives for further details.

Will Archives staff carry out research on my behalf?

The Archives receive a huge number of enquiries each year and as a result, we can only spend a limited amount of time on each enquiry. 
It may prove more cost effective to employ a record agent if you are unable to conduct the research personally.  The Archives can provide you with a list of individuals, though we can not accept responsibility for the quality of any work they may carry out on your behalf.

Do the Archives charge for the services they provide?

Access to the Archives is free.  The only exception to this is the production fee we charge commercial users when consulting Building Control plans and warrants.
However, there are fees for some additional services.  Please refer to sections Archives Charges.

I would like to research my family tree.  How do I get started?

Although the Archives hold records of interest to family historians, we are not the best place to start your research.  In the first instance you should gain as much information as possible from your own relatives. 
The second port of call should be the General Register Office for Scotland or the Genealogy Centre at 22 Park Circus, Glasgow, who hold the records of births, marriages and deaths in Scotland.  This will enable you to create a framework of information on which to base the rest of your research.  Only after you have done this do we suggest you visit the Archives.  Please refer to our section Archives for Family History which outlines the relevant sources that we hold.  

I am searching for an individual, who I believe is still alive, with whom I have lost contact.  How can I find this person?

The Archives do not hold any records that can help you in your search.  Electoral rolls contain personal information, but these are arranged according to address rather than personal name.  You may wish to visit the websites or Friends Reunited which can both be searched using personal names.

I am building a model of a ship.  Would the Archives hold relevant photographs and plans?

The Archives have photographs and plans of sea-faring vessels but generally, only of those built on the River Clyde.  They are arranged according to shipbuilding yard, so it is useful if you know who built the ship before you contact us.  Please refer to the section Shipbuilding Archives for further information.  Glasgow University Archives also hold shipbuilding records.

I was adopted/fostered/placed in care as a child.  Do you have any records relating to my case?

Yes, we have case files for all areas formerly part of Strathclyde Region.  However, all enquiries must be directed to your local Social Work Department in the first instance.  We can not respond to enquiries that come direct to the Archives.

My ancestors emigrated from Glasgow.  Do the Archives hold information relating to them, in particular, passenger lists?

In general, emigration records tend to be held by the country in which the emigrant arrived in rather than the country of departure.   As a result, the Archives hold only two sets of passenger lists:  lists for ships belonging to P Henderson & Co. sailing from the Clyde to New Zealand, September 1871 - October 1880 (TD35) and copies of lists from Tasmania Record Office for voyages from Glasgow to Australia, 1855 and 1857 (TD292). 
After 1878 most passenger lists were deposited with the Board of Trade by the  shipping lines.  These are now held by The National Archives in London. 
More information on passenger lists can be found at the Knowledge Base on the Scottish Archive Network website. 
Among the Clyde Port Authority records, which are deposited with the Archives, are shipping registers detailing all ships leaving and entering Clyde ports between 1819 and 1967.  However, these do not contain information on passengers.

I am trying to trace the ownership of a building/plot of land.  Do you have any records that can help me?

Prior to 1988, the rateable value and owners of commercial and domestic property were published in the Valuation Rolls.  After 1988, only commercial properties were listed.  For further information, please refer to the section, Voters and Valuation Rolls.
For ownership details of plots of land without buildings and domestic property post-1988, enquiries should be referred to the Registers of Scotland.
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