Coverage - Sheriff Court Paternity Case Index

We would like to begin this section by telling you about our wonderful volunteer Margaret Hamilton! Margaret has been working tirelessly to index these valuable records. We have a large number of clients who tell us that these records have helped them break down a brick wall that they have had for years. Not only do these records help you trace your Scottish genealogy they also help you understand your ancestors and can lead to the discovery of precious items such as long lost love letters! (See our Learning Zone to find out more about that!) We would also like to thank Scottish genealogist Kirsty Wilkinson who has kindly supplied details of a number of court processes from several Scottish sheriff courts.

This record set contains paternity cases (known as "actions of affiliation and aliment") heard before the Sheriff Courts. We have also included a few other cases of genealogical interest, such as aliment cases where no children were involved (for example when a wife was deserted by her husband), and also 'breach of promise' cases. The main bulk of the data has been indexed from the 'Registers of Extract Decrees', which for most Sheriff Courts are complete from about 1830 onwards. Not all cases resulted in an extracted decree, so we have also gradually begun indexing cases found in the processes, or original case papers, for some Sheriff Courts. For privacy reasons, our index does not go beyond the year 1917. The entries for 1918 will be added in 2018, and years to follow will be added annually thereafter. The database currently contains 20,309 entries.

Registers of Extract Decrees

Completely indexed registers:

Aberdeen 1834-1837, 1875 (2 cases only), 1903-1917
Airdrie 1846-1917
Dumfries 1830-1917
Duns 1830-1917
Greenock 1874-1877, 1881-1917
Haddington 1829-1917
Hamilton 1845-1917
Hawick 1894-1917
Leith 1831-1850, 1887-1917
Jedburgh 1748-1753, 1831-1892
Kirkcudbright 1748-1765, 1830-1917 (excluding the years 1877-78, 1890-91 and 1907-09 which are missing from the original register)
Lanark 1842-1917
Linlithgow 1860-1917
Paisley 1830-1917
Peebles 1837-1917
Selkirk 1751-1757, 1782-1793 and 1830-1917
Stranraer 1887-1917
Wigtown 1830-1917

Indexing in progress (showing years indexed so far):

Ayr 1837-1852
Edinburgh 1830-1893

Click here to begin searching the Sheriff Court Paternity Case Index.

Processes

Completely indexed series:

Stranraer 1849-1916.

Indexing in progress (showing approximate years covered so far):

Aberdeen 1752, 1761-62, 1802, 1811, 1817, 1820-22, 1830, 1900-1916
Airdrie 1857-61
Dumfries 1834-35, 1844-46, 1850-53
Edinburgh 1788, 1808-09, 1819, 1829-1860
Haddington 1840-1854
Jedburgh 1822-1916
Kirkcudbright 1850-1854
Wigtown 1837-1847

Click here to begin searching the Sheriff Court Paternity Case Index.