Register of Deeds[edit | edit source]
The Register of Deeds is another type of land record. In the strictest sense of the word, the register of deeds was used to preserve any legal, written agreement. In addition to land transactions, you will find marriage contracts, contracts of partnership, contracts of sale, bonds, and so forth.
If a land transaction was recorded with a deed, you should also find a reference to the transaction in Sasine records.
Before 1532, deeds are scattered through the Notarial Protocol books. In 1532 when the Court of Session was established, the deeds were recorded in the session and the register was called Acta’ Dominorum Concilii et Sessionis. In 1542 it was changed to the Acts and Decreets, which covers up to the year 1581. The registration of deeds began in 1554, but it was not regulated by statute until 1685.
An excellent guide to these records is produced by the National Archives of Scotland and can be found on their website.
National Records of Scotland (NRS)[edit | edit source]
The Register of deeds was kept in three series:
- First series (RD1) - 1552-1659
- Second series (RD2, RD3, RD4) - 1661-1811
- Third series (RD5) - 1812-2006
Minute books (brief extracts of originals) of the Register of deeds are also housed at the NRS:
- First series minute books (RD6) - 1542-1659
- Second series minute books (RD7) - 1661-1811
- Third series minute books (RD8) - 1812-1892
Family History Library (FHL)[edit | edit source]
Although the National Records of Scotland has the original Register of deeds, the FHL has microfilmed and digitized many of the indexes and minute books.
- Minute books, 1542-1772 (all digitized)
- Includes series 1 (1542-1660) and series 2 (1661-1772)
- Includes minute books from Scott, Hay, Dounie, Brown, Dalrymple, Duries, and Mackenzie
- Index of deed & probate writs, 1770-1851 (all digitized)
- Index to register of deeds, 1661-1696 (some digitized and some only available in print or on microfilm)
To find more deed records in the FamilySearch Catalog, search for Scotland and look under the "Scotland - Land and property" heading.
The following FHL reference book also lists film numbers:
Sasines, Services of Heirs, and Deeds Register. (FHL film 6054478)
You will also find deeds recorded in sheriff courts, commissary courts, and burgh records. Many of these have been deposited in the National Records of Scotland. Most are not indexed, so you will have to search them year by year.