Facts and Figures

  • These new records comprise 392,595 wills and testaments, spanning the years 1902 to 1925
  • These records represent the last wishes of 267,548 individuals
  • The records include 9,000 testaments from soldiers who died in World War One
  • Inventories of moveable estate (i.e. savings, cash, furniture or stock) are also included
  • A law change ensured that small estates of under £500 were also recorded, so rich and poor are both included
  • The Wills and Testaments also include records for victims of the Titanic and the Lusitania
  • Famous Scots included in these records: Andrew Carnegie, Lord Kelvin, Nicol Smith, Elise Maud, Sir John Murray, Grace Cadell, Keir Hardie, William McGonagall(?), Donald Stewart (Head Gamekeeper to Queen Victoria at Balmoral), et al…
  • The busiest court where testaments were recorded was Edinburgh (44,547), and the quietest was Nairn (666)
  • 1919 was the busiest year, with 16,059 individual entries recorded (this was due to the Spanish Flu epidemic and the continued registering of deaths from World War One)
  • 1903 was the quietest year - 8,672 entries were recorded in that year
  • Scotland's population increased from 4,472,103 in 1901 to 4,893,032 in 1925
  • The scanning/digitisation of the wills and testaments has taken three years to complete, with the project starting in 2009
  • The total number of wills and testaments now available on the ScotlandsPeople website is just under 1 million (and over 2 million images)