The New ScotlandsPeople

The other day, when I was wanting to do some research for Charles Gordon and Matilda Stewart, the ScotlandsPeople website was down, due to updating to the New ScotlandsPeople.  Today, I decided to see if the website was back up and running, and found that it was.

The website has changed its look to a newer format.


On the top right, is a link to Register or Login.  By clicking this link, the Login box opened.

I signed in with my old Username and password, and it came up with the email address linked to my existing  ScotlandsPeople account, and a prompt to change my password.  I decided to use my previous password and, since my old password was all upper case, and the new password needed at least one lowercase letter, I added on a number and a lowercase to my old password – this would make the new password easier for me to remember, as well as meeting the new criteria.

I had logged in because I wanted to see if I could find the baptism record for either Charles Gordon (born about 1840), or Margaret Nicol Gordon (born about 1838), or if I could find that family on the 1841 census.

On the main ScotlandsPeople page, there is section to do a general search for a person.


I therefore entered the surname Gordon, forename Charles, and the time period between 1839 and 1842.

This then brought up a page with the number of results on the Statutory Registers, Church Registers, Census Returns, Valuation Rolls, and Legal Records.

From what I had found for the family, I knew that they were Presbyterian, not Catholic, so I chose to view the results from the Old parish registers – Births.


Previously, in order to view these results, you would have needed to use 1 credit per page of results.  This is now free – you only have to use credits to view the images.  Previously, it cost 5 credits to view an image – this has now gone up to 6 credits.

None of these entries seemed to fit, so I decided to find a baptism for Margaret.  There were 76 results in the Old Parish Register baptisms, so I added her father’s name, Charles, to the search request.


This reduced the results to only 2 entries:


There had been a Charles Gordon born at Peterhead, so I decided to view the baptism records, to see if they provided any further details. This meant buying some credits.  Previously, you could only buy 30 credits at a time, there was now the option to buy 40 credits as well

After clicking on one of the Buy Credits buttons, the item is then added to the Shopping basket. This is different to the old ScotlandsPeople website, which took you straight to the payment screen. I clicked on the Buy Credits button twice, before I realized that there was now a shopping basket.


You then click on the Shopping Basket to view the items in the Basket, and to Checkout. It was when I went to the Checkout page that I realized my address and phone numbers were out of date, so I updated these.

Once I had paid for the credits, I went back in to view the baptism entry for Margaret which showed:

1839 Novr 17th Charles Gordon shoemaker in Peterhead had a daughter born 2nd Nov. baptized and named Margaret before the congregation of the East church.

Unfortunately, there was not enough information in this record to know if this was the entry for our Margaret.  I decided not to bother trying the baptism for Charles, since it was unlikely to provide any additional information.

I then decided to see if I could find a Charles Gordon at Peterhead on the 1841 census, to see if the census record might help me determine if these baptism entries were for my family.

Instead of doing a general person search, I scrolled down the main page to the Search for People box.  The Advanced Search allows you to choose the type of record, so I chose Census Returns, then the year 1841, the surname Gordon, forename Charles.  I left the other details the gender and age range blank, chose the county Aberdeen, and the district Peterhead.

There was one result – a Charles Gordon age 25. I then selected to View Image. Unfortunately, this household was Charles Gordon 25, Jane age 25, Margaret age 1, Alexander Daniel age 20, and Jane Mackie age 65. This didn’t appear to be for our family.

Since I had just spent 12 credits, and had not found the right family, I decided to abandon my search for the family – at least for now.