On January 10th, I ordered a marriage extract from the Scotland’s People website. It came in yesterday. So it took less time and money for a record from Scotland then it did for a record from New Jersey. Okay, a record from New Jersey two years ago. I haven’t ordered one recently to see if my luck holds up. I have one ready to go though, so this will be a good test.
On the left, we have the scanned copy that I ordered from Scotland’s People on January 10th. It shows on the bottom that they printed out this page on the 21st of January. The postmark on the envelope reads the 23rd of January. I received it on the 1 February. So that means it takes about 11 days to process the request, 2 days for them to then send it out, and finally about 9 days for it to go across the pond and end up in Southern Maryland.
The differences in the images are minor. As you can see, the one on the left (mailed version) has the brightness and contrast up higher. It gives it the more xerox-y look. Sometimes it makes the fading ink easier to read, but not all the time. What is harder to tell in the pictures above is that the mailed version is blown up a little bit. I know it seems silly to say, since computer files can be manipulated, however the text is bigger without the pixelation that happens to the one on the right when I try to re-size it. The digital file is one resolution and that’s it. If you make any changes, you’re just compressing and stretching that resolution. I’m unsure if the Records Office in Scotland makes a copy of the original or prints out a digital copy from the computer. This could be the difference I’m seeing. By viewing the header on the digital copy, I do know that the images you view on Scotland’s People are the microfilms done by the Genealogical Society of Utah.
The big difference between these two is that the mailed version comes on watermarked paper with a raised seal. In the big scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal, however, I like to have “official” records for my direct line. That’s just a personal preference for me. I think the total cost of the record on the left was $19.15. The estimated cost of the record on the right (converting from pounds to dollar and then dividing the cost of the credits) is $1.95. So that’s quite a big difference, but just know that you have to buy at least 30 credits on Scotland’s People. That comes out to about $11.08 in American dollars, then I estimate about a $0.50 foreign transaction fee. Also be aware that it takes 5 credits to view an image on Scotland’s People and 1 credit to view a page of search results.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Family Search or Scotland’s People (I wish, a genea-job would be so much fun.). I was not compensated for this article, I don’t expect compensation for this article. I like finding work arounds to my home bound problem. I just got off the treadmill, and went Scotland record searching. The internet is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?