Welcome to Scottish Genealogy Tips And Tidbits

A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Family History Month - Lair Records

Few working people in Scotland could afford a headstone. And while there are a number of really good places to get monumental inscriptions, it may not be beneficial in your research if your ancestors couldn't, in fact, afford a headstone. This is where cemetery or lair records become important. A lair is essentially a plot. Often these lairs would hold between 6 & 12 people. 

Lair records provide valuable information such as the owner’s name and address, date of purchase, names and dates of the deceased, and the relationship to the owner. In addition to the name of the deceased and the name of the lair owner. you might also find additional charges for things like extra depth, carriage, dressing the lair, purchasing a new lair rather than opening an existing one and certificate fees. 

In 1925 responsibility for the maintenance of Church graveyards was transferred to local authorities (or councils) in Scotland and from then burial records were no longer the responsibility of the Church, so in order to access the lair records, you would need to contact  the local crematorium or local council archives where your ancestors was buried. 


  1. Are there likely to be Lair Records pre 1925? Particularly for parishes like Paisley where the parish records don't include burials?

  2. Yes! I received the lair records for my ancestors that died in the mid 1850s