I’ve never subscribed to scotlandspeople.gov.uk. I find the fees too expensive. Having to pay to view searches is just profiteering – not helpful at all.

Anyway, I found out about some free credits, valid until the end of April.  As I will be away, I decided to use the credits today.  It was only 20 free credits – not much to do anything with.

I hadn’t realised that my Java wasn’t up to date, so I wasted 2 credits by trying to view something which wouldn’t display because Java was out of date.  However, after installing the latest version, I couldn’t get back to the display of the document without “paying” another 2 credits.  Fuck that.  This left with with a shortfall which I could’ve done with later.

I searched for the death of a Sutherland without result, before realising that I’d searched the wrong collection.  There only seemed to be Catholic burials or burials before 1854, neither of which were relevant.  Also, it seemed you had to know the parish the death was in.  How was I to know?

I turned my attention to census returns.  I searched 1911 census (5 credits to view the document).  I found the right family and noted down the details.  I also tried 1841 census without result, then 1851, 1861 and 1871 census returns.  Unfortunately I wasted 1 credit each time to view results.  I viewed the 1871 census which was stupid because I pretty much had those results from an earlier search on ancestry.com.  At least I was able to view the document instead of just a summary.

I didn’t have enough credits to view anything more so just did searches for the birth of John Sutherland, born 1793.   I wasn’t sure if he was born in Lanarkshire but he was married in Glasgow, so took a shot and limited to Lanarkshire, otherwise fearing too many results for the whole of Scotland.  There were two results, one for 1793 and one for 1795, both born in Glasgow.  I took a screenshot of the results, but I wonder if it’s the first one.  Parents were James Sutherland and Janet Campbell.  How am I to know?  Why isn’t he in the 1841 census so I could check birth place?  I should have looked for him in the 1851 census.

Oh well, credits used up.  I wish I knew someone who had a subscription but I still think it’s unfair to pay to view results.  Why can’t they have the same payment system as ancestry.com?  I’d gladly pay then.