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The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure

Department of Geography and Faculty of History


Determining the Demography of Victorian Scotland through Record Linkage

Determining the Demography of Victorian Scotland through Record Linkage

ESRC funded project: award no. RES-000-23-0128.

Special permission was granted by the General Register Office, Edinburgh, for access to the civil registers of births, marriages and deaths.

This project aims to extend knowledge of late nineteenth century Scottish, and hence British, demography. Four parallel longitudinal data sets will be produced by linking individuals in the decennial censuses of 1861-1901 with the births, deaths and marriages from civil registers for the lowland town of Kilmarnock, the Hebridean Island of Skye, and the rural parishes of Torthorwald and Rothiemay, places with contrasting economic and social structures and physical environments. The data source will be rich in information relating to the social, occupational, household, and demographic characteristics of individuals, who can also be situated within their physical environment. The resulting large scale data sets will allow greater accuracy and detail in the multivariate analysis of mortality, fertility, nuptiality and migration using hazard and multi-level modelling techniques. The analyses will primarily focus on the effects of different physical environments and socio-economic structures on the incidence, timing and spatial patterns of demographic events. The results will illuminate mechanisms of change and pathways of influence and causation in patterns of fertility, mortality, nuptiality, and migration. These can then be examined in conjunction with data from other parts of Scotland, the British Isles, and further afield to comment on theories of causation and change.