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Parish #275

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Brechin. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.

Contents

History

BRECHIN, a burgh, market-town, and parish, in the county of Forfar, 8 miles (W. by N.) from Montrose, and 66 (N. N. E.) from Edinburgh; containing the village of Trinity-Muir. This place derives its name, of Gaelic origin, from its situation on an acclivity rising from the banks of the river South Esk; it is of very considerable antiquity, and was formerly the seat of a diocese, the cathedral of which is now the church of the parish. The church is the nave of the ancient cathedral, and is situated nearly in the centre of the parish; it is in good repair, and adapted for a congregation of 1500 persons. A church containing 864 sittings, was erected by an act of the General Assembly, in 1836, for a district of the parish called East-Church. Since the recent secession from the Church of Scotland, however, the church has ceased to be used in connexion with the Establishment; and no quoad sacra parish now exists. Places of worship have been built at different times for members of the Free Church and the United Secession, Antiburghers, and members of the Relief Church and an Episcopal chapel.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Brechin, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Number Surname Indexes
1841     1042672 fiche 6203961 (set of 4)
1851 1042217 none
1861 0103787 none
1871 0103939 none
1881 0203477 fiche 6086580 (set of 12)
1891 0208701 none

The 1901 and 1911 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1911, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the library.

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Record Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1612-1753 0993411
1753-1819 0993412
1819-1854 0993413
Marriages: 1700-1819 0993412
1819-1854 0993413
Deaths: No entries none

 Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index available on computers at the Family History Library and family history centers.  The records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
Births: Birth records are blank, except for one entry in 1615, December 1613–November 1620. There is only one entry August 1622–January 1624. There are only twelve entries October 1728–June 1739. The first page of volume one, 1612–1671, contains entries of illegitimate births 1649–1670.
Marriages: Marriage records are blank April 1704–June 1720, April 1724–April 1727, May 1728–April 1743, and July 1753–December 1758, from which date until 1783 there is only a record of persons contracted. Lower portion of the pages between 1700 and 1704 have been destroyed by dampness, and entries are not legible; also the lower portion of the page commencing April 1727 is torn off. See also the Kirk session records below.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b

Established Church─Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Records—
Family History Library Film Number
Banns, Marriage and Testificates 0994088 item 8
of Marriages 1615–1698 Q941 A1 No. 2
Other:
Minutes: 1838–1937
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/41

Nonconformist Church Records

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union List.

General Statement:

Brechin Associate Session, later United Presbyterian Church

History─
In 1733 several parishioners connected themselves with the Seceders. At the Breach in 1747, those who formed the City Road Congregation adhered to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod, but it was not until 1765 that they applied for supply of sermon which was granted. In September 1854 the Free Church congregation of South Port, Brechin, united with that of City Road.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Records─
Session and Managers' Minutes 1764–1914
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/440


Maison Dieu Lane United Presbyterian Church

History─
The history of this congregation is identified with that of the City Road Brechin, until the Breach, 1747, when the representatives of the parties forming it, adhered to the Associate Burgher when the other Seceders in the district adhered to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod. They formed themselves into a society for prayer and mutual edification. In 1770 they applied for regular supply of sermon, which was granted, but soon after was discontinued. In 1797 they again applied for supply of sermon, which was granted. Their first church was built in1802 and the second in 1849.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Records─
Various Minutes 1800–1911
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/590


Brechin Relief Session Church, later High Street United Presbyterian Church

History─
This congregation originated partly in the want of accommodation in the Established Church and partly in the growing attachment of many of its members to the principles of dissent. They applied for supply of sermon December 1829. The place of worship was built about 1730 for an Episcopal congregation and was almost wholly rebuilt in 1746. It was enlarged in 1835.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Records—
Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms 1832–18620889483 X
Marriages 1834–1856 0889483 X
Note: The X means records have been extracted.
Other:
Session Minutes 1832–1963
Manager’s Minutes 1830–1963
Communion Rolls 1847–1953
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/439


Brechin East Free Church

History—
The minister and congregation of this Church Extension charge "came out" in 1843. They continued in possession of their church until 1855 when the Established Church Presbytery redeemed a bond on the property and claimed the building. A new church was erected in 1856.
Membership: 1848, 560; 1900, 576.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Records—
There are no known pre-1855 records.


Brechin South Free Church

History—
The Secession congregation in South Port joined the Free Church in 1852, along with their Minister. On his translation to another charge in 1854, the congregation was suppressed.
Membership: No available statistics.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vol., pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.


Brechin West Free Church

History—
Both ministers of the parish of Brechin "came out" in 1843, taking with them a large portion of the congregation. They worshipped in the Original Secession church on Port Street until their church was opened in 1844.
Membership: 1848, 875; 1900, 490.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Records—
Various Minutes 1843–1948
Communion Rolls 1844–1850
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/623


Brechin Evangelical Union Church

History—
While a Congregational preaching station existed in Brechin from 1831 to 1862, and as a church from 1839 to 1849, a new church was formed in 1867 in connection with the Evangelical Union. It met first in Temperance Hall and then in the New City Hall, then a church building was opened in 1888. The church closed in 1920 when the congregation amalgamated with the Bank Street United Free Church in Brechin.
Sources: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott 1960, FHL 941 K2es; and The Scottish Congregational Ministry, 1794–1993, by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton 1993, Family History Library 941 K2mwd. Sources include names of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The United Reformed Church Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX
Scotland


Brechin Methodist Society

History—
A society was formed here and a chapel built in 1798, but it did not survive. The date it closed is not known but it was likely well before 1844.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
Methodist Archives and Research Centre
John Rylands University Library of Manchester
150 Deansgate
Manchester M3 3EH
England


Brechin Episcopalian Church

History—
In 1661, the Rescissory Act deposed Presbyterianism in Scotland and re–established Episcopacy. A Bishop was consecrated at Brechin, which was an ancient Anglican See, and Episcopacy was strong in this part of Scotland. However, after the Presbyterian Revolution, and particularly after the 1715 and 1745 rebellions, members of the Episcopalian church were greatly persecuted and membership dwindled. From the mid 19th century, membership began to recover.
Sources: Sources for Scottish Genealogy and Family History, by D.J. Steel 1970, Family History Library Ref. 942 V26ste vol. 12, pp 196–201 and 244–248; also The Scottish Episcopal Church Year Book and Directory for 1965–1966, Family History Library 941 E4e.
Records—
It is not known if pre-1855 registers exist. For more information write to the church at:
St. Andrew’s Rectory
39 Church Street
Brechin
Angus, DD9 6HB
Scotland


Brechin Catholic Church

History—
In 1759, a missionary working from Stobhall, Perthshire was serving members in Brechin, but no congregation existed. When a congregation was formed in 1840, it was served from Arbroath. See that parish for records.

Civil Registration Records

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.
See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records

Brechin was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Brechin until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dundee. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk . You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Angus and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Brechin.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Angus. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Angus and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 30 May 2014.


Return to Angus parish list.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 4 February 2015, at 18:52.
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