Evie & Rendall, Orkney, Scotland GenealogyEdit This Page

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Parish #16

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



EVIE and RENDALL, a parish, in the county of Orkney; containing the island of Gairsay, 18 miles (N. W. by N.) from Kirkwall. These two ancient parishes, which appear to have been united since the time of the Reformation, are situated on the mainland of the Orkney Isles. There was originally a church in each of the united districts, but, both falling into decay towards the close of the last century, one church was erected in a centrical situation in 1799. It is a neat structure containing 498 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and Independents.[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 Evie & Rendall as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
6393843 (2 fiche)
6086634 (2 fiche)

The 1901 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, 1841-1901, 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: 1725-1854 0919499 item 2
Marriages: 1725-1854 0919499 item 2
Deaths: 1816-1836 0919499 item 2


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: The record is incomplete for 1756–1757. It is also irregular and incomplete for 1801–1819.
Marriages: There are no entries for 1756–1759 and for March 1802–December 1813.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b
Note: Until 1802 the two parishes were separate. The pre–1802 registers of Rendall were destroyed when the house in which they were kept burned. All records before 1802 are from Evie parish.

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:

Minutes 1725–1756, 1830–1931
Scroll Minutes 1830–1845
Communion Roll 1830–1847, 1850–1867
Stipend Book 1830–1849, 1851–1853
Note: Available on Film at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1088.

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.

Evie and Rendall Free Church

The minister and a great majority of the people in the united parishes of Evie and Rendall, "came out" in 1843. The churches at Evie and Rendall were built in 1844, the manse in 1846, the school at Evie in 1847, and the school at Rendall in 1848. A new church at Evie was erected in 1886, and Costa District Hall in 1894. The district suffered much from emigration. During a revival in 1898, 100 persons publicly professed conversion and 32 young communicants were added to the roll.
Membership: 1848, 407; 1900, 294.
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.

Minutes 1843–1931
Deacons' Court Minutes 1847–1931
Other Post–1855 Records
Note: Available on Film at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1092.

Rendall Congregational Church

In 1823 a church was formed in Rendall through the labors of George Robertson of Kirkwall. It was linked with the congregation in Harray. James Russell became the first regular pastor in 1835. The church ceased in 1882, on the removal of its pastor, Alexander Whyte. The church building was purchased by the United Presbyterian Church in 1883. A total of five pastors served this congregation between 1835 and 1882.
Sources: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960, Family History History British Book 941 K2es; and The Scottish Congregational Ministry, 1794–1993, by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton, pub. 1993 Family History Library British Book 941 K2mwd. More details may be given in the sources.

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

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

Evie & Rendall was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Orkney & Shetland until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Kkirkwall. 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 Orkney and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Orkney & Shetland.

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

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 8 August 2014.

Return to Orkney parish list.


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  • This page was last modified on 2 July 2015, at 23:29.
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