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Contents

Church Records: Church of Scotland

Church records are the christenings or baptisms, marriages, and burials recorded in registers by church officials at the time of an event. Marriage records usually give only the names of the bride and groom and the date and place of marriage. Residences and the husband's occupation may be given.  A parish was the basic church unit.

Accessing the records

For more information about Church of Scotland records and how to access them, click here.

Information about extant parish records for a particular parish can be found in the Wiki on that parish's information page. In the search field above and to the left, type in the name of the parish and click on Search.

Civil Registration: Birth Certificate

Civil registration is the government registration of births, marriages, and deaths beginning 1 January 1855. In these records you may find a child's name, sex, birth date and place, father's name and occupation, mother's name and maiden name, parents' marriage date and place (from 1861), and the name, residence, and relationship of a person present at the birth. Civil registration birth records cover most of the population and are indexed countrywide. Use the general index to identify and obtain a copy of a birth certificate.

Read more about civil registration records.

Civil Registration: Death Certificate

Civil registration is the government registration of births, marriages, and deaths beginning 1 January 1855. In these records you may find the name of the deceased; his or her cause of death, death date and place, rank or profession, marital status, sex, age, spouse's name, father's name and rank or profession, and mother's name and maiden name; and the signature, relationship, and residence of the informant. Civil registration death records cover most of the population and are indexed countrywide. Use the general index to identify and obtain a copy of a death certificate.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population. Government census records were taken every ten years starting in 1841. The 1841 through 1891 censuses are currently available. They are especially valuable because they list the majority of the population and are available at many repositories. In these records you may find names of the members of a household, and each person's age, gender, marital status, relationship to the head of the household, occupation, address, and place of birth. Census records can provide clues that may lead you to other records.

Read more about census records.

Information about census records for a particular parish can be found in the Wiki on that parish's information page. In the search field above and to the left, type in the name of the parish and click on Search.

Church records: Nonconformist churches

Anyone who did not adhere to the teachings of the Established Church of Scotland was considered a nonconformist or a dissenter. Dissenters could also include people who belonged to religious organizations that broke from the Established church. Dissenter groups kept separate records. In these records you may find baptisms, marriages, minutes of meetings, communion rolls, and other items of value.

Information about extant nonconformist church records for a particular parish can be found in the Wiki on that parish's information page. In the search field above and to the left, type in the name of the parish and click on Search.

Church records: Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session is the lowest ecclesiastical court of the Presbyterian Church, held on the parish level. It consists of the minister and a number of elders of the parish. The records deal with the business and organization of the parish and discipline of members. They may include lists of communicants, accounts of money paid to the poor, testimonials of persons moving from one parish to another, and details about illegitimate births and alleged fathers. Christening and marriage information is sometimes included.

Information about extant Kirk session records for a particular parish can be found in the Wiki on that parish's information page. In the search field above and to the left, type in the name of the parish and click on Search.


 

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