Delting, Shetland, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Shetland Gotoarrow.png Delting

Scotland Gotoarrow.png Shetland

Parish #2

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


DELTING, a parish, in the county of Shetland, 25 miles (N. N. W.) from Lerwick; containing the islands of Little Roe and Muckle Roe. This parish, the name of which is said to be of Danish or Norwegian origin, is situated about the centre of the Mainland. There are two churches, that of the south district, which was erected in 1714, and is reckoned the principal, and the north district church, built in 1811; the number of sittings in each is about 560.[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 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 Delting, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


FHL Film Number


Surname Indexes

477622 Item 2

6086700 (2 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on 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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1751-1854 0919486
Marriages: 1751-1854 0919486
Deaths: No entries none


Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: There are no entries November 1773–November 1776.
Marriages: There are no entries September 1772–May 1779 and December 1789–November 1791 with a page of entries without specification of year. No entries January 1798–January 1800. Older volume spoiled by dampness.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book941 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:

Minutes 1709–1719, 1751–1811, 1841–1905
Communion Roll 1842–1905
Note: Available at the Shetland Archives, Lerwick, Scotland, record CH2/90.

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.

Mossbank United Secession Church

The parish of Delting occupies the northeast portion of the mainland of Shetland, and the church of Mossbank stands in the northeast of Delting. Mossbank is one of the largest fishing stations in the Shetland Isles and the surrounding district contains a considerable population, consisting chiefly of fishermen and their families. Previous to the formation of the congregation these poor people were very destitute, both as to education and the means of grace. For a time the educational wants of the locality were partly supplied by students who were successively engaged as tutors in the family of Mr. Hoseason, the principal merchant of the place. These young men held prayer meetings and taught Sabbath classes, both of which were numerously attended. A desire was thus created for something higher, as well as a more uniform supply of ordinances, until at length an application was made to the United Secession Presbytery of Orkney for permanent supply of sermon. As a result the congregation of Mossbank was formed towards the end of 1842, meeting for some time in a large warehouse. In 1846 a church was erected containing 236 sittings.
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.

There are no known pre-1855 records.

Delting Brae Free Church

For a time services were held by probationers in different places in the parish. The Kirk session was constituted in October 1846. That year the church was built and opened. The population declined with the failure of the ling and cod fishing, which began about 1870. The young men went off as sailors, and the families depended more and more upon their crofts, and the knitting work performed by the women.
Membership: 1848, 80; 1900, 183.
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 1845–1907
Deacons' Court Minutes 1847–1912
Communion Roll 1849–1931
Note: Available at the Shetland Archives, Lerwick, Scotland, record CH3/1081.

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

Delting 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 Lerwick. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at 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 Shetland 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 Shetland. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Shetland 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: 15 August 2014.

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