Difference between revisions of "Scotland Established (Presbyterian) Church Records"

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==== Deaths/Burials  ====
 
==== Deaths/Burials  ====
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Few burial records were kept before 1855. It is important to know that many women, when their husbands died, reverted to their maiden names and were buried under that name.
  
 
Deaths/burials generally include:  
 
Deaths/burials generally include:  
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*Residence  
 
*Residence  
 
*Mortcloth dues (fee paid for the use of the funeral cloth or pall draped over the casket'
 
*Mortcloth dues (fee paid for the use of the funeral cloth or pall draped over the casket'
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'''Additional Information:'''
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Instead of actual burials, the parish registers often list people who paid mortcloth dues. The mortcloth was a cloth used to cover the body during the burial ceremony. These lists do not mention everyone who was buried. They mention the rich who donated the cloths to the church and the very poor who could not pay to use the mortcloth.
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If you cannot find burial records, try to find tombstone inscriptions. Read about tombstone inscriptions in the [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Scotland_Cemeteries Scotland Cemeteries] article.
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'''Note:''' ''Quoad sacra ''parishes are those set up for ecclesiastical purposes to take care of those people who could not conveniently attend the parish church. To find records of people living in quoad sacra parishes, you must search the surrounding parishes.
  
 
== Blotter Registers  ==
 
== Blotter Registers  ==

Revision as of 21:49, 10 January 2011

The Scottish government did not begin general registration of births, marriages, and deaths until 1855. Prior to that date, church records are the prime source for family information. If you have Scottish ancestry, you must become familiar with, and learn to use, Scottish church records.

A local church unit is called a parish. There are three main types of parish records:

Parish Registers

Parish registers, also known as “Old Parochial Records,” contain records of:

  • Births or baptisms
  • Marriages or proclamations
  • Deaths or burials.

Births/Baptisms

Births/baptisms may include:

  • Name and surname of the child
  • Birth and/or baptism date and place
  • Parents’ names, including the maiden name of the mother

Births/baptisms may include:

  • Child’s placement within the family and indication of legitimacy
  • Father’s occupation and residence
  • Names of witnesses

Marriages/Proclamations

Marriages usually took place in the parish where the bride resided. Marriage records usually give:

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage/proclamation

Marriages may include:

  • Proclamation of intent to marry
  • Residences and groom’s occupation
  • Marital status
  • Names of fathers
  • Names of witnesses

Additional Information:

Some records show a couple’s “intent to marry,” also called the proclamation of banns. Usually the intent to marry was proclaimed in the parishes of both the bride and groom. The marriage was usually recorded only in the parish in which the marriage actually took place.

Caution: The proclaiming of banns is not proof that the couple married.

Another acceptable practice acknowledged in early Scotland was that of the Handfast.

Deaths/Burials

Few burial records were kept before 1855. It is important to know that many women, when their husbands died, reverted to their maiden names and were buried under that name.

Deaths/burials generally include:

  • Name
  • Date and place of death or burial

Deaths/burials may include:

  • Occupation
  • Age at death
  • Names of relatives
  • Residence
  • Mortcloth dues (fee paid for the use of the funeral cloth or pall draped over the casket'

Additional Information:

Instead of actual burials, the parish registers often list people who paid mortcloth dues. The mortcloth was a cloth used to cover the body during the burial ceremony. These lists do not mention everyone who was buried. They mention the rich who donated the cloths to the church and the very poor who could not pay to use the mortcloth.

If you cannot find burial records, try to find tombstone inscriptions. Read about tombstone inscriptions in the Scotland Cemeteries article.

Note: Quoad sacra parishes are those set up for ecclesiastical purposes to take care of those people who could not conveniently attend the parish church. To find records of people living in quoad sacra parishes, you must search the surrounding parishes.

Blotter Registers

Blotter registers are draft copies of parish registers.

Kirk Session Records

Kirk session records are the business records of the parish and include records:

  • Poor
  • Matters of discipline
  • Other things the parish officers dealt with

If your ancestors are not in the records 

If you do not find your ancestors in the Established Church of Scotland registers, this may indicate that:

  • Your ancestors were members of the Established Church but their events were not registered.
  • They were registered but the records have been lost over time.
  • They were nonconformists (members of other religions).

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