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Scotland Presbyterian & Protestant Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Scotland

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Scotland, Presbyterian & Protestant Church Records, 1736-1990
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Scotland
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Flag of Scotland
Scotland in United Kingdom.svg.png
Record Description
Collection years 1736-1990
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Records of Scotland.


What Is in This Collections?[edit | edit source]

This collection will include records from 1736-1990.

The records are of Free, United Presbyterian, United Free and Other Protestant Churches in Scotland from 1736-1990. They were originally filmed at the National Archives of Scotland. This collection contains baptismal, marriage and death records.

The Free Church of Scotland was formed in 1843 when a group of Evangelicals dissented from the Church of Scotland. In 1900, the majority of the Free Church integrated with the United Presbyterian Church, which had been formed in 1847 when the United Secession Church merged with the Relief Church (both of which had been offshoots of the Church of Scotland). Together they formed the United Free Church of Scotland. However, it wouldn’t last long. In 1929, the majority of the United Free Church merged with the Church of Scotland, reversing a large portion of the conflict back in 1843.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptisms

  • Date and Place of Baptism
  • Given Name of Child
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Parents' Names and Occupation of Father
  • Legitimacy of Child and Parents
  • Names of Godparents

Marriages

  • Date and Place of Marriage
  • Groom's Age, Marital Status, Occupation and Residence
  • Names of Groom's Parents, including Maiden Name of Mother
  • Bride's Age, Marital Status, Occupation and Residence
  • Names of Bride's Parents, including Maiden Name of Mother
  • Birthplaces of Bride and Groom
  • Witnesses' Names, Age and Occupation

Deaths

  • Date and Place of Death and Burial
  • Name and Age of Deceased
  • Cause of Death
  • Father of Deceased and his Occupation
  • Date and Birthplace of Deceased
  • Marital Status of Deceased
  • If Married, the Name of the Spouse

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor's given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence, age, estimated birth, marriage or death year, and family relationships.

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Save or print a copy of the image or record, if possible. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index
  • Use the information which you have found to estimate ages in other life events. For example, use a christening date to approximate a marriage date, or a burial record to calculate an estimated year of birth
  • Once you have found a christening or a burial church record, you may want to search for birth and death in civil records (1837 and later)
  • Use the information you have found to find the person and families in census records
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage
  • Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank, or status within the community.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname
  • Be careful using the listed age on a marriage record to estimate a birth year. Rather than listing actual ages, clerks often wrote in 21 as the age of both the bride and groom to show that they each were of legal age
  • Check for other names. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name
  • Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as scribes heard them. Try searching based on how the name may have been pronounced
  • Vary the search terms. For example, expand the date range or search by either the given name or surname to return a broader list of results
  • When you search baptismal records, remember that it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth
  • Note that marriages often took place in the parish where the bride resided

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Scotland.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.