Difference between revisions of "Steps For Tracing Scottish Ancestry Outside of The Church of Scotland"

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(trimmed content. Removed specific mentions of FHC, AL or LDS only records due to ban of that subject on the wiki.)
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==Introduction==
 
==Introduction==
For many researchers of Scottish ancestry prior to 1855, the Church of Scotland parochial registers do not provide answers for constructing their genealogical lineage. Their parochial registers hardly covered one-half of the Scottish population. Many of our ancestors chose church attendance in churches outside of the Church of Scotland, so their names will normally not show up in searches on [https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ ScotlandsPeople]! ScotlandsPeople has a significant yet partial proportion of records from these non-conformist and non-subscribing denominational churches, though some non-conformists married in the Church of Scotland (especially 1754-1837) or were buried in the Established Church. By 1851, just over half of all Scotsmen chose to affiliate with, marry in, and took their children to be baptised in a non-Church of Scotland religion. After 1853, many were buried in public town cemeteries or in churchyards (where extant) of the non-subscribing local church.  
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For many researchers of Scottish ancestry prior to 1855, the Church of Scotland parochial registers do not provide answers for constructing their genealogical lineage. Their parochial registers hardly covered one-half of the Scottish population. Many people chose to attend churches outside of the Church of Scotland, so their names will normally not show up in searches on [https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ ScotlandsPeople]! ScotlandsPeople has a significant yet partial proportion of records from these non-conformist and non-subscribing denominational churches, though some non-conformists married in the Church of Scotland (especially 1754-1837) or were buried in the Established Church. By 1851, just over half of all Scotsmen chose to affiliate with, marry in, and took their children to be baptised in a non-Church of Scotland religion. After 1853, many were buried in public town cemeteries or in churchyards (where extant) of the non-subscribing local church.  
  
 
Listed below are some alternative research steps and record sources used to find non-Church of Scotland ancestors in other church registers and sources. These important steps and records may help counter the problems associated with their names missing in and the problems of under-registration in the parochial registers of the Church of Scotland.
 
Listed below are some alternative research steps and record sources used to find non-Church of Scotland ancestors in other church registers and sources. These important steps and records may help counter the problems associated with their names missing in and the problems of under-registration in the parochial registers of the Church of Scotland.
  
 
==What Records Exist==
 
==What Records Exist==
Researching non-conformist Scottish ancestors before 1855 largely depends on church records. Occasionally these records date back to late 17th century for non-Catholics, but were not always kept as far back or to the same extent as in the records of the Church of Scotland. Catholic records may go back to about 1708 but the vast majority date back only to the 1790s or merely to the 1820s when sanctions against Catholics were lifted and which positively affected all non-parochial religions by Parliament's passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829.  
+
Researching non-conformist Scottish ancestors before 1855 largely depends on church records. Occasionally these records date back to late 17th century for non-Catholics, but were not always kept as far back or to the same extent as in the records of the Church of Scotland. Catholic records may go back to about 1708 but the vast majority date back only to the 1790s or merely to the 1820s when sanctions against Catholics were lifted following the Catholic Empanication Act of 1829.
  
 
Typically births and marriages were kept but only rarely were burials recorded. For more information about what details they usually recorded see [[Scotland Church Records]]. In addition other records exist for Catholics, such as confirmations, confessions, seat rents and lists of parishioners; the Episcopal Church held other church registers such as church warden and vestry accounts, and a number of parish record account books for the administration of the poor among them.  
 
Typically births and marriages were kept but only rarely were burials recorded. For more information about what details they usually recorded see [[Scotland Church Records]]. In addition other records exist for Catholics, such as confirmations, confessions, seat rents and lists of parishioners; the Episcopal Church held other church registers such as church warden and vestry accounts, and a number of parish record account books for the administration of the poor among them.  
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==Finding the Records==
 
==Finding the Records==
  
===29 Steps For Finding Non-Subscribing Scots Online===
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===28 Resources For Finding Non-Subscribing Scots Online===
 
Most surviving Catholic records are now indexed on [https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ ScotlandsPeople]. See [https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/church-registers#Parishes here] for a list of parishes. These records are also on [https://www.findmypast.com/ FindMyPast] ($).  
 
Most surviving Catholic records are now indexed on [https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ ScotlandsPeople]. See [https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/church-registers#Parishes here] for a list of parishes. These records are also on [https://www.findmypast.com/ FindMyPast] ($).  
  
At this time, no other online records for other non-conformists and/or non-subscribing church members can be found on ScotlandsPeople's website. It is a matter of record that numerous non-Church of Scotland church registers are preserved at Scotlandspeople's archives. But until the present time, sadly there has been no galvanized or organized push by either church or government officials to 1) centralize each denomination's registers, 2) to digitize, 3) to index and thus preserve the rich treasures and heritage found in these vital church register entries and 4) to have them published online. Contrast this for example, with England and Wales' Nonconformist church registers which mostly have by now, been indexed and are being published online by all five major United Kingdom-centric websites. A list of those available Scotland non-parochial (Nonconformist and non-subscribing churches) parishes/congregation church registers (held at ScotlandsPeople) can be found [https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/church-registers#Parishes here]. Other steps to take and/or sites to search for online non-subscribing church register indexed entries for Scotland include the following ones:   
+
At this time, no other online records for other non-conformists and/or non-subscribing church members can be found on ScotlandsPeople's website. It is a matter of record that numerous non-Church of Scotland church registers are preserved at Scotlandspeople's archives. A list of those available Scotland non-parochial (Nonconformist and non-subscribing churches) parishes/congregation church registers (held at ScotlandsPeople) can be found [https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/church-registers#Parishes here]. Other steps to take and/or sites to search for online non-subscribing church register indexed entries for Scotland include the following ones:   
  
 
#[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2390848 Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919] - contains 302,864 entries of some baptism and marriage records
 
#[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2390848 Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919] - contains 302,864 entries of some baptism and marriage records
#[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog FamilySearch Catalog] has many images of Scottish church records and now, kirk session records. You may need to visit a Family History Center or Affiliate Library, or log in with a FamilySearch account to view the records. (Those affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have free access.)
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#[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog FamilySearch Catalog] has many images of Scottish church records and now, kirk session records. Access restrictions apply.  
 
#[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1771030 Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950] - contains less than 5% of extant Scotland non-parochial church registers overall
 
#[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1771030 Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950] - contains less than 5% of extant Scotland non-parochial church registers overall
 
#[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1771074 Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910] - this online database contains some marriage records for churches other than the Church of Scotland
 
#[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1771074 Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910] - this online database contains some marriage records for churches other than the Church of Scotland
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#Search Register of Deeds. These records sometimes include marriage contracts after the husband’s death
 
#Search Register of Deeds. These records sometimes include marriage contracts after the husband’s death
 
#Google to find online transcriptions of some church registers; search terms could include i.e., "Presbyterian" "baptisms" (or "marriages" or "cemetery", etc), i.e. "Glasgow" or your target [place-) name.
 
#Google to find online transcriptions of some church registers; search terms could include i.e., "Presbyterian" "baptisms" (or "marriages" or "cemetery", etc), i.e. "Glasgow" or your target [place-) name.
#Follow these steps for known siblings as well
 
  
 
===Offline===
 
===Offline===

Revision as of 16:52, 25 July 2020

Scotland Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Scotland Background
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Local Research Resources

Introduction[edit | edit source]

For many researchers of Scottish ancestry prior to 1855, the Church of Scotland parochial registers do not provide answers for constructing their genealogical lineage. Their parochial registers hardly covered one-half of the Scottish population. Many people chose to attend churches outside of the Church of Scotland, so their names will normally not show up in searches on ScotlandsPeople! ScotlandsPeople has a significant yet partial proportion of records from these non-conformist and non-subscribing denominational churches, though some non-conformists married in the Church of Scotland (especially 1754-1837) or were buried in the Established Church. By 1851, just over half of all Scotsmen chose to affiliate with, marry in, and took their children to be baptised in a non-Church of Scotland religion. After 1853, many were buried in public town cemeteries or in churchyards (where extant) of the non-subscribing local church.

Listed below are some alternative research steps and record sources used to find non-Church of Scotland ancestors in other church registers and sources. These important steps and records may help counter the problems associated with their names missing in and the problems of under-registration in the parochial registers of the Church of Scotland.

What Records Exist[edit | edit source]

Researching non-conformist Scottish ancestors before 1855 largely depends on church records. Occasionally these records date back to late 17th century for non-Catholics, but were not always kept as far back or to the same extent as in the records of the Church of Scotland. Catholic records may go back to about 1708 but the vast majority date back only to the 1790s or merely to the 1820s when sanctions against Catholics were lifted following the Catholic Empanication Act of 1829.

Typically births and marriages were kept but only rarely were burials recorded. For more information about what details they usually recorded see Scotland Church Records. In addition other records exist for Catholics, such as confirmations, confessions, seat rents and lists of parishioners; the Episcopal Church held other church registers such as church warden and vestry accounts, and a number of parish record account books for the administration of the poor among them.

It should be emphasized that records of Kirk Session (the elders of a parochial council), may provide baptisms, marriages and occasionally burials of non-parochial Scottish ancestors which often may duplicate those similar entries found in some of the Nonconformist and non-subscribing church registers. Additionally, and with at times considerable frequency, it is not unusual to find duplicate baptismal entries in both the non-parochial as well as in the Church of Scotland church registers.

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

28 Resources For Finding Non-Subscribing Scots Online[edit | edit source]

Most surviving Catholic records are now indexed on ScotlandsPeople. See here for a list of parishes. These records are also on FindMyPast ($).

At this time, no other online records for other non-conformists and/or non-subscribing church members can be found on ScotlandsPeople's website. It is a matter of record that numerous non-Church of Scotland church registers are preserved at Scotlandspeople's archives. A list of those available Scotland non-parochial (Nonconformist and non-subscribing churches) parishes/congregation church registers (held at ScotlandsPeople) can be found here. Other steps to take and/or sites to search for online non-subscribing church register indexed entries for Scotland include the following ones:

  1. Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 - contains 302,864 entries of some baptism and marriage records
  2. FamilySearch Catalog has many images of Scottish church records and now, kirk session records. Access restrictions apply.
  3. Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 - contains less than 5% of extant Scotland non-parochial church registers overall
  4. Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910 - this online database contains some marriage records for churches other than the Church of Scotland
  5. Scotland, Extracted Parish Records, 1571-1997 ($) - has 247k nonconformist church record entries
  6. Scotland, Non-OPR Births and Baptisms Index, 1666-1874 ($)
  7. Scotland, Non-OPR Banns and Marriages Index, 1656-1875 ($)
  8. Scotland, Non-OPR Deaths and Burials Index, 1673-1855 ($)
  9. Scotland Non-Old Parish Registers Vital Records 1647-1875 ($)
  10. Scotland Presbyterian & Protestant Church Records, 1736-1990 - 109,064 entries
  11. Scottish Indexes - non-subscribing Presbyterian church records (indexes) for 7 counties
  12. Scotland's Family - some transcribed Nonconformist (esp. Methodist) and some non-subscribing (Presbyterian) church baptism records
  13. Scotland's Family marriages - a few records from parishes in 9 counties
  14. Gretna Green, Scotland, Marriage Registers, 1794-1895 ($) - records of clandestine marriage registers at Gretna Green, Renfrewshire. For further guidance on conducting a thorough search in these, see the Irregular Border Marriage Registers Research Guide on the National Records of Scotland's website.
  15. Search online images for your ancestors in the target parish. If not found, expand search to surrounding parishes
  16. Neglected Entries - civil registration records for approximately 130 parishes in Scotland. The records are located on the FamilySearch Catalog on microfilm #103538 and have been digitized. They are also available on ScotlandsPeople. For further guidance, see the Register of Neglected Entries on the National Records of Scotland's website
  17. Search for marriage registers in the target parish and surrounding parishes.
  18. Old Scottish website has 52 Presbyterian church registers (1835-1855) of mostly baptisms from throughout Scotland available for PDF download (£3 each)
  19. Search for marriage registers of the Church of Scotland in a large city
  20. Search for church burial registers (where extant). See: #Burial and death registers of other protestant churches
  21. Scottish Deaths 1747-1868 ($)
  22. Deceasedonline.com
  23. The local Church of Scotland parish churchyard/registers (if extant)
  24. Search for monumental inscriptions (MI’s) where they exist (i.e. the Mitchell Collections)
  25. Search for civil registration records of deaths and marriages
  26. Search Sasines (a type of land record). These records sometimes include marriage contracts
  27. Search Register of Deeds. These records sometimes include marriage contracts after the husband’s death
  28. Google to find online transcriptions of some church registers; search terms could include i.e., "Presbyterian" "baptisms" (or "marriages" or "cemetery", etc), i.e. "Glasgow" or your target [place-) name.

Offline[edit | edit source]

  1. Search in records held at Local/Regional archives, such as Dundee City Archives or Strathclyde Regional Archives, etc. Check their online catalog(s) to see what holdings they possess for all nonconformist and non-subscribing Presbyterian church registers in their archives. (Hint: You can Google to find a list of all Scottish Regional or local archives with links to addresses; or, search their online catalogs and use their email addresses to contact them)
  2. For Church registers not in above archives: write to the local congregation (must Google to find the chapel and look for a "Contact Us" link or find a church email address); willingly make a generous donation when you request a “look-up” in their church records and/or kirk session records (where extant); or, when a local congregation clerk won’t answer your query, then contact the nearest local archive for names of hire-able record agents to perform the search for you at the local church/chapel.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

Here are research guides to the church records available at the National Records of Scotland and regional archives: