Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records: A Guide for Family Historians

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 176 pages
Author: C. Paton
Year: 2019
ISBN: 9781526768421
Other: b&w photos, bibliog, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Despite its Union with England and Wales in 1707, Scotland remained virtually independent from its partners in many ways, retaining its own legal system, its own state church, and its own education system.

In Tracing Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records, genealogist Chris Paton examines the most common records used by family historians in Scotland, ranging from the vital records kept by the state and the various churches, the decennial censuses, tax records, registers of land ownership and inheritance, and records of law and order.

Through precepts of clare constat and ultimus haeres records, feudalism and udal tenure, to irregular marriages, penny weddings and records of sequestration, Chris Paton expertly explores the unique concepts and language within many Scottish records that are simply not found elsewhere within the British Isles. He details their purpose and the information recorded, the legal basis by which they were created, and where to find them both online and within Scotland's many archives and institutions.


1. Research Resources
 - National Records of Scotland
 - ScotlandsPeople Centre
 - Court of the Lord Lyon
 - National Library of Scotland
 - Historic Environment Scotland
 - Registers of Scotland
 - Scottish Coucil on Archives
 - Scottish Archive Network
 - National Register of Archives for Scotland
 - FamilySearch Family History Societies
 - Scottish Associatiob of Family History Societies
 - Commercial Websites
 - Handwriting
 - Languages
2. Civil Registration
 - Establishment of Civil Registration
 - Registration of Births
 - Illegitimacy
 - Locating Birth Records
 - Minor Records of Births
 - Stillbirths
 - Adoption
 - Vaccination
 - Locating Vaccination Records
 - Marriage
 - Registration of Regular Marriages
 - Irregular and Civil Marriages
 - Locating Marriage Records
 - Minor Records of Marriage
 - Divorce
 - Registration of Deaths
 - Locating Death Records
 - Minor Records of Death
 - Register of Corrected Entries
3. Church of Scotland Records
 - Background
 - Old Parish Registers (OPRs)
 - Baptisms
 - Naming Patterns
 - Foundlings
 - Stillbirths in Parish Records
 - Missing Baptisms
 - Marriages
 - Marriage Customs
 - Irregular Marriages
 - Deaths and Burials
 - Finding the Records
 - Kirk Session Records
 - Locating Kirk Session Records
 - Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly
 - Heritors
4. Otther Churches
 - Switching Churches
 - Finding Records of Dissenters
 - Other Church Denominations
 - Scottish Episcopal Church
 - Locating Episcopal Church Records
 - Roman Catholicism
 - Locating the CPRs
 - Smaller Denominations
5. Where Were They?
 - Census Records
 - National Identity Register
 - Electoral Registers
 - Valuation Rolls
 - Burgh Assessment Rolls
 - Poor Law Records
 - Tax Records
 - Inland Revenue Field Books
 - Forfeited Estates
 - Maps
 - The Statistical Sccounts of Scotland
 - Other Gazetteers
6. Land Tenure
 - Scotland
 - Feudalism
 - Royal Burghs
 - Charters
 - Instruments of Sasine
 - The Registers of Sasines
 - Liferents and Trusts
 - Registers of Scotland
 - Registers of Deeds
 - Estate Papers
 - Tacksmen
 - The End of Feaudalism
 - Udal Tenure
 - Other Forms of Tenure
7. Inheritance
 - Moveable Estate
 - Testaments
 - Calendars of Confirmations and Inventories
 - Heritable Estate
 - The Service of Heirs
 - Precepts of Clare Constat
 - Trust Dispositions and Settlements
 - Types of Heir
 - Ultimus Haeres Records
8. Law and Order
 - Scots Law
 - Sheriff Courts
 - Privy Council
 - Criminal Prosecution
 - Case Study: The Mount Stewart Murder
 - Fatal Accident Enquiries
 - Court of Session
 - Debt
 - Case Study: Matthew Campbell of Waterhaughs
 - Bankruptcy
 - Case Study: John Brownlie MacFarlane
 - Commissary Courts
 - Franchise and Burgh Courts
 - Trade Incorporations
 - Justices of the Peace
 - Admiralty Court
 - Court of the Lord Lyon
 - Police and Prison Records
 - Transportation
 - Capital Punishment
Bibliography/Further Reading

"The scope of the book includes records of the Church and the State, the primary producers of records in Scotland. Researchers at all levels of experience with Scottish ancestors will find easy to follow suggestions and guidance in this book. It is thus highly recommended for anyone doing Scottish research." - portion of a book review by Paul Milner, 26 July 2020 see the full review here.

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