Saturday 8 April 2017

Scottish Roman Catholic Registers join FindMyPast

Findmypast has added some 1.2million Scottish Roman Catholic church records to its database. Given the historical ties between Ireland and Scotland, not to mention the physical proximity of the two countries, this collection should be checked out by Irish family historians.

This release is the first tranche of FindMyPast's Scottish Catholic collection. It includes baptism, marriage, burial and congregational records from all eight of Scotland's Roman Catholic Dioceses: St Andrews & Edinburgh; Aberdeen; Argyll & the Isles; Dunkeld; Galloway; Glasgow; Motherwell; and Paisley.

The records date back to 1730, span 300 years of Scottish history and cover more than 115 parishes across the nation. The oldest records date to 1608 (Braemar), but most start in the mid- to late-19th century. Many continue well into the 20th century.

The records sets are:

Scottish Roman Catholic Baptisms: With each result, you'll find a transcript and an image of the original baptism register. The amount of information recorded may vary depending on what the priest chose to note, but most include date of birth, baptism date, home parish and parents' names. The only Santry entry I found (in the Greenock St Mary register) additionally included sponsors' names, the name of the clergyman, and, under a column headed 'Legitimacy', the infant was noted as 'Lawful'.

Scottish Roman Catholic marriages: This record set holds just under 200,000 entries, each comprising both an image of the original matrimonial register and a transcript of the key facts ie date and location of the wedding, names of bride and groom, names of their fathers and names of witnesses to the ceremony. The amount of detail in each transcript will vary depending on the age of the document (later records tend to include more details) and the condition of the record (some records may have been damaged over the centuries).

Scottish Roman Catholic Burials: These records provide an image of the burial register and a transcript of the vital details. Images may reveal additional details such as your ancestor’s cause of death, marital status, the name of the person who ordered their internment (usually next of kin) and any additional comments.

Scottish Roman Catholic Congregational Records: This record set holds some 268,000 assorted congregational records including registers of first communions and confirmations, parish lists, pew/seat rentals, and lists of people who converted to Catholicism. Each search result returns a transcript and an image of the original document.

You can find a full list of the parishes included in these record sets, plus the dates of their respective earliest and latest registers, in the Scottish Roman Catholic Parish List. Bear in mind there are often gaps in the stated date ranges of the registers.

Further Scottish records are expected to be added to the collection later this year.