ABERDEEN-L ArchivesArchiver > ABERDEEN > 2008-03 > 1204491621
From: Gavin Bell <>
Subject: Re: [ABERDEEN] Scotland's People.
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2008 21:00:21 +0000
References: <02e301c87bbd$392d13b0$0300a8c0@NOTEBOOK> <firstname.lastname@example.org><019c01c87c9c$fb467420$0200a8c0@dell8400>
>I'm writing a caveat here to explain that I am asking questions to elicit replies because and even though I have *some* knowledge from posts made by Listers here in the past that I've not kept copies of. Searching for them would like swimming against the tide.
>A post or few back there was a reference about records not being available were the religion different.
>It's not until we encounter something for ourselves that we realise that accepting records may not a good thing even if we've paid for them, if we havent searched on foot and in person. [for the avoidance of doubt here my foot's attached to my person]
>Can someone please explain where the pitfalls are please? I need to see some guide lines.
The "pitfalls" concern records earlier than 1855, when compulsory, free,
civil registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages was introduced in
Scotland. Before 1855, the only records of Baptisms and Marriages (and
sometimes Deaths) were church records. At that date, the Kirk of
Scotland was the "Established" (or official) church in Scotland, and in
theory, everyone, whatever their religious affiliation, was supposed to
register their baptisms and marriages with the Kirk of Scotland - you
will find, in the Kirk of Scotland registers, entries recording that "X
and Y, Papists" were married, or that "Z, of the Secession Church" had
a child baptised. The trouble was that the theoretical obligation to
record baptisms and marriages (there was no equivalent rule about
deaths) was freqently ignored, * by members of the Kirk of Scotland as
much as by "dissenters"*.
In addition to the "official" Kirk of Scotland registers, some (but not
necessarily all) of the "dissenting" congregations did maintain their
own, unofficial, registers of baptisms and marriage. There are
surviving records from various of the alternative prebyterian sects, as
well as records for some congregations of the Catholic Church and the
Episcopal Church of Scotland.
>Why would not Scotland's People have a marriage record where they have a birth record for children of the family. How much should we assume on the basis that we first of all we should assume nothing. Were the parents not married, or were they Roman Catholic for Scotland's People not to have such records?
The commonest explanation was that the poorer familes had other things
to do with their money than pay the fees of the Session Clerk to have
their family events recorded. For a short period of time, there was
actually a tax on such entries. But making entries in ther Registers
was a source of income for the Session Clerks, and many people were too
poor or too mean to pay.
That is why there are so many holes in the record.
|Re: [ABERDEEN] Scotland's People. by Gavin Bell <>|