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"OPR" - Old Parish Registers

A big thanks to Jack Puttenham for his efforts on these transcriptions!

 

 

 

*The first version is transcribed from LDS Microfiche #6901109.  The second version also contains information from LDS Microfilm #1041079


 

What are "Old Parish Registers"?

For those trying to trace their ancestry back to Scotland prior to 1855 the main source of information are the Parish registers of the Established Church of Scotland. These consist of those baptisms, marriages and burials which were recorded for Church of Scotland parishes all over Scotland. Unfortunately these registers are often incomplete (especially for burials) and only cover members of the Established Church. Members of other denominations (e.g. Roman Catholics, Free Church, Episcopalians, Congregational, Baptist, etc.) are usually not listed, except for marriages, as all banns had by law to be called in the parish church (Church of Scotland).

When Statutory Registration began in 1855, the Old Parish Registers of the Established Church of Scotland were put in to the care of the Registrar General's Office in Edinburgh. It is these OPRs that have been microfilmed and indexed by the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The records of churches of other denominations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, the Free Church, Episcopal Church etc., have not been copied to a great extent. The records of these churches (if they exist) can possibly be found in the National Archives of Scotland (N.A.S.) in Edinburgh.

Now, fortunately, baptisms and marriages in the OPRs can be searched using a computerized index, either on a county basis or searching over the whole country. The index gives the reference number for the relevant microfilm roll together with the frame number (page), allowing you to go straight to the record you are interested in.

The information contained in the OPRs can vary immensely. For the birth of a child you will usually be given the names of both parents (including maiden name of mother). A marriage will seldom give the names of the parents of the couple.

Microfilm copies of the OPRs can be ordered through your nearest LDS Family History Center (LDS-FHC). You can also consult the indexes to baptisms and marriages on microfiche and CD-ROM in the LDS-FHCs.

The indexes to OPRs are available at most LDS Family History Center on a CD-ROM searchable database that includes 10 million birth and marriage indexes. It should be part of the FamilySearch Program. They contain indexes of birth, christening, and marriage on members of the Church of Scotland between 1500 and 1890, though most records are between 1600-1855. Very few records are before 1600 or after 1855. The birth/christening index usually contain the individual's name, parent's name, the event, date of event, and parish and county, as well as reference numbers. The marriage index usually contains the husband and wife's name, date of marriage, and parish and county, as well as reference numbers. From the reference number you can order the microfilm which may or may not contain more information.