What are "Old
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,
etc.) are usually not listed, except for marriages, as all banns had
by law to be called in the parish church (Church of Scotland).
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
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.
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.
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.