Monday, 1 November 2010

Family Chronicle: Nov/Dec 2010 Issue

The lead article in this issue is "Kirk Sessions of the Church of Scotland" by Marian Press. Kirk sessions concerned themselves with all aspects of parish life including those encompassed by today's social safety net, education, public order, church maintenance and even suspected witchcraft.  Marian's examples include clandestine marriages and fornication. You may find minutes of these meetings starting as early as the mid-16th century up to the present day. Marian is involved with a project of the National Archives of Scotland to index and abstract these records and put them online as part of the ScotlandsPeople website.

There were quite a few articles in this issue that I scanned and skipped because they contained nothing new or relevant for me. Although I have no known ancestors who were involved, David Norris' "Searching for Ancestors of the Great Fire of London" is interesting for the variety of resources referenced in the British History Online collection at:

An extract from Leslie Albrecht Huber's book "The Journey Takers" tells a tale that tugs at the heartstrings.

See the full table of contents for the issue at


DWP said...

Re Kirk Sessions of the Church of Scotland:
Similar examples to Marian Press's can be found in Presbyterian church records in Ontario, and perhaps elsewhere in Canada. Here is a nineteenth century example from an Ottawa valley church:
"A and Mrs. B after profession of repentance for the sin of ante-nuptial fornication and being suitably admonished were re-admitted to church fellowship."
On my mentioning this to a person knowledgeable in these matters he responded that such entries in the Kirk sessions minutes were not surprising as it was known that Presbyterians were interested in fornication, except if it was theirs. Perhaps this is unfair stereotyping, but the church records seem to support this view. Those few reader who are interested in this subject could have a look at the results of Googling

DWP said...

Previous post was truncated and would not accept edit,- perhaps post was too long. Here is the truncated portion:

presbyterian "antenuptial fornication" canada OR canadian

Original had Google search words preceded by less-than- sign and followed by greater-than-sign. Apparently unacceptable in comments.