06 October 2009

Scottish Catholic Parish Registers of Births & Baptisms

Duncan McNiven, Registrar General for Scotland, mentioned during his presentation at BIFHSGO's annual conference last month that Roman Catholic parish records (CPR) were due to come to the Scotland's people website soon. Soon is today, at least for records of births and baptisms from 1703 to 1955, but the Scotland's People website is careful to manage expectations about the dataset.

"Do not expect too much from CPR birth & baptism records. The amount of information recorded can be variable and in many cases will contain little information over and above that contained in the index entry."

At best: name of the child, whether legitimate or not, date of birth and/or date of baptism, father's name, mother's name and maiden surname, place or parish of residence, occupation of the father and names (and sometimes occupations) of witnesses. Occasionally, as in, for example, Ardkenneth, witnesses' relationship to the child (if any) may be recorded.

At worst: the mother's name is not recorded at all between certain years, or the entry does not record the sex of the child and the name is ambiguous.

That's part of the help file at http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?r=554&1374 which includes a link to a list and map of parishes. You may find other helpful information at www.scottishcatholicarchives.org.uk/.

Not all the records are Scottish. They include records of the RC Bishopric of the Forces for British service men and women serving in the armed forces worldwide.

Connect to the records at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk .

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