SCOTTISH CHURCHES AND RECORDS FOR
The Old Parish Registers of the
Church of Scotland can be accessed via Scotlands People
The dates of commencement for all Highland OPRs are given in
Appendix 8 of Genealogy in the Gaidhealtachd.
Roman Catholic Registers can also be accessed via Scotlands People
The dates of commencement for all Roman Catholic Registers in the
Highlands are given in
Appendix 11 of Genealogy in the Gaidhealtachd.
The Registers of the
Episcopal Church of Scotland have yet to be made available on Scotlands People,
and in the meantime can be found in the National Archives of Scotland, or in
local archives - see SCAN
The few Episcopal Church Registers that survive for the Highlands are
listed in Appendix 12 of Genealogy in the Gaidhealtachd.
The Registers of the
Free and other Dissenting Churches have yet to made available on Scotlands
People, and in the meantime can be found in the National Archives of Scotland or
in local archives - see SCAN
Entries from the Registers of some Free and other Dissenting Churches in the
Highlands have been transcribed and published by the Highland Family History
Society - see the Publications pages of the HFHS
website - and lists of the known registers of these churches in the
Highlands, with their dates of commencement and location, can be found in the
appendices of Genealogy in the Gaidhealtachd.
The tendency of
Presbyterian churches to split and form new congregations or churches can be
very confusing, and is illustrated by the following account of one of the more
originally named set of dissenting churches:
Burgher and Anti-Burgher
After the breakaway in the early 1700s of the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Cameronians,
McMillanites etc), the Church of Scotland suffered another division in 1733 with
the formation of the "Associate Presbytery". That grew into the
"Associate Synod" in 1745, which encompassed three Presbyteries.
Two years later however this new body itself split, and alongside the
"Associate Synod" was established what later became known as the
"General Associate Synod" - though the two bodies were
better known, because of the subject of the split, as the "Burgher"
and the "Anti-Burgher" Synods.
The Associate/Burgher Synod
split again in 1799 into - guess what? - the "Associate Synod" and the
"Burger Synod". The latter seems not to have flourished and eventually
disappeared - its members probably rejoining the Associate Synod which in
1805 took the additional name of the "Original Burgher Synod".
Meanwhile the Anti-Burgher
Synod continued to call itself the "Associate Synod" until 1788, when
it formally became the "General Associate Synod". In 1805 it too
split, with a new body calling itself the "Constitutional Associate
Presbytery" alongside the continuing "General Associate
Presbytery". The latter appears to have faded away in due course, while
the former renamed itself the "
In 1820 the Original Burger
Church (successors of the Associate/Burgher Synod) merged with the Original
Secession Church (successors of the General Associate/Anti-Burgher Synod) to
form the "United Secession Church"; and in 1847 the United Secession
merged with the "Relief Church" - which had broken away from the
Church of Scotland in 1761 - to form the "United Presbyterian
Church". By then of course the "Disruption" had taken place
(1841) and the split from the Church of Scotland of the Free Church was to
start a whole new line of breakaway churches. And so it goes on, and on ....
The registers of some
of the Burgher and Anti-Burgher congregations in the Highlands have been
transcribed and published by the Highland Family History Society - see the
Publications pages of the HFHS
website and Appendix 10 of Genealogy in the Gaidhealtachd.
For other church
records, see the Catalogue
of the National Archives of Scotland.