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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Scottish Catholic Archives go online

For many researching their Scottish ancestry, it may come as a surprise to learn that the database we've been so happy using for the last few years, http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ does not contain everyone's data. 
In particular, up until now, there were no sacramental registers for Catholics (records of baptism, confirmation, marriage and death). 
The records which have been available represent the main branch of the Church of Scotland.
The Scottish Catholic Archives, under the auspices of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, and in partnership with the Office of the Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of the National Archives, has launched the baptismal portion of these records by adding them to the Scotlands People database. 
This is roughly a half million records. Additional records will follow later this year.
As is true with the Protestant records, not all parishes are fully represented, and dates for search can therefore be misleading. Check the catalogs carefully before assuming that a search has been definitive -- one parish may have records back to 1703, another back to 1538.
Baptisms, marriages, censuses, death records and wills should be compared to other records to complete the search for your family.
To visit the website for the Scottish Catholic Archives, go to http://www.scottishcatholicarchives.org.uk/Archives/tabid/67/Default.aspx

Photo: Carol, Mary, Rosemary, Vinny, Audrey at the Scottish Catholic Archives, Sept 2009

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