Find sources

This guide was last updated in 2009

There are plenty of sources to search through for information about your ancestors.

The First and Second Statistical Accounts can both be read online at The National Archives of Scotland catalogue gives details of most kirk session, presbytery, synod and General Assembly papers.

Many original church records are kept in local council archives (see -– it's also worth checking the National Register of Archives in Scotland website. Most kirk session and presbytery records for the Established Church (CH2) and some for dissenting congregations (CH3) are digitised and can be read in the NAS Historical Reading Room.

For Episcopal records, search the NAS catalogue under CH12. The “Separate Registers” are listed under the records of each Church of Scotland presbytery.

Lists of widows and children of Church of Scotland ministers liable for annuities 1750 - 1933 are in the NAS – CH9/9/1-26. CH3/515/8 is a list of Relief Synod ministers (later United Presbyterian) 1819-92 who were members of a Friendly Society, giving personal details.

General Assembly Papers (CH1/2) are catalogued year by year - search the NAS online catalogue. is the pay-per-view website for searching statutory registers of births, deaths and marriages (post 1854), parish registers, census returns 1841-1901 and wills and testaments 1513-1901.

For information about Monumental Inscriptions, consult a local family history society (see The Scotsman (1817-1950) is indexed online with payment for access to articles. For local papers, check with a local library or archive.

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