Scottish presbyterian churches were usually organised into a hierarchy of church courts. The supreme ecclesiastical court for each church was the General Assembly, below which were regional courts called synods. Each synod was divided into presbyteries. Presbyteries supervised the work of kirk sessions in each parish. The heritors of each parish were the landowners responsible for payment of the minister's stipend, and schoolmaster's salary, the maintenance of the church and churchyard (including burial grounds) and the support of the parish poor.
Kirk session records
Kirk session records typically consist of minute books, account books and other special records, such as communion rolls. Old parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, kept by Church of Scotland, were removed in 1855 to the keeping of the Registrar General for Scotland (parish registers for other denominations can often be found among the kirk session records of churches such as the Free Church, United Presbyterian Church and their predecessors).
poser 391 - Minutes of St Nicholas Kirk, Aberdeen, 1574
poser 296 - Minutes of Elgin kirk session, 1622
poser 335 - Mortcloth accounts for North Berwick, 1675-76
poser 291 - Accounts of Abercorn kirk session, 1701
poser 286 - Dalmellington Kirk Session, 1706
poser 347 - Kirk Session of Aberlour in Morayshire, 1710
poser 379 - Mortcloth accounts for Restalrig, 1728
poser 380 - Mortcloth accounts for Restalrig, 1729 and 1730
poser 382 - List of purchasers of lairs in the burial ground at Canongate Church Yard, 1731-1750
poser 293 - Minutes of Duddingston Kirk Session, 1752
poser 381 - List of purchasers of lairs in the burial ground at Kilbarchan Relief Church, 1796
poser 294 - Minutes of Duddingston Kirk Session, 1834
poser 329 - Minute book of Lumphanan Free Church, 1876
Presbytery records consist mainly of minute books but presbyteries also kept 'presbytery separate registers', which were the local record of the Church of Scotland's Widows and Orphans Scheme (the world's first actuarial pension scheme).
poser 302 - Minutes of Stirling Presbytery, 1581
poser 392 - Minutes of Stirling Presbytery, 1583
poser 393 - Minutes of Stirling Presbytery, 1583
poser 394 - Minutes of Stirling Presbytery, 1583
poser 307 - Presbytery separate register
poser 336 - Register of General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1639
poser 348 - Registers of Acts of the Commission of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1646-1648
poser 359 - Minutes of the Synod of Lothians, 1589
poser 357 - Minutes of the Synod of Fife, 1627
poser 360 - Minutes of the Synod of Fife, 1628
poser 361 - Minutes of the Synod of Fife, 1651
poser 341 - Minutes of the Synod of Angus and Mearns, 1703
Heritors' records typically consist of minute books, accounts and bundles of correspondence.
poser 284 - Heritors' minutes for Kirkliston, 1698
poser 285 - Heritors' minutes for Kirkliston, 1698
poser 342 - Heritors' minute book, Inveresk Kirk Session, 1795
Help on other websites
For more information about church court records see the guides on the National Archives of Scotland website.
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