Searching the OPR with no surname .....

Parish Records and other sources

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SarahND
Site Admin
Posts: 5587
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:47 am
Location: France

Post by SarahND » Sun May 07, 2006 10:39 pm

Thanks Bob! Glad my question got you going! I'm going to be spending the rest of the day on an airplane, but will give your system a try tomorrow. I've been visiting my 90-year old mother whose ancestry provides another of my Scottish brick walls (a Stewart... talk about a needle in a haystack!). That will be for another post!

Just as a follow-up to the original post, though, can anyone tell me if I would even be likely to find a birth record for an illegitimate child?

BobG
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:46 am
Location: Massachusetts USA

Post by BobG » Sun May 07, 2006 11:10 pm

Sarah,

The answer to your question is yes. All Scottish births, illegitimate or not, from 1855 to present are registered by the GRO. Many pre 1855 illegitimate births/baptisms were also recorded in the parish church registers if the infant was christened/baptized. With some luck your lost relation my be one of them.

Here is an example:

Birth of Helen Low recorded in the Church of Scotland Auchterless Parish Register… "John McKenzie had a daughter in fornication by Jane Low in Hassiewells born 5th February {1853} baptized before witnesses, named Helen."

"In fornication" indicated an illegitimate birth as opposed to "lawful" birth indicating the parents were married.

If a record can not be found in the parish registers then a search of the parish Session Clerk's records should be done. Church fathers had an obsession with premarital sex amongst their parishioners and seemed to have kept outstanding records pertaining to chastising members of their flock who had strayed.

Example from Session Records:

Recorded in the Parish of Auchterless Kirk Session Records is the following entry: "13 September 1862, Compeared* Jane Low in Netherthird confessing that she had been delivered of a child in fornication and accusing Robert Esson in Bourtie as the father who being present denied the charge".
*compeared means to "appear" especially for rebuke.

BobG
Researching Grigor/Roy/Symon in Morayshire & Banffshire. Mearns/Roy/Low in Insch & Auchterless, Aberdeenshire.

DavidWW
Posts: 5057
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:47 pm

Post by DavidWW » Mon May 08, 2006 12:15 am

BobG wrote:Yes Jean, it was about time I wrote that out. Sarah's question got me off my duff. Now I suppose you want me to write about the difference or not so difference between "extracted" records and "submitted" records contained in the IGI. I'll work on that over the next couple of days. I have enough examples to use now.
BobG
Sounds good to me !!

David

Thrall
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 4:34 pm
Location: Reykjavík

Post by Thrall » Mon May 08, 2006 2:53 am

BobG wrote: Many pre 1855 illegitimate births/baptisms were also recorded in the parish church registers if the infant was christened/baptized. With some luck your lost relation my be one of them.

If a record can not be found in the parish registers then a search of the parish Session Clerk's records should be done. Church fathers had an obsession with premarital sex amongst their parishioners and seemed to have kept outstanding records pertaining to chastising members of their flock who had strayed.
Unfortunately for us, (who are looking for paper evidence) the chastising would not seem always to have had the desired effect, and although "solemnly admonished and absolved from Church Scandal" my gr.gr.grandmother had had enough of the church fathers´obsession mentioned above and did not have my gr.grandfather baptised; so his birth was not, as far as I can tell, registered. I am sure he was not the only one!

Good hunting,

Thrall

MaryB
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:52 am
Location: Greenock Scotland

Post by MaryB » Tue May 09, 2006 8:14 am

Bob thanks for that - really helped me out :)
Black Isle - Beaton Bethune Campbell
Inverness - Mackintosh
Aberdeen - Mitchell Leslie
Ireland - Cosgrove McGuire
Southshields - Patterson/Pattieson Campbell Sloan
Greenock - Boyle McPhail Blair McKechnie Clark

Ina
Global Moderator
Posts: 1365
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:46 am
Location: California,originally from Greenock.

Post by Ina » Tue May 09, 2006 2:34 pm

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the information. Tried it out yesterday and found some more ancestors.

Ina

BobG
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:46 am
Location: Massachusetts USA

Post by BobG » Tue May 09, 2006 11:07 pm

Heads up everyone......

I forgot to say what you have to do if the parish you are searching in has only two (2) numbers such as the Parish of Watten in Caithness County. Watten's parish number is 42. In the Batch Number, just add a zero (0) after the number eleven (11).

Examples: To Batch number search Christenings in the Parish of Watten, the Batch number would be C110421. Marriages would be M110421

Parish of Halkirk, number 37, in Caithness would be C110371

Parish of Applecross, number 58, in Ross & Cromarty would be C110581

Remember to change the last number to change time periods.

Is that clear? Sorry 'bout that!

Glad the tip has helped.

BobG
Researching Grigor/Roy/Symon in Morayshire & Banffshire. Mearns/Roy/Low in Insch & Auchterless, Aberdeenshire.

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