Browse through Findmypast’s extensive collection of Roman Catholic sacramental registers from Scotland.
With each result, you will be able to browse an individual volume from the beginning to the end. The results will explain the types of events recorded in the volume. The detail found in each will vary depending on the event.
These records will contain baptisms, marriages, and burials, as well as clergy lists, seat rentals, cemetery grave site purchases, parish lists, and miscellaneous records. In order to search the records by name, choose one of the individual record sets available in the Useful links and resources section.
This extensive collection of Roman Catholic records consists of all eight Scottish dioceses: Aberdeen, Argyll & The Isles, Dunkeld, Galloway, Glasgow, Motherwell, St Andrews & Edinburgh, and Paisley. However, the collection is not exhaustive and does contain gaps. The following counties are missing from the records: Shetland, Berwickshire, Kinross, and Clackmannan.
The sacramental records are provided by The Scottish Catholic Archives. Records begin as early as 1736 and continue until 1942. Record keeping was the responsibility of the parish priest; therefore, the amount of detail recorded and the standard of registers can vary between parishes.
In 1538, the Roman Catholic Church was disestablished as the state religion in Scotland. This was the beginning of centuries of persecution and discrimination against Catholics. The practice of the Catholic faith was banned, and Catholics were excluded from public life. However, in spite of these restrictions, many retained their Catholic faith and practices. In 1694, Bishop Thomas Nicolson was appointed the first vicar-apostolic of Scotland by Pope Innocent X. The Bishop laid new foundations for the Catholic Church in Scotland. In 1793, The Relief Act lifted the restrictions on Catholic worship in chapels and granted permission for Catholics to own and inherit land. Full Catholic emancipation culminated in 1829 with the removal of the remaining restrictions against Catholics, such as taking a seat in Westminster.
Latin was the official language of the Roman Catholic Church; therefore, many of the sacramental registers were written in Latin. We have applied a Latin dictionary to the name search field. This gives our search the capability to search for the English and Latin versions of a name when the name variants option is selected.
A me Infrascripto Parocho vel Vicario -- I the undersigned pastor or vicar
Anno Domino – year of Our Lord
Baptizandi Nomen -- baptised with the name
Cognomen -- surname
Conjugum a me -- I married
Die -- day
Domicilium -- residence
Ex parentibus legitimo Matrimonio junctis -- from the parents of a legitimate marriage
Filium / Filiam - son or daughter
Filium legitimum -- legitimate son (or child)
Habitantibus in -- living in
Matrimonium – the sacrament of Holy Matrimony or marriage
Matrina fuit -- the godmother was
Mensis -- month
Natus -- birth
Nomina Parentum -- name of parents
Observanda – observations or notes
Praesntibus testibus – their presence as witnesses
Patrinus fuit -- the sponsor of
Sponsoribus – sponsors