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Catholic Parish Registers

Catholic Parish Registers comprise records of

  • births and baptisms
  • marriages
  • confirmations
  • deaths and burials
  • communicants
  • sick calls
  • status animarum
  • converts
  • first confessions
  • seat rents

The records cover all Scottish parishes in existence by 1855 – before the introduction of civil registration; the records of the main Catholic cemeteries in Edinburgh and Glasgow and the records of the RC Bishopric of the Forces, which records all sacramental events for British service men and women serving in the armed forces worldwide.

Under the provisions of Church Law, all faithful are to have sacramental information recorded in the registers of the parish. Record format and content varied over time, with the responsibility for the information gathered being placed with the parish priest - since there was no standard format prescribed, record keeping varied enormously from parish to parish and also from year to year.

As a result, the information may be sparse, unreliable and difficult to read. Approximately 700 registers have survived, the earliest dating from 1703, but most records only begin in the 30 years following the relaxation of legislation against Catholics in the 1790s. To find out more about the types of CPR records, select one from the right menu.

For more information on Catholic Parish Registers, please click here.

For information on accessing the original records, please click here.

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