Religion in Scotland.
The Church of Scotland
The history of the Church of Scotland is full of schisms leading to significant numbers of people splitting off and forming their own church. The largest such split was The Disruption in 1843 - it is estimated that as many as 60% of the communicants left the Church of Scotland to join the Free Kirk. While instructions to Church of Scotland ministers were to register events concerning everyone in their parish, it was most often the case that events involving such nonconformists were not included.
Roman CatholicsCatholic Family History Society - website dedicated to British Catholicism, catholic ancestry plus an index to the index of the Society's Catholic Ancestor journal.
Catholicism was made illegal in Scotland in 1560, but it remained a small but potent force as demonstrated by the risings of 1715 and 1745, which both contained strong Catholic elements. Both rebellions caused severe repercussions for Catholics, the latter continuing until 1793. In SCotland the Established Church was the Presbyterian Church, and until the 19th century the number of Catholics was not great. However early Catholic registers do exist, the earliest from 1703, but the majority much later. Most of the surviving pre-1855 Catholic registers are at the National Archives for Scotland, and those from 1855 onwards are kept with the churches. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, about two-thirds of migrants from Ireland to Scotland were Roman Catholic. Anti-Irish sentiment in Scotland reached a peak in the 1920's and 1930's, when a political party was formed on sectarian lines to defend the Protestant working class.
Catholic Central Library - contains 65,000 books and periodicals including theology, spirituality and related subjects, biography, history (including Catholic Family History), and many works not available elsewhere. The reading room contains the reference stock, current journals, and back numbers of the most frequently consulted journals.
Other Christian GroupsPost-Reformation church in Scotland - Scotland's churches after 1700.
Protestant non-conformity arose through groups splitting off from the Church of England. Congregationalists, Baptists and Presbyterians trace their roots to the Elizabethan Puritans within the Church of England, who broke away completely after the failure of the Savoy Conference on 1661. George Fox founded Quakerism in the 1640's and in the 18th century Unitarianism broke off from the three denominations and Wesleyan Methodism split from the Angican church. John Knox introduced Presbyterianism as the most widespread form of Christianity in Scotland in the 1560's. In 1637, in defiance of Angican England, the Scots signed a covenant, agreeing to defend Presbyterianism against all comers and made it Scotland's national church. It has remained so, except for the period 1660-87.
The Methodist Archives and Research Centre - established by the Methodist Church of Great Britain in 1961 to house the Connexional records of the Church. The size of the collection transferred from London was estimated at over 26,000 printed items and approximately 600 feet of manuscript shelving. Since 1977 the Archives have expanded considerably, with approximately 60,000 deposits of new material.
The Quaker Family History Society - formed in 1993 and is a member of the Federation of Family History Societies. The aim is to encourage and assist anyone interested in tracing the history of Quaker families in Britain and Ireland. They are based in Britain, so do not claim any expertise on the history of Quakers outside Britain.
GENUKI pages on Scottish church history
Boys and girls as young as eight or nine could join as cadets at a few corps from the late 1870's and could transfer to the adilt Army as soldiers between the ages of 14 and 15. The Salvation Army gained many young recruits once the Scout and Guide movements bacame popular in the early 20th century. Once a soldier, you could remain in service for as long as you wished. The Salvation Army was the first uniformed voluntary organisation to welcome entire families into its ranks, and so generations of Salvationists may be found in family trees over the years. The official Salvation Army website can be found at www.salvationarmy.org.uk.
JudaismJewish archive repositories in the UK and Ireland - includes references to material of relevance to Anglo-Jewry held elsewhere.
The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain - the Society encourages genealogical research and promotes the preservation of Jewish genealogical records and resources. Includes discussion forums.
JewishGen - the primary internet source connecting researchers of Jewish genealogy worldwide. Its most popular components are the JewishGen Discussion Group, the JewishGen Family Finder (a database of 400,000 surnames and towns), the comprehensive directory of InfoFiles, ShtetLinks for over 200 communities, Yizkor Book translations, and databases.
Tracing the Tribe - a JTA blog about Jewish genealogy -- all the developments, tools and resources you'll need to peer more closely into your family tree.