Monday, 1 February 2016

Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd ed) now on sale

I have just produced two new books for Unlock the Past, the first of which is now available to purchase in Australia from Gould Genealogy, and worldwide in ebook format.

Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition) is a major update for a book that I first produced 5 years ago for Unlock the Past (it was in fact the first book that I wrote for the company in 2010). Not only does this new edition include updated links, the subject matter covered itself is considerably expanded from the first edition - particularly with regard to non-Church of Scotland based denominations, but also with new subject areas within Church of Scotland records themselves. In fact, the book's content has been expanded by about 50% - I had a lot more to say!

Here is the back cover description:

Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition)

In this newly updated and much expanded second edition of his best selling book, family historian Chris Paton explores the history and records of the various churches in Scotland prior to 1855, the year in which civil registration commenced within the country. He describes the theological changes imposed by the Reformation of 1560, the nature of the state’s battles with the Kirk, and the Kirk’s subsequent battles within itself. Most importantly, he also discusses the nature of the records generated by the various Scottish churches, how to interpret them, and above all else, how to find them.

Whether you are looking for tales of ministers carried into the air by Scotland’s fairy folk, the fire and thunder of John Knox, a detailed explanation of the online offerings of the ScotlandsPeople website, or the treasures waiting in the National Records of Scotland, this is the definitive research guide to help anyone with Caledonian connections.

And the Contents list:

Second edition
1. The Godly Commonwealth
- The Reformation
- The Stuarts
- Secessions and dissenters
- The Disruption
- Multi-faith Scotland
2. Church of Scotland Research
- The Vital Records (OPRs)
- Baptisms
- Marriage
- Burials
- Accessing the BMD records
3. Church governance
- Kirk Session records
- Establishing what exists
- Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly
- Heritors
- Estate papers
4. Nonconformist Presbyterian Churches
- Looking for clues
- Finding nonconformist records
- Locating the right church
- Switching churches
- Catalogues
5. Other church denominations
- The Scottish Episcopal Church
- Roman Catholicism
- Quakers
- Methodists
- Salvation Army
- Congregationalists
- Evangelical Union
- Baptists
- Catholic Apostolic Church (Irvingites)
- Moravians
- Bereans
- Universalists
- Unitarians
- Swedenborgians
- Mormons
- Jews
- Muslims
- Sikhs
6. Working for the Church
- Church of Scotland ministers
- Other ministers
- Newspapers
- School teachers
Appendix 1. Basic research strategy
Appendix 2. Further reading

To purchase the book in Australia, please visit Gould Genealogy at The price is $AU28 inc GST.

To purchase the title as an ebook (in PDF format), please visit Genealogy eBooks at The price is AU$9.95 inc GST.

The book will be further available from the UK and Canada in the very near future - stay tuned!


For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit My Pinterest account is at

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