Author Topic: Kirk session records & illegitimate births  (Read 4052 times)

Offline siroli

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Kirk session records & illegitimate births
« on: Saturday 06 July 13 12:55 BST (UK) »
Hi all

I have an ancestor who was born to two individuals in Peebles in 1797/98 (I haven't found a baptism). The parents were not married.  Around the same time, the father was conscripted into the militia and moved away from Peebles.   The mother then appears to have married another man (a widow).  Can anyone tell me if the Kirk Session Records would likely contain a record of or a reference to of the illegitimate pregnancy? 

thanks
Simon

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Offline JMStrachan

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Re: Kirk session records & illegitimate births
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 06 July 13 18:09 BST (UK) »
They might - unmarried women who were noticeably pregnant were frequently called before the kirk session and asked to name the father, and the proceedings were written up in the kirk session minutes. The kirk session minute books that survive have been digitised but only for viewing at the National Archives in Edinburgh, and a few other archive centres in Scotland. They're not yet online as the haven't been indexed: if you go to Edinburgh you can view the minute book but have to trawl through the relevant dated section to try and find what you're after.

I'm intrigued in this case, though: if there is no baptism record, how do you know who the father was?
AYRSHIRE - Strachan, McCrae, Haddow, Haggerty, Neilson, Alexander
ABERDEENSHIRE (Cruden and Longside) - Fraser, Hay, Logan, Hutcheon or Hutchison, Sangster
YORKSHIRE (Worsbrough) - Green, Oxley, Firth, Cox, Rock
YORKSHIRE (Royston and Carlton) - Senior, Simpson, Roydhouse, Hattersley

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Offline vivdunstan

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Re: Kirk session records & illegitimate births
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 28 July 13 22:59 BST (UK) »
The original kirk session minutes volumes for the Scottish Borders are now held at the Heritage Hub in Hawick, having been transferred to there from the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh. So that can be an alternative way of accessing these records.

Offline 42heatkool

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Re: Kirk session records & illegitimate births
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 12 November 13 00:19 GMT (UK) »
My ancestor Marion Williamson, born Nov 1860, daughter of Robert Williamson/Mary Hope, died of a brain tumor in London 1885.She was not married, and was described as a 'gentlewoman' on the death certificate. The death was registered by her brother W. H. Williamson of Beauthorn, Peebles.  She is on the 1881 census in Peebles as a 20 yr old school teacher. Was she sent off to London in 1881 because she was pregnant? I have a birth of an Ethel Williamson in Notting Hill whose mother was Marion Williamson. No father was named on the birth cert.
I would like to connect the Marion who died of a brain tumor to the Marion, mother of Ethel.
Any help would be very much appreciated.