Upcoming family history talks and events in Scotland, 24 - 30 October 2016
Note that there may be a small charge for some of these events, and some may be for members only. We will be publishing lists of upcoming talks and events regularly - if you are organising a talk or event relating to Scottish genealogy or history, please let us know and we will be happy to add your events to our list.
Monday, October 24 2016, 7.30 pm
Scottish Fire / New Year Celebrations
Venue: Murthly Village Hall
West Stormont Historical Society
Preceded by AGM
Tuesday, October 25 2016, 7.30 pm
Venue: West Kilbride Community Centre, Corse Street, West Kilbride, KA23 9AX
Wednesday, October 26 2016, 4 pm
Not Like the Others: the excavation of an 18th century Inuit sod house
Patrick Jolicoeur, University of Glasgow
Venue: Lecture Theatre (109), Gregory Building
University of Glasgow
Wednesday, October 26 2016, 5 pm
Traditionalising Empire: Imperial Commodities in Gaelic Popular Culture
Dr Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI
Venue: Ross House, Dornoch
University of the Highlands and Islands Centre for History
This seminar examines how imperial commodities found a place within the domestic popular culture of the people of the Highlands from the seventeenth century onwards, at first as exotic, fashionable curiosities, then increasingly as household necessities. See the Centre for History website for details and to book a place/VC connection.
Wednesday, October 26 2016, 7.30 pm
Scott as a Literary Reviewer
Venue: Volunteer Hall, Galashiels
Wednesday, October 26 2016, 9.30 am - 4.30 pm
Highland Life in the 18th Century
Venue: Am Fasgadh Collection, Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore
Following a highly successful seminar in 2015, which celebrated the museum’s 80th year, we are delighted to invite you to our next seminar, which explores Highland life in the Eighteenth Century. The seminar will be held in the Am Fasgadh collections’ facility, in amongst the museum’s collection, which has recently been acknowledged as a Recognised Collection of National Significance. Our prominent panel of speakers will cover topics exploring aspects of life in the 1700s including Sports and Pastimes, Livestock Improvement and Changes in Vernacular Furniture. A fascinating insight into how our ancestors lived and worked. Early bird tickets £22.50. Students £17.50. Adults £27.50. Click here to order tickets online. Lunch included, as well as a curatorial tour of the collection. Contact: Rachel Chisholm 01540 673551 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, October 27 2016
The Loans Smugglers – An Update
Venue: Blue Room, Town Hall, Ayr
Ayrshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Thursday, October 27 2016, 2 pm - 4 pm
Find Your Ain Folk Drop in Service
Venue: Community Room, Largs Library, Allanpark Street, Largs
North Ayrshire Family History Society
Thursday, October 27 2016, 5.15 pm for 5.30 pm
Usurpations [and] infringements”: The Earldom of Mar in the 15th Century
Ms Katy Jack (University of Stirling)
Venue: New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 71 South Street, St Andrews
Institute of Scottish Historical Research
Thursday, October 27 2016, 6 pm - 7.30 pm
Newhailes: Exploring the 1797 Inventory
Ian Gow, chief curator emeritus, NTS
Venue: Newhailes House, Newhailes Road, Musselburgh, EH21 6RY
£8, including complimentary glass of wine. Limited space, book online
Thursday, October 27 2016, 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm
Hidden Treasures of Glasgow in Pictures
Venue: Glen Halls, Neilston
Barrhead & Neilston Historical Association
Thursday, October 27 2016, 7.45 pm
Drymen & District's Early Postal Service
Venue: Drymen Village Hall, Main Street, Drymen, Glasgow, G63 0BP
Drymen & District Local History Society
Saturday, October 29 2016, 11 am - 2 pm
Venue: St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall
Everything you ever wanted to know about brochs but were too afraid to ask. Discussion to be led by Martin Carruthers, site director, The Cairns; Kenneth McElroy and Iain Maclean, Caithness Broch Project; Amanda Brend and James Moore, ORCA
Saturday, October 29 2016, 2 pm
Guided Tour of Chapelton of Elsick
Venue: Chapelton of Elsick, near Newtonhill
Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland
Pioneered by the Duke of Fife, this new but traditional-styled town is nearing completion. Developer Dominic Fairlie will explain its ethos (£12.00 including tea). To book your place please contact the AHSS National Office: email@example.com | 0131 557 0019
Saturday, October 29 2016, 2 pm
Raising Community Flags in Scotland
Venue: Royal Scots Club, Abercromby Place, Edinburgh
The Heraldry Society of Scotland
Sunday, October 30 2016
The Great Disruption of 1843 and the Wider Religious Implications
Venue: Corn Exchange & Ormiston Institute, Market Square, Melrose, TD6 9PN
Borders Family History Society
Kenneth McLean will talk about the Disruption nationally and in the Borders looking at the make-up of Scottish religious life and the United Secession, Relief and United Presbyterian churches in the middle decades of the 1800s.
H is for Heads of families
On 31 May 1834, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, meeting in Edinburgh, enacted the Overtures and Interim Acts on the Calling of Ministers. This was the latest instalment in a long-running dispute within the Church about who should appoint the minister when a parish fell vacant. The right of patronage – the right of patrons, usually nobles or major landowners, to appoint ministers – had been controversial since the Reformation. An Act of the Scottish Parliament in 1690 vested patronage in the heritors and elders of each parish. They were given the right to propose a candidate, with the whole congregation then given the right to accept or reject the proposal.
In 1711, the British Parliament passed the Church Patronage (Scotland) Act, which restored the rights of the original patrons. The Church was strongly opposed to this, and made an annual protest to Parliament every year until 1784. Two factions emerged, the Moderates, who reluctantly accepted the Patronage Act, and the Evangelicals, who opposed it in principle.
In 1730, the General Assembly passed an Act removing the right of objectors to have their objections officially recorded. The Evangelicals viewed this as an attempt to silence them. Two years later, the General Assembly granted the right of patronage to heritors and elders where a patron failed to nominate a candidate within six months. Some in the Church – notably Ebenezer Erskine – wanted this right to be transferred to the Heads of Families within a congregation. But the fact that objections could no longer even be recorded led to a schism in the Church, known as the Original Secession.
A hundred years later, in 1834, the General Assembly passed the Overtures and Interim Acts on the Calling of Ministers, more commonly known as the Veto Act. The Veto Act was a victory for the Evangelical party, preventing a patron from presenting a minister if a majority of the heads of households objected to the candidate.
This led to a series of court actions by patrons, and eventually led to the Veto Act being declared ultra vires in the House of Lords. For many this was the final straw, and the main consequence of the annulment of the Veto Act was the Great Disruption of 1843, with about 40% of ministers walking out of the Church of Scotland, founding the Free Church of Scotland and leaving the Church of Scotland as a minority church.
Aside from the consequences for genealogy research of the Disruption itself – less than half of Scots were now members of the Church of Scotland, so researchers often have to look elsewhere than the Old Parish Registers to find their ancestors – the Veto Act is also relevant for family historians. The Act required all parishes to draw up rolls of "male heads of families, being members of the congregation, and in full communion with the Church" within two months, and to insert these rolls into the Kirk Session records.
While not all of these rolls of heads of families survive, hundreds of them do, and they provide a very useful record of inhabitants all over Scotland in the years before the first nominal census of 1841. We have transcribed them (more than 150,000 names), and made them available on our website free of charge. The table below gives a complete list of them, with links to the individual parishes.
Genealogy and Family History - A mix of our news, curious and intriguing discoveries. Research hints and resources to grow your family tree in Scotland from our team.