Burial records

Historically, the Church of Scotland, in the form of Kirk Sessions and heritors in each parish, was responsible for the maintenance of burial grounds within churchyards and kept records of burials. In 1925 responsibility for the maintenance of Church graveyards was transferred to local authorities (or councils) in Scotland and from then burial records were no longer the responsibility of the Church.

The location of burial records is not as clear cut as that for baptismal and marriage records, but in most cases any surviving burial registers will be among kirk session records at the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) or at the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS).

You can visit the GROS online at www.gro-scotland.gov.uk

Over the last 20 years the inscriptions on gravestones and monuments in many Scottish burial grounds, or at least those which are legible, have been surveyed and indexed by local history, family history and antiquarian societies, and the results published. Usually these can be consulted at local studies libraries and archive services of the relevant local authorities in Scotland.

Thought for the week

John Shelby Spong

“God is not a noun, that demands to be defined, God is a verb that invites us to live, to love, and to be”