Records of Kirk Sessions, Presbyteries and the General Assembly

The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) is also the place of legal deposit for the records of the Church of Scotland’s Kirk Sessions and Presbyteries which are earlier than those in current use. The NAS also holds the historical records of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the records of synods, which were abolished in 1993. In some cases, the NAS re-transmits the records to local authority archives under special conditions laid down by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland.

The records of Kirk Sessions, Presbyteries, Synods and the General Assembly together make up a major part of Scotland’s written history, and they are used by a wide range of academic, professional and amateur researchers, especially genealogists and ecclesiastical historians.

To preserve the records and make access to them much easier for future generations, digital surrogates of surviving church records from 1500 to 1901 are being made for public use, involving the digital capture of more than five million pages of information. You can visit the National Archives’ website at

Thought for the week

Deuteronomy 31:8 

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged.