St. Andrews, Orkney, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
St Andrews

Parish #25

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of St. Andrews. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.

History[edit | edit source]

ANDREW'S, ST., a parish, in the county of Orkney; containing exclusively the late quoad sacra parish of Deerness. This parish is situated on the eastern coast of the mainland, and is bounded on the north by the Frith of Shapinshay; on the east by Deer Sound, which separates it from Deerness; and on the west by the bay of Inganess. The church, built in 1801, and enlarged in 1827, is a neat structure, conveniently situated, and containing 400 sittings. A Free Church place of worship has been erected here.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Reoords[edit | edit source]

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of St.Andrews as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086634 (2 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the library.

Church Records
[edit | edit source]

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.
Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers[edit | edit source]

Record Type
Years Covered
FHL Film Number


Condition of Original Registers—
[edit | edit source]

Indexed: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: There are no entries July 1671–May 1672; two entries, April 1674–September 1678; none for August 1681–June 1683, August 1687–March 1689; two for 1691; none for June 1693–May 1695 and July 1698–August 1700. There are only three entries, December 1716–July 1729, and irregular entries 1740–1744 after December 1752. Records were not regularly kept after 1796.
Marriages: There are no marriage entries December 1674–October 1676 and February 1679–January 1680. There is one entry February 1684–January 1690. There are no entries July 1698–November 1700 and January 1717–October 1746. There are no entries December 1751–December 1752, December 1765–December 1766, November 1781–May 1783, March 1795–August 1805, from which the record is merely one of proclamation fees.
Deaths: There are no entries April 1795–July 1805, after which there is only a record of Mortcloth Dues.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970.
British Book 941 K23b

Established Church—Kirk Session Records[edit | edit source]

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

There are no pre–1855 records.

Nonconformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union List.

St. Andrews Free Church[edit | edit source]

James Smellie, minister of St. Andrews, and a large portion of the people "came out" in 1843 and a church and manse were soon erected. The church was rebuilt in 1886.
Membership: 1848, 149; 1900, 117.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Minutes 1853–1949
Deacons' Court Minutes 1853–1896
Scroll Minutes, Session and Deacons' Court 1843–1853
Baptismal Register 1843–1949
Note: Available on Film at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1107.

Civil Registration Records
[edit | edit source]

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.
See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records
[edit | edit source]

St.Andrews was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Orkney & Shetland until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Kirkwall]. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library  catalog for the 'Place-names' of Orkney and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Orkndy & Schetland.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Orkney. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Orkney and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 15 August 2014.

Return to Orkney parish list.