Stronsay, Orkney, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Stronsay. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
- 1 History
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
STRONSAY and EDAY, two ancient parishes, in the county of Orkney, the one 14 miles (N. E. by E.) and the other 15 miles (N. N. E.) from Kirkwall. These parishes, which have been united from a very remote period, are named after two of the Orkney Islands, one of which is supposed to have derived its appellation from the rapidity of the tides that sweep along its coasts, and the other from the heathy aspect of its surface. There are two churches; the church at Stronsay, erected in 1821, is a neat structure containing 500 sittings, and that of Eday, erected in 1816, contains 300. There are also places of worship for members of the United Secession at Stronsay and Eday, and at the former a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists.
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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.
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 Stronsay, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|| Family History Library Film Number
|| Surname Indexes|
|| 6086634 (2 fiche)|
The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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.
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
|Record Type||Years Covered||Family History Library Film Number|
Condition of Original Registers—
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 December 1770–June 1797.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.
Established Church—Kirk Session Records
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:
Minutes 1753–1760, 1821–1862
Note: Available on Film at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1104.
Nonconformist Church Records
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.
Stronsay General Associate, Anti-burgher Church
Stronsay is an island in Orkney containing a population of about 1500 souls. This congregation originated with islanders of Stronsay who, having heard the gospel preached by Secession ministers on the mainland, were led to apply to the General Associate, Anti-burgher Presbytery of Edinburgh for supply of sermon in their own locality, which was granted in 1799. Stronsay thus became the second place in Orkney in which the Secessionists obtained a footing, Kirkwall being the first. The church was built in 1800 and rebuilt later.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.
Baptisms 1800–1818, 1829–1855
Marriages 1800–1822, 1835–1854
Note: Available on Film at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1116.
Civil Registration Records
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.
Stronsay was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Orkney & Shetland, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Kirkwall. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 Orkney & Shetland.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Orkney. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Orkney and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 15 August 2014.
Return to Orkney parish list.