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Dumfries Kirk Session

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This project to create an index-cum-synopsis of the contents of the Kirk Session and Presbytery Minutes of Dumfries has been undertaken by the "Friends of the Archives of Dumfries and Galloway" whose names appear below.*

The Kirk Session was made up of the minister and elders of the church and its task was to maintain Christian standards of behaviour within the parish. In fact, all aspects of the life of the community fell within its remit so these records form a rich source for social, economic and local history as well as a goldmine for genealogists. The Presbytery was the next layer up in church administration, comprising members representating the constituent Kirk Sessions.

Charitable works and the promotion of a virtuous life were perhaps the main concerns of the Kirk Session. It oversaw the care of the poor, maintaining the parish mortifications (charity rolls) and licensing beggars. With regard to morality, the Kirk Session hunted out fornicators and adulterers, punishing them with fines and public penitence, and also those irregularly married (ie without the banns having been called in their own parish churches). More serious cases were referred up to the Presbytery.

The period covered by this database is 1687 to 1695 for Presbytery records, and 1689 to 1838 for Kirk Session records.

NOTE : The date given for any entry is that of its first mention. If the subject continued for some time, the first and subsequent page numbers are given. These Church of Scotland records are held under Charge and Superintendence from the Keeper of the Records of Scotland and the reference numbers of the volumes are those allocated by the National Archives of Scotland.

* "Friends" Involved: Ian Anderson, Sheila Fraser, Alison Greenshields, Mary Milne, Ernie Smith, Marion Stirling and Bill Sutherland; assisted by : Lucy Gibbon, Susan Knox, Nichola Marchbank, Erica Seggie, Mary Moffat, Vivienne Orr, Alan Sinclair and Steven Speight.

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  (dd/mm/yyyy) NB: Records in the database date from the period 1687 - 1838.

  (dd/mm/yyyy) NB: Records in the database date from the period 1687 - 1838.

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