Wednesday, 26 October 2011

On the verge of a new life...

I’ve just spent a busy but productive day at the ScotlandsPeople Centre and whilst researching a client’s family from Argyll came across this interesting entry in the Old Parish Register for Kilchrenan and Dalavich: 

OPR 517: Parish of Kilchrenan and Dalavich, Argyll 

Register of Marriages in the United Parishes of Kilchrenan and Dalavich 
June 5 Peter Macffarlane late at Airdchonnal & 
          Elizabeth Campbell at Kames. Were Married this day 
                            at the Manse of Kilchrenan by 
                            Mr William Fraser Min[iste]r 
                            and were furnised [sic] with a certifi-
                            cate of their Marriage & Moral 
                            Character as they with his Father 
                            and family are preparing for Emigrating 
                            to Upper Canada. 

It’s one of those times when the clerk thought to note down at bit more than just the bare facts and it paints an evocative picture of a young couple on the verge of a new life. I think Elizabeth must have been brave to leave her own family behind and head off into the unknown, but perhaps she couldn’t bear the thought of Peter sailing off without her!


  1. How nice of the clerk to make such a notation! I would love to find a notation in a marriage record for my great-great grandparents, as I believe they too were married shortly before leaving for (Upper) Canada!


  2. I have a similar comment for my great-great grandparents' marriage. I presume they married but no date was added

    From the Parish Register for Ardrossan Ayr Scotland concerning their marriage:

    Thomas Love and Agnes Hamilton both in this parish gave in their names for proclamation of banns of marriage (prior to their going to America) this 26th day of March 1842 were regularly proclaimed and married by [not completed left blank]". They came to Upper Canada.

    It is great when the extra information is added. It also helps to confirm that we are most likely dealing with the correct couple.

  3. Hi Janet,

    Thanks for sharing your great-great-grandparents' marriage entry. It's interesting to hear of a similar example. Often the OPRs give such little detail and it is great to find the occasional genealogical gem!


  4. Sharp/ Mcdonald clan2 May 2013 at 04:12

    do you know if the kilchrenan registers are available outside scotland. I am in australia and have 7 children, so a trip over is not possible, i am desperate to find registration and parish info (scotlands people does not have all of it, and costs the earth!!) thanks in advance!

    1. The whole of the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Kilchrenan & Dalavich should be available on although there may well be gaps in the original records (for example there are no burials for the parish included in the OPR). Alternatively all Scottish OPRs were microfilmed by the LDS church some years ago and can be accessed through FamilySearch Centres worldwide - see for a list of these. You could also contact the Society of Australian Genealogists who have a good collection of overseas records in their library in Sydney. Good luck with your research!