Thursday, 7 July 2011

Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae on FamilySearch

I must admit, the new FamilySearch website never ceases to surprise me! Whilst writing up a news story for a magazine on the awarding of a place on the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain's Roll of Honour to FamilySearch's Todd Knowles (see my blog post at, I've just stumbled across a new FamilySearch site and database which will be of particular interest to many in Scotland and with Scottish ancestry.

Most pre-20th century Church of Scotland ministers have a short biographical entry recorded in a work known as the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticane, of which there are a few editions, and in some cases there may even be several entries if they served as minister in more than one parish. The records have been beautifully digitised and made available on Ancestry (, and can also be accessed at the Internet Archive (, though the digitisation of at least one of the volumes is quite poor on this site (but it is free!). A third site, The Scottish Ministers Index at, also provides a more limited access to a couple of volumes for the Synods of Lothian and Tweeddale (1914 edition), and the Synods of Merse and Teviotdale Dumfries and Galloway (3rd edition).

Add to that another online source now, in the form of Family Search's Community Trees site at which amongst many offerings has a fully searchable database of all those listed in the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae collection, some 88,501 names, whether ministers or members of extended families as included in each ministerial entry. It does not seem to provide a source reference for the original volume from which the person named was found, sadly, but it does at least provide details of ministers' charges etc, along with vital records information, so still a useful first step to at least check if they were recorded. The records are also represented in family tree format also, showing relationships as recorded in the biographical entries. The collection was added online in April of this year.

Additional records from Wales and England are also hosted, as well as the Knowles Collection, with more information on these available at

UPDATE: FamilySearch now has a Wiki page on this database at



Scott said...

Hi Chris,

As an added note of interest I noticed that the familysearch site appears to be powered by Darrin Lythgoe's rather excellent 'The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding Software'. I've used TNG for several years and have successfully integrated it into a Wordpress site without any bother at all. Anyway I digress, I thought you'd be interested.



Chris Paton said...

Thanks Scott