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  1. #1
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    Default Kirk sessions of Ayr

    Hello does anyone know how to access kirk sessions (from Australia!)? My great great grandfather, Alexander Brown, was baptised 6 June 1821 in Ayr, Ayrshire, to parents Alexander Brown and Mary McNeight. He's recorded as the "lawful son", then the word "lawful" is crossed out and replaced with "natural", meaning that his parents weren't married. I've been told that that would have earned poor Alexander and Mary a right telling off from the kirk elders, and if so, details would have been recorded in the kirk sessions. Can anyone help pleeeeaaaase

  2. #2
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    Hello Lynne

    My first thought was that the records if they exist would be at the National archives of Scotland, but when I looked up their online catalogue it says that Kirk Session records for Ayr are held at the Burns Monument Centre Kilmarnock. They have a web site with contact details.

    In my family's case the telling off was in the form of an irregular marriage which was on Scotlands people in the old parish registers. I seem to remember that they were rebuked by the church for being irregularly married and then the marriage confirmed.

    I looked on the SP free index and so far can't find any marriage for Alexander Brown and Mary McNeight (and variant spellings). I could only find one birth to these parents which was your gg grandfather. Perhaps they separated or Mary died. Have you found Alexander (or father Alexander) in later censuses? Do you know if your gg granfather had any brothers or sisters?

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Cool Re Kirk sessions Ayr

    Hi Grisel, thanks for your quick reply. I dont believe Alexander Brown and Mary McNeight ever married, as I found her in a couple of later censuses with her maiden name of Mary McNeight. In 1841, she was living in Ayr as a servant, with her mother, Catherine. In 1851, she was living with her now grown-up son Alexander Brown and his wife and child in Glasgow, with the census saying they had all been born in Ayr, and still with her maiden name of McNeight. She didnt appear in the 1861 census but I havent been able to find her death either in the OPRs or deaths post 1855, even looking up the many different spellings for her name.
    I have found no evidence of brothers or sisters for the young Alexander, nor could I find a possible father for him in the 1841 or later censuses. Also, Alexander Brown is not a very uncommon name!
    I'll now explore the Burns Monument Centre website, so again, thanks for your help.
    Cheers and best wishes from Australia , Lynne

  4. #4
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    You're welcome. Do let us know how you get on. I'd never thought of looking up Kirk Session records - another avenue to go along...

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