Re: St. Ninians, church or place (Stirling)

Nancy W.

Thanks for all the websites.  I am trying to write up my family history now and these will certainly be helpful to "get it right" regarding the area, history and customs of the times.


On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 8:24:00 AM CST, Nancy W. <wright4766@...> wrote:

Anne, Thank you.  It helps me understand the way things were done in early eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Scotland.  They were probably not very different from the way things were done in the US at the same time. You just reminded me again that the times have changed and are changing faster now.

On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 5:20:33 AM CST, Anne Burgess via <anne.genlists@...> wrote:


From the point of view of family history, St Ninians is a //parish// in the county of Stirling. It happens to be next door to the parish of Stirling, and is now effectively a suburb of the city.

The really important points to understand are (a) that, until the 19th century at least, the parish was the basic unit, not only of the church but also of civil record-keeping and (b) that most events recorded in a parish register did not necessarily take place in the kirk building. Unless you find a record that says specifically that a wedding or baptism ceremony was performed in the kirk itself, or that the witnesses to a baptism were the congregation, you cannot safely assume that it was.

Most wedding ceremonies, for example, were held in the bride's parents home or, if she had no parents living or was married a long way from home, in the manse (the minister's residence) or in her employer's home. Baptisms too were often performed in the parents' home. Kirk ceremonies became common only during the 20th century, though I myself was baptised in my parents' living room, and I have been a bridesmaid at a wedding in the bride's parents' living room.

So you must not assume that James Lowrie and Grace Monteath were married in a kirk building. In 1829, in fact, the overwhelming likelihood is that they were not.

For background about the parish of St Ninians, see
For more information about Scottish marriage customs see



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