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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

K is for Kirk Sessions Records, Kathleen and a Kettle - A to Z Genealogical Challenge

Ros at http://genwestuk.blogspot.com/ has come  up with the idea of an A to Z genealogical challenge for the month of April.  It soon got me thinking, so here are my contributions.

Kirk Session Records  of the Church of Scotland  give us a fascinating glimpse of the past, beyond citing just names and places.  

The Kirk duties were to maintain good order amongst its congregation, including
administering discipline and supervising the moral and religious condition of the parish. It also took a keen interest in irregular marriages, welfare and religious observance. So stories abound in the Kirk Session Records  of offences such as drunkenness, swearing, breaking the Sabbath, quarrelling, sexual misdemeanours and accusations of witchcraft  - alongside charitable activities, poor relief and mortcloth records.  

For the family historian  kirk session records, which date from the 1600's,  can provide a unique social commentary  on the community in which  ancestors  lived.

Until recently kirk session records could only be accessed at National Archives of Scotland (http://www.nas.gov.uk/), but now many have been made available in digital format at local archive centres, including my own  Heritage Hub, Hawick (www.heartofhawick.co.uk/heritagehub).

My stylish mother
Kathleen Weston, nee Danson (1908-1999) - my mother was the seocnd daughter of William Danson and Alice English of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire  and the subject of many a blog posting. "Happiness in Stitching" could be my mother's motto.  For her going  into a fabric shop was like going into a jewellery shop.   If she sat down, she was rarely without a needle in her hand.  She was a creator in patchwork, crochet, collage, felt work, smocking, knitting, embroidery, smocking, dolls and dresses, with dabbles into  millinery, lampshade making and china painting. 

Kettle - I remember this copper kettle sitting in the hearth of my grandfather's house and was always led to believe  it was his mother's - my great grandmother Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe (1859-1919).   I was abolutely  delighted when it eventually passed down to me. 

Copyright © 2012 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

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