Have been delving into a booklet just published by Scottish Genealogy Society entitled “Edrom Parish - Certificates of Character - Given and Received” The given certificates cover the years 1797 to 1815 and those received, the years 1796 to 1854.
On moving, whether because of family reasons, employment or otherwise it was necessary before being admitted into the Church in the new parish to produce a certificate of good character signed by the minister of the Church from which one was moving.
The certificates issued give the date, the name of the person, the minister who issued the certificate and the parish whence they came.
Most of those were fairly local but there were a number from further afield and I noticed for instance new communicants to Edrom coming from such places as Strichen, Largo, Mauchline and also from Yorkshire.
What I found of particular interest was a record of new certificates issued to persons taking communion for the first time, invariably members of families already resident in the Parish. These records show the farm of residence and are in many ways ‘coming of age‘ certificates and it is interesting to trace members of the same family as they ‘reach maturity’.
The gravestones at Edrom were transcribed by the Society last summer and we are hoping to be able to publish reasonably shortly.
One of the ministers who issued (and received) certificates was the Rev. John Hastie (1797 to 1822). The Rev Hastie left a diary which was published by the Society in 2004 and is still available to purchase (price £6.50) As well as giving much background information on the day to day life of a Parish minister at this time there is also in the diary a considerable amount of genealogy not contained in the Parish records.
The booklet, a copy of which is available for consultation within the Society Archive, can be purchased from the Scottish Genealogy Society at a price of £3.50 plus postage.