National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Catholic Parish Registers – Converts

Catholic Parish Registers – Converts

In many cases, the records of converts are to be found in baptismal registers. Converts are generally individuals who have reached adulthood, consequently the information regarding the conversions is limited regarding parentage and families.

The information contained in the original registers can be quite minimal, and varies from parish to parish and indeed over time within each parish. At best, a convert register will record the following:

  • name of the convert
  • date of baptism
  • date of birth
  • legitimacy
  • father’s name
  • mother’s name (including maiden surname)
  • place or parish of residence
  • father’s occupation
  • names of witnesses (occasionally with occupation, address and/or relationship to the child)
  • name of the priest.

Whilst some registers record all of the information above, most in practice record minimal information such as the names of the convert and a baptismal date. There was no standard format for registers, and they can consist of small notebooks, larger unformatted ledgers or pre-printed registers.

Example from a convert register (click on image to view the full size)

Example from a convert register

Tomintoul, Our Lady and St Michael's: General Register (Converts), 1783-2007. MP/35/1/1/1 page 73