Patrick (born 1784)

Great great great grandfather Patrick was born in Alekich but was removed with the rest of his family after his father Alexander was caught cutting down a tree. He married and had his children baptized from Murthly a farm on the eastern edge of Aberfeldy and at that time in the parish of Weem.

He sometimes used the name 'Peter':

*In 1832 Peter MacLagan in the parish of Dull married Isabel Fisher from the parish of Weem. In 1841 and 1851 they were living in Dunkeld Street in Easter Aberfeldy and Peter was working as an agricultural labourer. The family emigrated to Ontario in 1856.

Patrick's wife Elizabeth

Elizabeth Dewar's name is written below Patrick's on the gravestone in Kenmore but, unlike others on the stone, the dates of her birth and death are not recorded. There is no likely candidates in the OPR for Weem, Kenmore and Dull. The only neighbouring parish with a likely Elizabeth was Logierait where a baptism is recorded - '14 March 1782 Elizabeth daughter to James Dewar and Isabel Campbell in Brea of Pitcastle'. Brae of Pitcastle is a farm on the hill behind Strathtay. Did this Elizabeth move to Easter Aberfeldy, which at that time was in the parish of Dull, meet Patrick and get married in 1808?

An entry at the end of her husband's inventory dated 16 Nov 1831 states that a Justice of the Peace was required to 'take her oath to the verity of the inventory'. The inventory of her brother in law, Donald, reveals that she had died by 13 Dec 1831.

Patrick's death

On Alexander's headstone Patrick's date of death was recorded as 1825. This date is not correct. The inventory drawn up after he died intestate shows that he died in July 1831.

Session records of the Parish of Weem attended by PatrickParish session 1826

This record, made in 1826, is one of several rebuking parishioners for fornication (see right). It almost certainly refers to our Peter / Patrick who was an elder of the parish.

Peter Fisher attended a further meeting of the session a year later but this time it included Sir Neil Menzies himself. The meeting was convened 'in consequence of the sum of Four pounds having been given out to their clerk in order to pay the synod clerk fees for a period of years, and having learnt that this sum had never reached its destination tho' given out in July 1823, they hold their clerk responsible for the same'. The meeting again ended with a prayer.

Kirk Sessions

The following description is taken from the Scottish Archive Network.

Each congregation of the Church of Scotland has a Kirk Session, which comprises the minister(s) and the ruling elders, all members of the Session (including the minister) being elders. The elders' duty is care for the spiritual needs of the congregation; each of them has a district of the parish assigned to him/her. The Kirk Session determines the number of elders. The minister is moderator of the Session, and there is a clerk who has custody of all the Session's records. There may also be a treasurer, and an officer or beadle. The Session must have maintained a communion roll, containing the names and addresses of the communicant church members within the parish.

The Kirk Session's duties are to maintain good order amongst its congregation (including administering discipline and superintending the moral and religious condition of the parish), and to implement the Acts of the General Assembly. The Kirk Session is at the base of the pyramid of church courts, and it is subject to the review of the Presbytery in which it is situated, and to the superior courts of the Church. Each Kirk Session elects one of its number to represent it at the Presbytery (and formerly at the Synod).

Into the 19th century, there used to be weekly collections made for the support of the poor, but as the state began to assume responsibility for their support (by means of taxation) so funds collected from communicants might be directed to special schemes (eg support of missionaries), more recently through a weekly freewill offering scheme. Seat or pew rents were also quite common (money paid for a fixed seat in a church), but declined rapidly from the 1950s. Many congregations now have a congregational board, which monitors income and expenditure. Former Free Church congregations often had Deacons' Courts, which had responsibility for the whole property of the congregation, and had to apply spiritual principles in the conduct of their affairs.

Page last updated - 15/8/14