THOUSANDS of historical records from the collections of National Records of Scotland (NRS) are now available online for the first time.

Images of more than a million pages from the kirk session and other court records of the Church of Scotland, containing details of key events in communities across the country between 1559 and 1900, have been added to ScotlandsPeople, NRS’s online research service.

The records offer remarkable insights into the everyday lives of ordinary Scots. The church alsodisciplined parishioners for what today could be called anti-social behaviour – drunkenness, cursing and breaking the Sabbath.

Glasgow records include a note in the Cathcart kirk session minutes where a Robert Thomson accuses a Helen Maitland of uttering the ‘most dreadful curses and imprecations against him’, while the first volume of St Mungo’s kirk session minutes in 1583 reiterates the penalties for fornication - fines or imprisonment for the first offence; fines, imprisonment and head-shaves for the second; and banishment for the third....