Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #483

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Kilsyth. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.

History[edit | edit source]

KILSYTH, a burgh of barony and a parish, in the county of Stirling; containing the late quoad sacra parish of Banton, and the village of Auchinmully, 12½ miles (N. E.) from Glasgow. This place was anciently called "Monaebrugh," from the name of the barony which now forms the eastern portion of the parish, and of which alone it for many years consisted till the annexation of the barony of Kilsyth in 1649. The town is situated on the north road from Glasgow to Edinburgh. The parish church, erected in 1816, at the western extremity of the town, is an elegant structure in the later English style of architecture, and containing 860 sittings. A church has been built at Banton; and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the Relief, and Wesleyans.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Kilsyth, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available.

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church  Old Parochial Registers
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Click here[low quality link] to go to the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the Established Church records for Kilsyth, covering the years 1619-1854.

Condition of Original Registers
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Indexed: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births and Marriages: The records are intermixed until 1760. Both records are blank May 1625–June 1631, May 1635–May 1639, September 1639–September 1643. There is one leaf for 1660, and another for 1668, imperfect. The records are blank September 1668–August 1672. There is a page of irregular entries births, 1666–1683, after 1672. Proclamations and marriages are separately entered until 1760. The records are blank December 1721–January 1723. At July 1766, occurs a heading for a separate record of births of children of Dissenters, but there is only one entry under it, dated 1764. Separate records of births and marriages from 1761. There are four pages of entries of marriages without dates after 1778.
Deaths: Deaths and burials.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church Kirk Session Records
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The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Minutes 1690–1725, 1751–1768, 1783–1889
Accounts 1769–1848
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/216.

Nonconformist Church Records
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A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union List.

Kilsyth Relief Church, later United Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

When a new minister was presented to the parish of Eaglesham in 1765, the whole of the parishioners there petitioned against his settlement. The minister of Kilsyth supported the new minister, which his own parishioners greatly objected to. When a group of them questioned him on his stance, he told them to go home and mind their own business. When he continued in his support, the great body of the parishioners of Kilsyth met and resolved on separation from the Established Church. In March 1768, they applied to the Relief presbytery of Glasgow to be taken under their inspection as a forming congregation, which was granted. Church built in 1770. This congregation joined in the union of the Secession and Relief churches in 1847, and thus became United Presbyterian.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

The extent of records for this congregation is unknown.

Records of St. Ninian’s Relief Presbytery which included Kilsyth:
Minutes 1781–1845   (FHL Film Number 1886473)

Kilsyth Free Church
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The minister of the parish, and nearly all his congregation, “came out” at the Disruption in 1843. During the first summer, until their church was erected, they met for worship in the open air. The church was reconstructed in 1870.
Membership: 1848, 255; 1900, 384.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

Minutes 1843–1874
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1843–1859
Collections 1844–1881
Communion Roll 1854–1877
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/976.

Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.

See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Kilsyth was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Ayr until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Stirling. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Stirling and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Ayr.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Stirling. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Stirling and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 61-82. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 February 2014.

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