Lochbroom, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

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Parish  # 75

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

History[edit | edit source]

LOCHBROOM, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 45 miles (N. W. by W.) from Dingwall; containing the late quoad sacra parish of Ullapool. This place derives its name from two considerable inlets, by which it is intersected for some miles towards the east, and of which the large is situated in the north, and the smaller, or Little Loch Broom, in the southern portion of the parish. The church, situated at the head of Loch Broom, was built in 1844–5; it is a neat structure containing from 700 to 800 sittings. A church has been erected by parliamentary grant in the village of Ullapool. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

The parish of Lochbroom derives its name from a fresh water lake surrounded by high hills, and known by the very characteristic appellation of Lock-a’ Bhraoin, or the Lake of Showers; Braon, or Braom, in Gaelic, signifying a shower, or drizzle of rain. The parish is bounded on the west by the channel called the Minsh, which separates the island of Lewis from the mainland of Scotland. It has the parish of Assint on the north; the parishes of Kincardine and Contin on the east; and the parish of Gairloch on the south.

There is no market-town in the parish, nor any nearer than Dingwall, about forty-five miles from Ullapool.

Of the ancient history of this parish very little is known, there being no printed or manuscript accounts of it in existence, yet there have been men of genius and talents connected with it. Norman M’Leod, (alias Tormaid Ba’n) the author of the well know song of Caberfeidh, was a native of this parish, and father of the late minister of Rogart in Sutherland, and of Professor M’Leod, late Regent of the University of Glasgow. Murdoch M’Leod, (alias Murcha M’Iain ‘Ic Uillam) is another poet of great merit who was a native of this parish. The Rev. James Robertson, from the district of Athole, was born about the year 1701 was also a native of the parish.
The landed proprietors of the parish are, the Hon. Mrs. Hay M’Kenzie of Cromertie; Mr. Davidson of Tulloch; Mr. M’Kenzie of Dundonnell; Sir George M’Kenzie of Coul; and Captain Fraser of Balnain.

The population in 1755 was 2211 and at the census of 1831, had increased to 4615.

There are no parochial registers within the parish, further back than 1808. There is one Government church in the parish, situated in the village of Ullapool; but no chapel of ease nor any missionaries. There is no Seceding, nor Episcopalian, nor Roman Catholic, nor dissenting chapel of any denomination, in the parish. All the parishioners are of the Established Presbyterian church, and firmly attached to it doctrines, discipline, and government.

This account was written May 1835.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland for Lochbroom, FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 14.

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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish you are interested in. 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 Lochbroom as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6037266 (6 fiche)
6086658 (4 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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
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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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Record Type Years Covered FHL Film Numbers
Births: 1810-1854 0990656 item 2
Marriage: 1799-1854 0990656 item 2
Death: No entries none


Condition of Original Registers—[edit | edit source]

Index: 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.
Note: Records were kept regularly and no records were kept previously.
Source:Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records[edit | edit source]

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:

The extent of records is unknown.

Nonconformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Lochbroom Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister of Lochbroom, adhered to the Free Church but died shortly after the Disruption in 1843. The church and manse were built in the village of Ullapool. A church was erected in 1854 for the Coigach section of the congregation, and another at little Lochbroom. In 1893 a number seceded from the congregation to join the Free Presbyterians. A diminishing population made it difficult to maintain the strength of the congregation.
Membership:1855, 422; 1900, 126.
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 ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

Civil Registration
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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
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Lochbroom was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Ross until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Ross & Cromarty. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 Ross & Cromarty and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Ross.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Ross & Cromarty. Look in the library catalog  for the 'Place-names' of Ross & Cromarty 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. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 1 August 2014.

Return to Ross & Cromarty parish list.