Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish (#495)

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

History[edit | edit source]

CUMBERNAULD, a parish, in the county of Dumbarton; including the village of Condorat, 10 miles (W. S. W.) from Falkirk. This place derives its name from a Celtic term signifying a confluence of streams, in reference to the junction of several small streams just below the village. The church is situated in the village, in the centre of the parish, and is an old, inconvenient, and uncomfortable building; it contains 650 sittings, but is much too small for the population. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church and United Secession.[1]

This parish was disjoined from that of Kirkintilloch in 1649. It was originally called Easter Lenzie and Kirkintilloch was originally called Wester Lenzie.

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 Cumberhauld.  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 Scotland Census Records.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Cumbernauld.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index         
1851 CD-ROM no. 3816
1881 6086556 ( 4 fiche)

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 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[edit | edit source]

Type of Event Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1688-1854 1041984
Marriages: 1689-1854 1041984
Deaths: 1798-1800 1041984

See also the Kirk Session records below.

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 be indexed in the [1]International Genealogical Index
Births: Early pages were injured by dampness and entries are partly illegible. There are only two entries for December 1699–January 1701. The record is blank July 1710–July 1727, except for five irregular entries 1714–1727. Mother's names are omitted 1727–1734 inclusive. Except for 13 irregular entries, the record is blank July 1752–January 1761. The page for 1778–1779 is imperfect. A portion for 1782–1792 is found after the record for 1819.
Marriages: Leaves prior to 1710, very much wasted, and most of the entries partially illegible. No entries December 1695–August 1696, nor October 1701—November 1702. Records are blank August 1710–October 1727. There is an imperfect leaf at May 1736. Records are blank June 1752–January 1761 and excluding one entry for 1769, March1768– December 1783; also, excluding one entry December 1791–October 1798, and June 1800–January1802.
Deaths: Burial records terminate, May 1800. The New Statistical Account for 1839 states a burial register was well kept from 1817, but perhaps it has been lost. According to the Account, 1823–1831 the average number of burials was under 49. In 1831 there were 74 burials. The number in 1832 was equally high, but those years were not the norm.
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 Kirk session was made up of he 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.

Lenzie Easter[edit | edit source]

Minutes 1666–1688, 1697–1700
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, records CH2/237.

[edit | edit source]

Minutes 1727–1748, 1784–1860
Burials 1817–1854
Communion Rolls 1835–1839
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/79.

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.

In 1831, the population of the parish was 3080 or 700 families. One hundred-eighty families belonged to the Secession Church.

Cumbernauld First Original Associate Secession Church, later Free Church
[edit | edit source]

Many of the parishioners of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth parishes withdrew from the Established church and acceded to the Associate Presbytery in 1737. They were included for a time in the congregation at Falkirk. In 1743, they were disjoined from Falkirk and formed into a separate congregation in Cumbernauld. First church built that year; second church in 1825. The minister and the majority of the congregation adhered to the Associate Burgher Synod at the Breach in 1747. At the division caused by, The Old Light Controversy in 1799, the minister and congregation withdrew and formed part of the Original Burgher Synod. The congregation joined the Church of Scotland in 1839 and was designated as The East Church of Cumbernauld. The minister and congregation adhered to the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843. Lying off the railway lines, and having no local industry, the population declined.
Membership: 1848, 264; 1900, 168.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618, also 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 sources including lists of ministers.

Minutes 1839–1876
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/632.

Cumbernauld Second General Associate Anti-burgher Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was formed by the minority of the first congregation adhering to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod, while the majority adhered to the Associate Burgher Synod at the Breach in 1747 (see history above). For some time after the Breach they were regarded as a mission station and had only occasional supply of sermon, the people attending services at other times at Dennyloanhead. The station was organized as a congregation in 1758–1759. Church built in 1762. New church built in 1860. It is assumed this congregation 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 is unknown.

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]

Cumbernauld was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dunbarton until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dunbarton.  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 Dunbarton and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dunbarton.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Dunbarton. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Dunbarton 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. 246-259. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 February 2014.


Return to the Dunbartonshire parish list.