Dunbartonshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Background[edit | edit source]

Loch Lomond Map 1800.jpg

Dunbartonshire (or Dumbartonshire) is a county in the west of Scotland, bounded on the north by Perthshire, on the east by the counties of Perth and Stirling, on the south by the Firth of Clyde, and on the west by Argyllshire.  Including the detached parishes of Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld, it extends towards the east for 12 miles between the counties of Stirling and Lanark and is about 57 miles in length.  It varies from 24 to 2 miles in breadth and contains 261 square miles or 167,040 acres.

The county consists of twelve parishes.  Dumbarton is the county town and the only royal burgh.  There are four burghs of barony and several villages.

The surface of the county is strikingly diversified with mountains and lakes.  The northern part abounds with mountains and no more than 400 acres have been subjected to the plough.  In the southern district are two ridges of hills of considerable height reaching from east to west between which is the picturesque vale of Glenfruin, more than five miles in length.  Also in the south is an extensive tract of lowland in high cultivation, intersected by the Kilpatrick braes, a beautiful range of hills.  Loch Lomond, after intersecting a small portion of the county on the north, forms part of its eastern boundary separating it from the county of Stirling.  The river Leven at its southern extremity flows south out of Loch Lomond and, after a course of about seven miles, flows into the Firth of Clyde.  About one-third of the county is in cultivation and the remainder is mountain pasture, wood, and lakes.  Cattle and sheep are raised.  Slate, limestone, and coal are wrought.  There are extensive cotton-mills, calico-printing works, and bleachfields, a large manufacture of glass, and other works.

(Source:  Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851.  Family History Library book 941 E5L.) 

Scotlands People: An Important Online Source[edit | edit source]

ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.

The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:

  • Statutory Registers
  • Old Parish Registers
  • Catholic Parish Registers
  • CPR Others
  • Census
  • Valuation Rolls
  • Soldiers’ Wills
  • Wills & Testaments
  • Coats of Arms

For more detail on exact record availability, see Availability. For examples of the records available, see Record Types and Examples. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a small pay per view fee to see the actual digitized record.

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Here is a list of the historic parishes of Dunbartonshire (or Dumbartonshire) with their parish numbers.  Click on a parish name to see information about records.

Parish No.
Arrochar 492
Bonhill (Alexandria) 493
Cardross 494
Cumbernauld 495
Dumbarton (or Dunbarton) 496
Kilmaronock 497
Kirkintilloch 498
Luss 499
East Kilpatrick -- see New Kilpatrick
New Kilpatrick 500
Old Kilpatrick 501
Roseneath 502
Row 503
West Kilpatrick -- see Old Kilpatrick  

Census[edit | edit source]

The Scottish government began taking censuses of its population in 1841, and every ten years thereafter. The records must be 100 years old before they are released to the public, so the most recent record available is for the 1901 census.  Read more about census records.

Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Libray has county-wide census indexes for Dunbartonshire for 1851 and 1881. A list of Census surname indexes for different places within Dunbartonshire at the library can be seen by clicking here.

[edit | edit source]

Click on the map to see a larger map, then click again on the larger version.  Click on the 'Expand' button when it appears in the lower right-hand corner of the map.

Dunbarton, c. 1845.jpg

Click here to see an outline map of Dunbartonshire.

Click here to see detailed town plans, c. 1847-1895

Poorhouse Records[edit | edit source]

Dunbarton Combinationwww.workhouses.org.uk/Dumbarton/

Helpful Websites[edit | edit source]

[Return to county list.]