Roseneath, Dunbartonshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #502

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


History[edit | edit source]

ROSENEATH, a parish, in the county of Dumbarton, 3 miles (W. by N.) from Helensburgh. By some writers the name of this place is said to be a modification of Ross-Neoth, descriptive of its form and original appearance as a bare and unwooded promontory. The parish is bounded on the east by the Gareloch, on the south by the Frith of Clyde, and on the west by Loch Long. The old church, situated about two miles from the southern boundary of the parish, and on the shore of the Gareloch, originally a cruciform structure dedicated to the Virgin Mary, having fallen into decay, was taken down in 1780, with the exception of the belfry, which has been preserved. The present church is a neat plain substantial structure, containing sufficient accommodation for the parishioners, but remarkable only for the beauty of its belfry. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[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 Roseneath.  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 Roseneath.

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]

Record Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1722-1854 1041999
Marriages: 1722-1854 1041999
Deaths: No entries

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.
Births: Excluding irregular entries 1810–1818, the record appears to have been regularly kept.
Marriages: There are no entries for the years 1724 and 1746.
Deaths: There is one death entry for 1744, after marriages for that year.
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.

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

Minutes 1766–1806, 1822, 1834–1837, 1854–1924
Poors' Accounts 1786–1870
Births and Baptisms 1787–1818
Marriages 1788–1819
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/504.

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.

Roseneath Free Church[edit | edit source]

On June11, 1843, at Knockderry School, Cove, this congregation was formed by those who had seceded from the Establishment. They met on alternate Sabbaths at Knockderry and at Campsail sawmill. The church was opened in April 1844.
Membership: 1848, 126; 1900, 106.
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.

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]

Roseneath 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. 416-430. Adapted. Date accessed: 20 February 2014.

[Return to Dunbartonshire parish list.]