Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #479                        

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

History[edit | edit source]

FALKIRK, a burgh, market-town, and parish, in the county of Stirling including the villages of Barleyside, Bonnybridge, Camelon, Glen, and Laurieston, with part of the late quoad sacra district of Grange-mouth; 11 miles (S. E.) from Stirling, and 24 (W. by N.) from Edinburgh. This place, which is situated on the ancient boundary between the Roman territories on the south, and those of the Caledonians on the north, is supposed to have derived its former name, Eccles-brae, from the position of its church on the brow of a bill, of which that appellation is accurately descriptive. The town is situated on the road from Linlithgow to Glasgow. The present church, rebuilt in 1810 with the exception of the ancient tower, the area under which now forms a porch, is of quadrangular shape, and contains 1300 sittings. Churches have been erected at Camelon and Grangemouth; and a place of worship once belonging to the Old-Light Associate Synod, is now in connexion with the Independent body. There are also places of worship for the Free Church, United Secession, the Relief, and Baptists; and a splendid Roman Catholic chapel, opened in the summer of 1843.[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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. 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 Falkirk as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Number Surname Index
1841      1042709 none
1851 1042277-1042278 941.36/F1 X22c, 2 vols
1861 0103915 none
1871 0104105 none
1881 0203539-0203540 6086682 (5 fiche)
1891 0208777-0208779 none

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on http://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[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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1593-1743 1041942

1744-1819 1041943

1820-1854 1041945
Marriages:     1599-1609 1041942

1611-1819 1041944

1820-1837 1041945

1837-1854 1041946
Deaths: 1817-1819 (burials) 1041944

1820-1861 (burials) 1041946


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: Corners of early leaves prior to 1617, and 1630–1635 were destroyed, and many entries are imperfect. There are two imperfect leaves at 1686 and records are blank, excluding two fragments, November 1657–April 1661. The entries are tabulated throughout, and the information embraced is limited to names and dates.
Marriages: Corners of early leaves were destroyed, and many entries are imperfect. The fact of marriage sometimes not added to the entries of proclamation. Entries of irregular marriages are not infrequent.
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 1617–1690, 1693–1863
Record of Evening School Attendance 1787–1789
Births and Baptisms 1784–1846
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/400.

Established Church—Parish Burials and Churchyard MI's[edit | edit source]

A pre-1855 burial index exists for burials pre-1855 and was published by the Central Scotland Family History Society ISBN 1 902630 35 1.  The Family History Library has a copy. British Falkirk Parish Burials Pre-1855 The Churchyard also has Monumental Inscriptions and can be located through the Family History Library Falkirk Churchyard MI's

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.

Erskine Associate Burgher Church, later United Presbyterian[edit | edit source]


Click here to see a history of this church.

Records are on deposit at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh but their extent is not known.

Falkirk Second General Associate Anti-burgher Church, also called Graham’s Road Church
[edit | edit source]

Click here to see a history of this church.

Minutes 1784–1787, 1799–1821, 1824–1833 (volume damaged it once continued to 1856), 1857-1976

Managers' minutes 1839–1975

Baptismal register 1888-1974

Record of Marriages 1888-1929

Proclamation registers 1932-1975
Register of Burials known as the Tattie Kirk of Falkirk 1827-1869

Register of Monumental Inscriptions from Falkirk Tattie Kirkyard with Index probably 1800's Pages 66A-66D

Register of Burials 1884-1891 (1 page) 1888-1929

Communion Roll 1913-1925, 1932-1949

Adherents' roll 1879-1915

Congregation and other subscriptions 1882 (mostly updated)

Property Register 1977-1980

  • Note: At the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1222/1-29 as of October 6th 2011
  • The item or collection is not accessible to the public.
  • This might be because the item is undergoing conservation It might be closed for a number of years, under Data Protection legislation, or by a private owner of the records.
  • Further details about the closure should be found in the detailed results page for the item or you can use the ‘What now’ button at that page to find out how to make an enquiry concerning it.


The Tattie Kirk lies just to the East of the Cow Wynd in what is now the centre of Falkirk. Despite this,
it is known to very few in Falkirk. The Kirk building is unusual in that is is octagonal in shape.

The first burial recorded in the church records was in 1827 at which time the congregation was part of the United Secession Church. In 1847 they combined with the Relief Church to form the United Presbyterian Church. In 1879 the congregation moved to Grahams Road.

The Tattie Kirkyard
There is a wealth of information about the Kirk and its graveyard in Calatria No. 12
(Journal of the Falkirk Local History Society). It includes much detail about who was buried there.
Because this information was not in a form particularly suitable for genealogists to use, the Society has extracted and re-arranged it by kind permission of the Local History Society.

Burial Information
Two quite separate sources of information were provided. Because these do not necessarily match, two lists have been prepared. One is based on the register of burials 1827-1869 & 1884-1891 (SRO CH3/1222/20). The other is from an inventory of surviving grave markers. Much deterioration of the markers has occurred so, where necessary, details have been supplemented by information from the data recorded by Mitchell & Mitchell in the late 1960's (Monumental Inscriptions of Stirlingshire, 1972).

Falkirk West Relief Church, later United Presbyterian Church
[edit | edit source]

Click here to see a history of this church.

Records—                                                                           Family History Library Film Number
Records of St. Ninian’s Relief Presbytery including Falkirk        1886473
Minutes 1781–1845
Other for Falkirk West Relief Church:
Baptismal Register 1817–1892 - few pre–1845
Marriage Register 1843–1854
Register of Members 1849–1856
Various Minutes 1771–1979
Accounts 1789–1791, 1821–1859
Poors’ Money Book 1828–1862
Other post–1855 records
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/1459.

Falkirk Free Church
[edit | edit source]

Click here to see a history of this church.

The extent of records is unknown.

Laurieston Reformed Presbyterian Church
[edit | edit source]

Click here to see a history of this church.

Records—                                            Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms and Marriages, 1822–1861       1068236 item 12

Falkirk Independent Churches, Congregational and Evangelical Union
[edit | edit source]

Click here to see a history of these churches.

The extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX, Scotland

Falkirk Baptist Churches
[edit | edit source]

Click here to see a history of these churches.

The extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
The Baptist Union of Scotland
12 Aytoun Road
Glasgow G41 5RT

Falkirk Roman Catholic Church
[edit | edit source]

This church was served from Edinburgh 1830–1838, then Stirling. Church in Falkirk consecrated to St. Francis Xavier in 1839.

Baptisms and Marriages 1843–1858
Confirmations 1850–1852
Deaths 1857–1858
Note: Available online for a fee, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, Edinburgh, record RH21/77.

Falkirk Branch,The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–Day Saints
[edit | edit source]


Records—                                       Family History Library Film Number
Record of Members, 1843–1884         0104151 item 3

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]

Falkirk 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 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 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. 411-428. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 February 2014.

[Return to the Stirlingshire parish list.]