Gargunnock, Stirlingshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #481

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

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GARGUNNOCK, a parish, in the county of Stirling, 6 miles (W.) from Stirling. This place, anciently called Gargownno, is supposed to have derived its name from the Celtic words Caer-guineach, signifying "a pointed or conical fortress," a building answering to this description, called the Peel of Gargunnock, being situated near the north-eastern extremity of the locality. The parish is skirted on the south by the Lennox hills, which form its boundary in that direction, and on the north by the river Forth. The church was built in 1774, and is a plain building with three galleries, the whole containing 500 sittings. 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 your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records
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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 Gargunnock, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available.

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 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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Click here[low quality link] to go to the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the Established Church records for Gargunnock, covering the years 1615-1854.

Condition of Original Registers—
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Indexed: 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.
Births: Record prior to 1656 merely a transcript of a copy, the older having been made in 1704, and the later in 1787. The first leaf of only the former is extant. The records are blank February 1656–January 1661, June 1663–March 1666, and May 1698–January 1700. Irregular entries on three pages at 1744 dated 1696–1769. The records are blank November 1739–February 1744. The records contain one family, 1753–1769, on a page after record for 1819.
Marriages: The records are blank April 1623–November 1639. For entries August 1649–October 1652, reference is made to the register of Kippen, which, unfortunately, is not now extant for that period. The records are blank May 1664–1687, January 1693–June 1712, and April 1718–July 1725. There is one leaf of entries without year March 1729–May 1735. Record is also blank June 1736–December 1739, March 1775–March 1782, November 1791–January 1798 and there is only three entries March 1799–November 1818.
Deaths: Burials.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church  Kirk Session Registers
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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:

Copy Minutes 1625–1658, 1658–1660 - this volume contains a note stating that the minutes from 1615 to 1660 were  transcribed in 1787. The record for 1615–1624 is now apparently missing. Minutes 1698–1753, 1759–1886 Accounts 1758–1788, 1823–1871 Communion Roll 1837–1871 Testificates 1845–1873 Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/1121.

Nonconformist Church Records
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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.

Gargunnock Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was formed at the Disruption in 1843 when the parish minister and some of his people adhered to the Free Church. After his removal in 1873, it was reduced to a preaching station.
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
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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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Gargunnock 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 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. 458-478. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 February 2014.

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