Information icon.png The FamilySearch Research Wiki will be down for maintenance on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 11:59 pm until Monday, Sept 28, 4:00 am EDT.

Houston & Killellan, Renfrewshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Houston & Killellan

Houston & Killellan (#565)

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


History[edit | edit source]

HOUSTON and KILLALLAN, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Renfrew; including the village of Crosslee and part of the late quoad sacra district of Bridge-of-Weir, 14 miles (S. W.) from Glasgow. This place consists of two parishes which were united in the year 1760, when the population in both of them was very small. The church, erected in 1775, is conveniently situated; it is in good repair, and is adapted for a congregation of 800 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship; and there is a Roman Catholic chapel.[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 Houston & Killellan.  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 Killellan as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years  FHL Film Number        Surname Index               
1841 1042725 CD-ROM no. 3820
1851 1042359 Item 4 CD-ROM no. 3817
1861 103901
1871 104085
1881 203576 6086652 (set of 11 fiche)
1891 220191

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]


Event Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1720-1819 1041065 item 3
1820-1854 1041066
Marriages: 1720-1819 1041065 item 3
1820-1855 1041066
Deaths: 1844-1854 - burials 1041066 
Condition of Original Registers[edit | edit source]

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.  Some records may be indexed in theInternational Genealogical Index. 
Births: Houston: There are four irregular entries, 1783–1791 inserted after December 1795; 22 entries 1793–1811, after 1808, and similar entries in 1814, 1815, and 1819. Mothers’ names are not recorded until July 1753.
Marriages: There are no entries for 1742. After 1805, the record becomes almost exclusively one of proclamations, although it is titled “Marriages”.
Deaths: This record includes burials for both parishes; it gives good details of relationships, ages, cause of death, etc.
Births: Killellan: Records are blank December 1733–July 1743 and excluding two entries 1745–1748, November 1743–December 1749. Record terminates March 1772. Mothers’ names not recorded until May 1750.
Marriages: Excluding three entries 1731–1732, and three for 1743, there is no record until November 1749. Records terminate October 1771.
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 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:

Minutes 1797–1816
Accounts 1787–1841
Accounts of Fines 1823–1847
Communion Roll 1849–1866
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/975.

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.

Houston Free Church
[edit | edit source]

This congregation was formed at the disruption of those who had left the Established Church. A church was built and opened in 1844.
Membership: 1848, 300; 1900, 159
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.

Bridge Of Weir Free Church
[edit | edit source]

The secession congregation at Burntshields sold their church there in 1826, and moved into Bridge of Weir, where a new church and manse were built. In 1839 they joined the Church of Scotland, and in 1843 they adhered to the Free Church. Their building became the property of the Established Church. It was sold to meet a bond on it. It was bought and presented to the Free Church. In 1876 the cotton mills were closed, and the population declined; but later the place revived as a residential resort. The congregation profited by the religious awakening in 1874.
Membership: 1848, 142; 1900, 210
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.

Minutes 1843–1873
Accounts 1843–1884
Communion Roll 1845–1869
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/458.

Houston Roman Catholic Church
[edit | edit source]

St. Fillan’s church was consecrated in 1841. Ordinances registered in Paisley 1841–1847. See also those records.

Baptisms 1845–1860
Marriages 1848–1860
Note: Available online for a fee, at, record RH21/7.

Bridge Of Weir Branch, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
[edit | edit source]

                                                      FHL Film Number
Record of members     1847–1849     0104149 item 14


Civil Registration[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]

Houston andKillellan was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Glasgow until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Paisley. 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 catalogfor the 'Place-names' of Renfrew and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Glasgow.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Renfrew.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Renfrew 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. 539-555. Adapted. Date accessed: 21 February 2014.

Return to the Renfrewshire parish list.