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.

Kilmalcolm, Renfrewshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kilmalcolm (#569)

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


History[edit | edit source]

KILMALCOLM, a parish, in the Lower ward of the county of Renfrew, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from Port-Glasgow. This parish, which is situated on the Frith of Clyde, is about six miles in length and nearly of equal breadth. The church, which is situated in the village, and has been rebuilt and is adapted for a congregation of 1000 persons. There are places of worship for Baptists and Reformed Presbyterians.[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 Kilmalcolm.  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 Kilmalcolm as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years Family History Library Film Number   Surname Index         
1841 1042725 CD-ROM no. 3820
1851 1042362 Item 3 CD-ROM no. 3817
1861 103901
1871 104085
1881 203577 6086652 (set of 11 fiche)
1891 220192

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 Familyh History Library Film Number
Births: 1710-1854 1401280
Marriages: 1695-1854 1041280
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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: The early leaves have suffered from want of care. Probably one or two of them lost. Entries out of the order of time are not infrequent 1806–1820.
Marriages: Records are blank March 1701–July 1712, July 1739–December 1740. The lower portion of the leaf at March 1760 has been cut off. The record prior to 1750, has suffered much from dampness, and many entries are imperfect. The records 1745, and 1748, have a number of entries that are almost illegible.
Deaths: There are no records prior to June 1817.
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 1707–1728, 1788–1814, 1817–1860
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/668.

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 Lists.

Kilmalcolm Reformed Presbyterian Church
[edit | edit source]

In 1785 the people residing in Renfrew petitioned to be disjoined from those in the county of Ayr, and in November of that year they were. The parish included societies at Paisley, Kilbirnie, Greenock, Dumbarton, and Lorn. Kilmalcolm seems to have been chosen as the centre because of its situation, and a church was built there in 1787. Disjunctions occurred in 1804, Paisley, 1823 Kilbirnie, and 1825 Greenock. Having been reduced, in 1854, the congregation removed to Port Glasgow, where a number of the members resided. A new church was built in 1856. Owing to growth, a gallery was added in 1873 when membership stood at 210. When the Reformed Church united with the Free Church in 1876, membership stood at 285. In 1905 the congregation united with another local congregation to form Newark United Free Church.
Source: The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland, by W.J. Couper, pub. 1925. Family History Libray 941 K2c. Source includes ministers.

Minutes 1829–1830
Congregational Minutes 1782–1855
Accounts 1820–1856
Cash Book 1840–1856
Miscellaneous Papers - 36 items
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, records CH3/1135.

For later records, see also the parish of Port Glasgow.

Kilmalcolm Baptist Church
[edit | edit source]

The church was formed about 1810. It never had an ordained minister. In 1846 membership stood at only nine. The congregation ended in 1870.
Source: History of the Baptists in Scotland, by Rev. George Yuille, pub. 1926. FamilyHistory Library book 941 K2hi.

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

See also the parishes of Greenock and Kilbarchan.

Civil Registration Recorda[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]

Kilmalcolm 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 catalog  for 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. 22-41. Adapted. Date accessed: 21 February 2014.

Return to the Renfrewshire parish list.