Kilmonivaig, Inverness-shire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish # 99 

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

History[edit | edit source]

KILMONIVAIG, or Kilmanivaig, a parish, in the county of Inverness, 10 miles (N. N. E.) from Fort-William. This place is situated towards the western extremity of the county, in the district of Lochaber, and was the territory of Bancho, thane of Lochaber, and ancestor of the royal house of Stuart. The parish is divided into the two districts of Lochaber and Glengarry. It was once united to Kilmalie, the two together being called the parish of Lochaber; but they were separated, by the authority of the Church courts, about the beginning of the eighteenth century. The church is a very plain edifice, built about the year 1814. There is a chapel at Brae Lochaber for Roman Catholics, who make about half of the population of the parish.[1]

 The parishes of Kilmalie and Kilmonivaig were anciently united, and called the parish of Lochaber; but they were disjoined upwards of two hundred years ago.

The length of this parish from south to north, is about 60 miles, and its greatest breadth is 20.  It is bounded by the parishs of Kilmalie, Fortingal, Lagagn, Glenelg and Kintail, and Boleskine.

This parish has the Inverlochy Castle of which many stories are told to the great antiquity of this castle.  Near this castle, was fought what was called a bloody battle between Montrose and Argyle in 1645.

The hills and glens of this parish afford the most excellent pasture for sheep and black-cattle.

There is a register of births and marriages which commences in 1780, it was irregularly kept till 1820.  The Romas Catholic population seldom use this record for baptisms; but most of their marriages are entered in it.  There is also a minute-book kept by the kirk-session.

About one-half of the population belongs to the Established Church, the other to the Roman Catholic.  There are two episcopalian families.

This account was written February 1842.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland for Kilmonivaig, Family History Library book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 14.

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 you are interested in. 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 Kilmonivaig, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
6344852 (3 fiche)
6086593 (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 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[edit | edit source]


Record Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1730-1854 0990709 item 1
Marriages: 1795-1854 0990709 item 1
Deaths: No entries none


===== Condition of Original Registers—

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:  Births began in July 1780 however; there are three pages of irregular entries prefixed to the record, entitled, "Register of the Births of Pensioners who applied for the Kinloch bequest". Only about twenty of these entries are prior to 1780, the earliest being applicable to 1730. Except 1795-1801 and 1810-1819 this record contains many irregular entries.
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 1829–1871
Register of Births 1730–1819
Collections and Disbursements 1827–1897
Note:  Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/433.

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.

Kilmonivaig Free Church[edit | edit source]

The congregation here was organized by the ordained missionary at Glengarry, who adhered to the Free Church in 1843. At his translation in 1844, a catechist was appointed. For a time the people did not dare to ask for a site on which to erect a church. Worship was conducted in the open air, or in a small and quite unsuitable apartment. Finally a site was obtained at Gairlochy, and a church was built there in 1860. A minister was settled in 1859. As regards area, this is the largest parish in Scotland, being 60 miles long by 40 miles broad. The population is widely scattered. Many of the population are Roman Catholics.
Membership:  1859, 64; 1900, 57.
Source:  Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1943–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 Vols. Pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

Bunroy Catholic Church[edit | edit source]


In 1737, the parish of Kilmonivaig, including parts of Lochaber and Glengarry, was said to have 1003 Catholics. In 1760, the number was 1600. This was part of the Lochaber mission, which in 1763, was said to have 3000 communicants. Bunroy was also known as Bridge of Eunachan to 1852. The original chapel was at Killechyrille surrounded by a burying ground, then at Achluachvach to 1826. No early records.
Source: Catholic Missions and Registers, 1700–1880 Scotland, by Michael Gandy, pub. 1993. Family History Library book 942 K24gm, vol. 6.

Baptisms 1820–1922
Marriages 1830–1853
Confirmations 1840–1865
Deaths 1833–1842
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record RH21/75.

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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Kilmonivaig was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Argyle until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Inverness. 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 Inverness-shie and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Inverness.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Inverness-shire.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Inverness-shire 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. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 3 July 2014.

Return to Inverness-shire parish list.