Kinross, Kinross-shire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #462 

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

History[edit | edit source]

KINROSS, a post-town and parish, in the county of Kinross, of which it is the capital, 15 miles (S.) from Perth, and 25 (N. N. W.) from Edinburgh. This place, which derives its name, of Gaelic origin, from its situation at the head of a promontory extending into Loch Leven, is of very great antiquity. The parish is bounded on the east by Loch Leven. The present church, a handsome edifice in the later style of English architecture, was erected in 1832. It is situated on an eminence nearly in the centre of the parish. The tower of the old church is still standing, by itself, in the town. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church and of the United Secession.[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 Kinross. 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 Scotland Census Records.

Click here[low quality link] for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Kinross.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

Year Surname Index
1851 941.34 X22k, 2 vols.; 6203965 (set of 2 fiche)
1861 None
1871 None
1881 fiche 6086604
1891 None

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 Scotland 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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1676-1689 1040185 item 5
1699-1820 1040354
1820-1854 1040204 items 1-2
Marriages: 1676-1689, 1699-1728, 1772-1788 1040185 item 5
1786-1819 1040354
1819-1854 1040204 items 1-2
Deaths: 1670-1683 1040354
1684-1689 1040185 item 5
1733-1735, 1764-1802 1040354
1802-1821, 1823, 1833-1859 1040204 items 1-2

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: Mothers’ names are not recorded until 1683.
Marriages: The record is of contracts and proclamations, 1676–1683. The record for August 1676–June 1682 is intermixed with the births for same period. It is blank, except for two entries, January 1680–June 1683, from which latter date until 1689 it is chiefly entries of contracts intermixed with other matters. Starting in 1699, there is a record of only proclamations. There is also a record of marriages for December 1783–December1787.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues are recorded until December 1685. The record is blank 1671–1684, and December 1685–January 1733. Deaths are recorded from the latter date to August 1735 then it is again blank, except for one entry for 1753, until December 1783, after which burials are recorded. The record is blank December 1787–December 1823, except for two entries for 1806–1810.
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 and Accounts, 1699–1754, 1772–1774, 1780–1902
Scroll Minutes, 1830–1876
Proclamations of Marriage, 1751–1753 - contained within accounts
A List of Those Deficient in Payments for use of Mortcloth, 1683.
Visitation Roll, 1841
Roll of Male Heads of Families, 1834–1842
Lists of Members, no date
Register of Certificates of Character, 1833–1872
Legacy Disbursements, 1847–1875
Kirk Session and Heritors Cash Books, 1822–1846

Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/487.

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.

Kinross West Associate Burgher Church[edit | edit source]

When the minister of the parish died in 1725, there was disagreement between the parishioners and the patron as to who should be the new minister. The matter was deferred to the church courts. The Presbytery sided with the parishioners but the General Assembly found in favor of the patron’s candidate and he was ordained in 1732. The following year the Secession occurred. The reclaiming party in Kinross seceded from the Establishment and was joined by Seceders from Cleish. They petitioned the Associate Presbytery for supply of sermon which was finally obtained in March 1747. When the Breach occurred in April, the congregation adhered to the Burgher side. They built a church the following year.

Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. FHL Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

Minutes 1748, 1750–1856
Baptismal Register 1850–1907
Note:  Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/546.

Kinross East Associate Anti-burgher Church
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This congregation originated when members of the second Secession congregation of Milnathort in the parish of Orwell, resident in and about Kinross, applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the General Associate Anti-burgher Presbytery in 1796. One hundred and ninety-seven members and 4 elders were disjoined from Milnathort and formed into a congregation. Church built in 1797.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. FHL Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

Minutes 1796–1925
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/547.

Kinross Free Church
[edit | edit source]

The congregation here was formed at the Disruption, and church and manse were erected. The population declined in consequence of the passing away of handloom weaving.
Membership: 1848, 230; 1900, 202
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843-1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

Minutes 1843–1907
Note:  Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/548.

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]

Kinross was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of St. Andrews until 1823. It was then under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Court of Alloa to 1847 and the Sheriff’s Court of Kinross from 1847. 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' of Kinross and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of St. Andrews.

Helpful Websites[edit | edit source]

[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 82-98. Adapted. Date accessed: 17 April 2014.

[Return to the Kinross parish list.]