Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Guide to Lanarkshire County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Lanarkshire County

History[edit | edit source]

Lanarkshire is an extensive inland county in the south of Scotland, bounded on the north by the counties of Dumbarton and Stirling, on the east by the counties of Linlithgow, Edinburgh and Peebles, on the south by Dumfriesshire, and on the west by the counties of Renfrew, Ayr and Dumfries.  It is about 52 miles in length and 33 miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 926 square miles or 592,640 acres.

The county, also called Clydesdale (or Strathclyde), from the valley of the river Clyde, was--after the departure of the Romans--part of an extensive independent kingdom which consisted of nearly all of Scotland south of the river Forth.  The inhabitants were ancient British tribes who lost their independence after their metropolis of Dumbarton was taken by the combined forces of the Picts and Saxons in the eighth century.  After the subjugation of the Picts by Kenneth II in about the year 971, the whole area came under the authority of the Scottish kings.

Lanarkshire consists of 50 parishes and, for civil purposes, is divided into the Upper, Middle and Lower wards, each under a sub-sheriff based at Lanark, Hamilton, and Glasgow.  The county includes the royal burghs of Glasgow, Rutherglen, and Lanark, and eight towns and numerous villages.  

The population of the county in 1851 was 426,972.[1][2]

ScotlandsPeople: An Important Online Source[edit | edit source]

ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.

The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:

  • Statutory Registers
  • Old Parish Registers
  • Catholic Parish Registers
  • CPR Others
  • Census
  • Valuation Rolls
  • Soldiers’ Wills
  • Wills & Testaments
  • Coats of Arms

For more detail on record availability, see Guides. For the content guide to what records are on the site, see Guides A-Z. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a pay per view fee to see the digitized record.

Census[edit | edit source]

Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for Lanarkshire for 1881.  Click here for other census indexes available at the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration or Statutory Registers[edit | edit source]

For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Statutory Registers - Vital Records.

Refer to the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article.
Images and Indexes Available at ScotlandsPeople Website ($)
Births 1855-1910 ◊ScotlandsPeople Website has indexes to 2012.
Marriages 1855-1935
Deaths 1855-1960

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Some of the Lanarkshire parish records are indexed in *Lanark, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.

This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Lanark in the country of Scotland. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. Also included are some records from non-conformist churches. You will find interesting phonetic spelling. Some of the records may be in Latin or even a Welsh or Scottish dialect. Due to the nature of the records and because the records were originally compiled by a third party, it is difficult to absolutely verify the completeness and validity of the data.

Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Lanark with their parish numbers. Click on a parish name to see information about records.

Parish No. Parish No.
Avondale 621 Glasgow 644-1
Barony 622 Glassford 645
Biggar 623 Gorbals 644-2
Blantyre 624 Govan 646
Bothwell 625 Hamilton 647
Cadder 626 Lamington -- see Wandell 659
Cambuslang 627 Lanark 648
Cambusnethan 628 Leadhills -- see Crawford 635
Carluke 629 Lesmahagow 649
Carmichael 630 Libberton 650
Carmunnock 631 New Monkland (including Airdrie) 651
Carnwath 632 Old Monkland (including Coatbridge) 652
Carstairs 633 Pettinain 653
Covington and Thankerton 634 Roberton -- see Wiston 660
Crawford (including Leadhills) 635 Rutherglen 654
Crawfordjohn 636 Shotts 655
Culter 637 Stonehouse 656
Dalserf 638 Strathbungo -- see Govan 646
Dalziel 639 Symington 657
Dolphington 640 Thankerton -- see Covington 634
Douglas 641 Walston 658
Dunsyre 642 Wandell and Lamington 659
East Kilbride 643 Wiston and Roberton 660

Maps[edit | edit source]

Poorhouse Records[edit | edit source]

NOTE: Workhouses in Scotland were commonly known as poorhouses. For more information on Scottish poorhouses, go to the Scotland Poorhouses, Poor Law, Etc page.

There were ten workhouses in this county:

A description with drawings and photos of the workhouses today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the links above located on the site entitled The Workhouse: The story of an institution... which is owned and operated by Peter Higginbotham.

Societies[edit | edit source]

Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society
Unit 13, 32 Mansfield Street
G11 5QP
Tel. +44 (0) 141 339 8303

Scottish Genealogy Society
15 Victoria Terrace
Phone-0131 220 3677

Lanarkshire Family History Society
High Road
North Lanarkshire

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 1846), 3 v.: 651, [FHL book 941 E5]. Digitized by FamilySearch International,, (accessed June 7, 2016).
  2. Samuel Lewis. "Ladhope - Lauder," in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846), 137-157. British History Online, (accessed May 31, 2020).