Montrose, Angus, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Parish #312

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

[edit | edit source]

MONTROSE, a royal burgh, sea-port, and parish, in the county of Forfar; 21 miles (E. N. E.) from Forfar, and 72 (N. E. by N.) from Edinburgh. This place, anciently called Celurca, is supposed to have derived its present name from the Gaelic Main Ross, signifying "a promontory in the fens;" though the device of the town-seal apparently favours the fanciful derivation from the Latin Mons Rosarum, or "the Mount of Roses." The town is situated on the western shore of the peninsula, bounded on the east by the German Sea. The parish church, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in 1791, and was repaired in 1832, when the old steeple, being thought insecure, was taken down, and replaced by a handsome square embattled tower surmounted with a lofty spire. The interior, which is well arranged, has two tiers of galleries, and contains 2500 sittings. The church dedicated to St. John was originally built as a chapel of ease, in 1829 is neat and substantial, and contains 1500 sittings. There are two Episcopalian chapels, one of which, dedicated to St. Peter, is in strict connexion with the Church of England; and also places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans.[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 your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

The People of Montrose 1600-1699: A Genealogical Source Book. by Dobson, David. St Andrews, 2007.

The history of Montrose: containing important particulars in relation to its trade, manufactures, commerce, shipping, antiquities, eminent men, town houses of the neighbouring country gentry in former years, &c., &c. by David Mitchell. Montrose, Geo. Walker 1866. Available on Intenet Archive

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.

Click here[low quality link] to go to the Family History Library Catalog entry for the census records of Montrose.

The Family History Library also has surname indexes for the 1841 and 1881 censuses for the county of Angus.

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 census and 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]

Record Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1615-1696 0993495
1697-1819 0993496
1820-1854 0993498
Marriages: 1633-1819 0993497
1820-1854 0993498
Deaths: 1634-1645 - mortcloth dues 0993499
1670-1818 0993497
1820-1854 0993499
 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: There is a duplicate record from April 1670–December 1674. Mothers' names are not recorded until June 1680. There are no entries from August 1696–November 1697.
Marriages: Except for one page of entries from January–July 1633, there is no record until January 1658. Records are blank from November 1662–April 1670 and blank from Sept 1674–November 1697, except for one entry for 1678. There is record of contracts and proclamations after 1697 and records are blank from December 1728–May 1733.
Deaths: There are no entries for 1679. The record is blank from 15 October 1696–November 1697 and December 1698–February 1701. From 1767, there is a list of persons buried at Kinnaber at the end of each year. The number of still births for each year is also given.
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:

Montrose[edit | edit source]

Family History Library Film Number
Index to Baptisms 1820-1854 0993499
Burials 1820-1854 0993499
Mortcloth Dues 0993499
Register of Offerings and Alms for the Poor 1634–1645 0993499
Marriages 1811–1828
Baptisms 1811–1819, 1838–1839
List of Names, Perhaps New Communicants 1834–1871
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/943.

Melville Chapel[edit | edit source]

Managers’ Minutes 1850–1856
Seat Letting Book 1853–1858
Other post–1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1324.

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.

General Statement:
The New Statistical Account of Scotland for this county, dated February 1835, FHL British Book 941 B4sa Ser. 2, vol. 11 pt. 1, states that there were two Episcopalian chapels including one not connected with the Episcopal Church of Scotland, two United Associate Presbyterian churches, a Methodist church, a Baptist church, a Glasite church, and an Independent or Congregational church in Montrose. The number of families attending the Established church was 2072. Four hundred and forty one families attended the Dissenter and Seceder chapels, 293 families attended the Episcopalian chapels, and eight or ten families professed to be Roman Catholics even though there was no church in the parish. Other churches came into being after 1835.

Mill Street Anti-burgher, United Presbyterian Church, Montrose First[edit | edit source]

The minister of this parish took an active part with four brethren in testifying against the defections of the Church of Scotland, but did not choose to secede with them. On this account several of his parishioners withdrew from his ministry, and along with several persons seceded to the Associate Presbytery in 1735. They were organized into a congregation. While Dundee and Montrose was choosing a minister the controversy respecting the Burgess Oath arose dividing them. The representatives of the persons forming the congregation of Mill Street adhered to the General Associate, Anti-burgher Synod, while the representatives of the persons forming the congregation of John Street, Montrose, adhered to the Associate, Burgher Synod. The first church was built in 1750, a gallery was added in1788. A second church was built in 1851.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William
MacKelvie, D.D. pub. 1873 Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Baptisms 1745–1799, 1807, 1828–1831
Marriages 1760–1789
Minutes 1788–1869
Managers’ Minutes 1839–1874
Various Cash Books 1784–1858, 1862–1953
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1177.

John Street, Burgher United Presbyterian Church, Montrose Second[edit | edit source]

The history of John Street is identified with that of Mill Street until the Breach in 1747. They were few in number and contented themselves with meeting as a society for prayer and mutual exhortation. In 1764 they applied to the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Perth and Dunfermline for regular supply of sermon, which was granted. Their first church was built in 1784 and a second was built in 1824.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Various Minutes 1787–1792, 1802–1923
Accounts 1790–1827
Cash Book 1823–1884
Baptismal Register 1842–1850
Communion Roll 1853–1923
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/858.

St. George's Free Church[edit | edit source]

The members of the Old Church in Montrose in sympathy with the on–Intrusion party had made preparation in view of the Disruption in 1843. After coming out, they worshiped in a wooden building. A church was built in 1844. A new church was erected in 1859 and renovated in 1896.
Membership: 1848, 720; 1900, 547.
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.

Various Minutes 1843–1977
Register of Baptisms 1847–1857
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1179.

St. John's Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister and congregation of St. John's “quoad sacra” church came out in 1843. They retained their church and a manse was erected in 1863, Queen Street mission hall in 1887, a church hall, session house and vestry in 1892. The trade and population of Montrose greatly declined in later years.
Membership: 1848, 750; 1900, 531.
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.

Various Minutes 1834–1967
Cash Book 1844–1850
Private Register of Baptisms 1825–1845
Private Register of Marriages 1833–1849
Proclamation Register 1832–1876
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1178.

Montrose Congregational Churches[edit | edit source]

A church on Baltic Street was formed in 1800, and they met for several years in rented facilities. The building on Baltic Street was erected in 1841. This congregation is still active. A second church was formed on John Street in 1847 as the result of a movement in favor of the doctrines of the Evangelical Union. The church joined the Union in 1859. The church ceased to exist in 1916.
Sources: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott 1960, Family History Library 941 K2es; and The Scottish Congregational Ministry, 1794–1993, by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton 1993, Family History Library 941 K2mwd. Sources include names of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The United Reformed Church Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX

Montrose Baptist Church[edit | edit source]

A small church was formed from members of a Glasite congregation in 1770. It continued for twenty years then declined. By 1844, the church had a membership of 17. Wilson’s Gazetteer of Scotland 1882 does not mention a Baptist church. However, Montrose has an active Baptist congregation today.
Source: The Baptists in Scotland: a History, by D.W. Bebbington, ed. 1988. Family History Library book 941 K2bs.

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

Montrose Wesleyan Methodist Church[edit | edit source]

The Statistical Account states that there was a congregation in Montrose in 1835, and Wilson’s Gazetteer of Scotland 1882, shows the congregation was still in existence at that time. However, no history is available.

The extent of records is unknown. For more information, write to the current minister at:
8 Rosehill Road
Angus DD10 8RY

Montrose Episcopalian Church[edit | edit source]

In 1661, the Rescissory Act deposed Presbyterianism in Scotland and re–established Episcopacy. A Bishop was consecrated at St. Andrew’s, which was an ancient Anglican see, and Episcopacy was strong in this part of Scotland. However, after the Presbyterian Revolution, and particularly after the 1715 and 1745 rebellions, adherents to the Episcopalian church were greatly persecuted and membership dwindled. From the early–19th century, membership began to recover.
Like the mother church of the diocese and others throughout Scotland, the church in Montrose is a union of the old Scots Episcopal congregation and the English congregation. In the High Street of Montrose, a church building of cruciform plan, bearing the date 1688, was destroyed in 1903 to make way for the Free Library. This old building was used for worship in the times of the operation of the Penal Laws, forbidding the performance of the Church services for more than five persons. Small groups of five each would meet in the rooms located in each arm of the cross, and listen to the service being performed by the priest for another small group in the central room.
St. Mary’s church was built in 1844. St. Peter’s church was built in 1724, destroyed by fire in 1857, and rebuilt in 1858. The union of the congregations was completed in 1920.
Sources: Sources for Scottish Genealogy and Family History, by D.J. Steel 1970, Family History Library Ref. 942 V26ste vol. 12, pp 196–201 and 244–8; also The Scottish Episcopal Church Year Book and Directory for 1965–66, Family History Library 941 E4e.

Some transcriptions of church registers exist for one, Robert Sparks, containing baptism and marriage registers for Montrose. Spark's baptism and marriage register contain some entries for not only Montrose, but also for Arbuthnott, Fettercairn, Fetteresso, Fordoun, Glenbervie, Kinneff, Laurencekirk, Montrose, St. Cyrus), from 1800-1825, marriages from 1814-1825. These transcriptions are available at:

Archive Services, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN
tel: +44 (0) 1382 384095
fax: +44 (0) 1382 385523
It is not known what other, if any, pre-1855 records exist for these churches. The destruction of St. Peter’s by fire in 1857 likely destroyed its early records. For more information, write to:
The Rectory
17 Panmure Place
Montrose DD10 7AN

Montrose Catholic Church[edit | edit source]

The Montrose congregation was formed in 1839 but it was served from Arbroath. See that parish for records.

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.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Town Plan of Montrose - Ordnance Survey large scale Scottish town plans, 1847-1895

Plan of the Town of Montrose - Town Plans / Views, 1580-1919

Probate Records
[edit | edit source]

Montrose was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Brechin until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dundee. 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 Angus and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Brechin.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Angus. Look in the library catalog
 for the 'Place-names' of Angus and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

Tax Records
[edit | edit source]

Hearth Tax Records 1691, Montrose and Neighbouring Parishes. by Dobson, David. St. Andrews, 2007.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 6 June 2014.

Return to Angus Parishes