St. Ninians, Stirlingshire, Scotland Genealogy

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St. Ninians

Parish #488

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

History[edit | edit source]

NINIAN'S, ST., a parish, in the county of Stirling containing the late quoad sacra parishes of Bannockburn and Plean, and the villages of Cambusbarron, St. Ninian's, Torbrex, and the Whins of Milton, 1 mile (S.) from Stirling. The original name of this place was Egglis, from a church founded here at a very remote period. The parish is partly bounded on the north by the river Forth, and on the south by the Carron. The church, situated in the village of St. Ninian's, was built in 1750, and is a plain substantial structure containing 1500 sittings. At Buckieburn is a chapel built about the middle of the last century, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of that moorland district, who are five miles distant from the parish church, and in which divine service is performed by the parochial minister or his assistant. Churches, also, have been erected at Bannockburn and Plean, to each of which a quoad sacra district was till lately assigned, by act of the General Assembly; and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church, Relief, and 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 your parish of interest. 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 St. Ninians, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available.

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[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
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Click here[low quality link] to go to the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the Established Church records for St. Ninians, covering the years 1643-1854.

Condition of Original Registers
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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 birth record is tabulated throughout. From May 1660–May 1670 witnesses’ names are not recorded, but residence of parents is stated instead. From 1677–1682, both are usually given, and again after 1688. Leaves prior to 1687 are damaged. They are blank January 1687–March 1688; two leaves may have been lost. Records are somewhat irregular and defective after 1774; blank spaces being left apparently for expected entries.
Marriages: Records are blank March 1719–November 1725, and January 1754–May 1774. After 1749, the fact of marriage is seldom added to the entry of proclamation.

Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church  Kirk Session Records
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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:

Various Minutes - indexed 1653–1878
Poors’ Accounts 1745–1754, 1757–1773, 1783–1826
Monthly Pensioners’ Roll 1757–1766
Accounts of Extra Money 1814–1836
Accounts 1826–1865
Mortcloth Accounts 1760–1782, 1821–1856
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/337.

Nonconformist Church Records
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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.

Bannockburn Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister and nearly all the congregation of the Church Extension charge here “came out” in 1843. The manse, which was private property, was retained for the Free Church; but the church was taken by the Established Church in 1849. A new church was then erected the tower being added later.
Membership: 1848, 420; 1900, 314
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 including ministers.

Minutes 1843–1886
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1844–1893
Bannockburn Church of Scotland Managers’ Minutes 1839–1843
Building Fund Accounts 1849–1854
Communion Roll 1841–1878 Church of Scotland 1841–1843
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/681.

St. Ninian’s Free Church
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The minister of St. Ninians, and considerable congregation, “came out” in 1843. The worshiped in the open air until their church was opened in September of that year. The manse was purchased in 1847. A new church was erected in 1885. Emigration and the failure of the nail industry tended to reduce the population.
Membership: 1870, 166; 1900, 271
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 including ministers.

Minutes 1843–1848
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1843–1881
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/574.

Saint Ninian’s Relief Church[edit | edit source]

When the church and parish of St. Ninian’s became vacant in 1766, the whole of the parishioners and all but one of the elders were against the presentee. When he was admitted against their wishes seven years later, they withdrew from the Established Church and applied to the Relief Presbytery of Glasgow to be taken under their inspection as a forming congregation, which was done. A church was built in 1773. This congregation apparently joined the United Presbyterian church when the majority of Relief congregations did so in 1847.
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 including a list of ministers.

Managers’ Minutes 1822–1835
Collector’s Book 1796, 1799–1811
Society of Religious Purposes Minutes 1835–1844
List of Names 1849–1850
Receipts for Payments of Stipend 1774–1800
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/575.

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]

St. Ninians was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Ayr until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Stirling. 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 Stirling and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Ayr.

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

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

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  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 309-324. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 February 2014.

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