Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #490

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

Stirling Scotland.jpg
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STIRLING, a royal burgh, sea-port, and parish, mostly in the county Stirling containing the villages of Cambuskenneth, Raploch, and part of Causeway-head, 35 miles (W. N. W.) from Edinburgh. This place, in the more ancient documents called Striviling and Styrlyng, and in the present seal of the burgh designated Oppidum Sterlini, is of remote antiquity, and is supposed to have been a Roman station connected with that of Camelon. The town is finely situated on the south bank of the river Forth. The church of the Franciscan monastery founded by James IV. in 1494, is now appropriated as the parish church; it is an ample and handsome structure in the decorated English style of architecture, with a massive tower rising from the west end to the height of ninety feet. The Spittal-square church, originally belonging to a congregation of the Old-Light Burgher synod, was lately in connexion with the Established Church. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, Cameronians, Independents, Wesleyan Methodists, and Baptists, and an Episcopalian and a Roman Catholic chapel.[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 Stirling 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 Stirling, covering the years 1585-1854.

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: Records are blank March 1592–May 1671, December 1706–August 1709. The records for 1756–1794, are very irregular with respect of dates, the entries being inserted chronologically, or nearly so, under the initial letter of the child’s surname. There is, however, a record kept in the usual way commencing October 1783, but somewhat irregular until 1794.
Marriages: There are separate entries of contracts and marriages previous to 1594. The records excluding a few transcribed entries referring to marriages from 1598–1617 are blank from November 1594–September 1723; excluding one entry, May 1747–April 1751.
Deaths: Records are of burials until 1769and are blank from August 1769–October 1783, after which deaths and burials are recorded. There are a few transcribed entries relating chiefly to burials in the aisle of the Kirk of Stirling, dated 1605–1619.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church  Kirk Sessiion 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:

Minutes 1597–1649, 1655–1677, 1695–1701, 1724–1863
Minutes of Session of Second Parochial District 1840–1842
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/1026.

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.

Click here to see a list of the pre-1855 nonconformist churches and records for Stirling.

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.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are avilable online. The directories available for Stirling are:

1865-1909: These are available in either PDF format or viewable online.(Some years are missing) 

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Stirling 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-names' 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. 489-500. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 February 2014.

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