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Craignish, Argyll, Scotland Church Records

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Parish #508

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


History[edit | edit source]

     The parish belonged for some centuries to two families of the name of Campbell. The Campbells of Craigish and the Campbells of Barbreck.  This parish is  26 miles southwest of Iverary, 24 miles south of the village of Oban.  An engagement between the Danes and the natives is marked by two Cairns. It is called Dail-nan-Ceann, that is the field of heads.
The major land owners were: Captain Donald Campbell R.N. of Barbreck; John M’Dougall Esq. of Lunga; and Colin Campbell, Esq. of Jura.  The land was primarily used for,  farming, oats, Flax, potatoes, turnips, cultivated hay, some livestock and dairies.  The population in 1801 was 904, and in 1841 was 873.  The earliest date of the kirk-session record is 5-Feb-1745.
The first entry in the register of births, baptisms and marriages is the 7th of June 1756. It was not  regularly kept until 1791. Presbyterianism  is well attended. The average number of communicants is 180.  There are two Dissenters in the Parish

This account was written in 1843.
source: New Statistical Account of Scotland (FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2 vol. 7) 


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 Craignish. 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 Craignish as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index           
1841 1042715 941.38/C1 X22g 1841
1851 1042349 941.39 X2a
1861 103795
1871 103951
1881 203555
6086508  (set of 4 fiche)
1891 220165

The 1901 and 1911 census of Scotland is indexed on  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1911, 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 church records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers[edit | edit source]

Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births; 1775-1854 1041006 item 1-2
Marriages: 1755-1854 1041006 item 1-2
Deaths: 1761-1767 1041006 item 1-2

Condition of Original Records—[edit | edit source]

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers.  Some records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index. 
Births: There is a duplicate of the record January 1784–May 1810. Mothers' names are seldom recorded until January 1791.
Marriages: Only one entry appears January 1784–March 1787. The portion March 1787–March 1810 is duplicated. The fact of marriage is very seldom recorded in entries prior to January 1787.
Deaths: Only five entries occur after October 1764.
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 1755–1935
Collections 1767–1836
Accounts of the Poor 1800–1868
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/401.

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 List.


None are available.

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]

Craignish was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Argyll until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dunoon. 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 Argyll and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Argyll
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Argyll. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Argyll and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

Return to the Argyllshire Parish List