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Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland Genealogy

Parsih #476                      

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


DENNY, a manufacturing town and parish, in the county of Stirling, 7 miles (S. by E.) from Stirling, and 5 (W. N. W.) from Falkirk containing the late quoad sacra parish of Haggs, and the villages of Fankerton and Loanhead. This place, of which the name, derived from the Gaelic Dun, is descriptive of its situation on an eminence. The parish is bounded on the north by the river Carron, on the south by the river Bonny, and on the west by the hill of Darrach, and is nearly six miles in length and four in breadth. The church, erected in 1813, was internally beautified in 1838, and lighted with gas; it is a neat structure in the Grecian style, and contains 767 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the United Secession and Free Church.[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

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 Denny, 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

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 RegistersEdit

Records Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1679-1854 1041975
Marriages: 1680-1854 1041975
Deaths: 1783-1788 1041975
Condition of Original Registers—Edit

Index: 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: Record prior to 1729 is much wasted, and in some places scarcely legible. A leaf is wanting at December 1684. The records are blank October 1689–March 1691, and July 1717–July 1719 and defective 1792–1798. Entries are tabulated until March 1798. After that date the record is more carefully kept.
Marriages: Early leaves are much wasted. The records are blank February 1689–March 1691. There are only two entries are recorded from March 1793–March 1795. The records are blank August 1796–March 1801.
Deaths: Burial records terminate September 1788.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session RecordsEdit

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The Kirk session was made up of he 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 are lists of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Haggs Kirk Session, Quoad SacraEdit

Minutes 1841–1925
Notes: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, records CH2/823.

Denny Kirk Session

Minutes 1742–1743, 1746, 1755, 1762, 1770–1776, 1789–1796, 1799–1818
Discipline Matters 1743–1762, 1767–1789
Poors’ Fund 1802–1817, 1819–1883
Accounts 1819–1833
Mortcloth Accounts 1820–1831
Distribution of Poors’ Fund 1820–1829
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/1254.

Nonconformist Church RecordsEdit

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.

Dennyloanhead Associate Anti-burgher Church, later United PresbyterianEdit

When the parish and church of Denny became vacant in 1735, there was great disagreement over who should be the new minister. The matter was taken to the church courts, and after much deliberation, the courts found against the choice of the great majority of the parishioners and elders. As a result, in 1738, they applied to the Associate Presbytery to be taken under their inspection, which was granted. The next year more persons acceded to the Associate Presbytery. The Seceders in the District united together under the designation of “The Correspondence of Falkirk,” taking members from nine parishes. In 1746, the congregation split in half, East and West, with the West congregation meeting at Dennyloanhead. At the Breach the following year, this congregation split again, with the larger portion of the people adhering to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod. They built a place of worship in 1749. A larger church was built in 1773 and a third in 1815. This congregation apparently joined with the United Presbyterian Church 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.

Records—                     Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms 1844–1856      0889479 item 4
Marriages 1844–1856      0889479 item 4

Minutes 1751–1770, 1773–1819, 1821–1878
Accounts 1759–1767, 1769–1770, 1773–1720, 1770–1784, 1821–1850
Scroll Minutes 1796–1816
Congregational Minutes 1814–1854
Stipend Receipts 1765–1787
Baptisms 1747–1755, 1837–1865
Seat Letting Book 1744–1753
Statements and Statistics 1835–1935 - with gaps
National Covenant, Signed Copy
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/704.

Denny Associate Burgher, later United Presbyterian Church

This congregation originated with some persons who withdrew from the Dennyloanhead congregation in 1780 and joined with members of the Falkirk Second church who, along with their minister, withdrew from the Anti-burgher church and connected themselves to another Presbytery. They built a place of worship in Denny in 1787 and obtained a supply of sermons. Due to a controversy concerning the credentials of their second minister, part of the members withdrew and the remainder applied for and obtained a supply of sermons from the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Stirling in 1793. They purchased the place of worship they had been using in Denny and expanded it. It was also referred to as the Broompark Church. Their first fixed pastor, ordained in 1799, served them for nearly 53 years. This congregation became United Secession in 1820, United Presbyterian in 1847 and United Free Church in 1900. It returned to the Church of Scotland in 1929.
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.

Baptismal Register 1843–1875
Communion Roll 1844–1963
Kirk Session Book and Minutes 1793–1809, 1844–1874
Managers’ Minutes 1852–1953
Note: Available at the Falkirk Museums History Research Centre, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland, record CH3/1551.

Denny Free Church

The minister of the parish and many of his congregation “came out” in 1843. They worshiped in a malt barn until their church was opened in December following. In 1850, owing to the weakness of the congregation, it was united with Dunipace, under a probationer. In 1854 it was restored to its original status. The manse was erected in 1856. A church hall was erected in 1870.
Membership: 1848, 160; 1900, 197
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 a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

Civil Registration RecordsEdit

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

Denny 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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 259-280. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 February 2014.

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