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Kilbrandon and Kilchattan, Argyllshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #515

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

History[edit | edit source]

     There were four churches or chapels before the reformation and were joined together to make one. Oban, and Easdale are the nearest towns.  The major land owners were: The Marquis of Breadabane; the heirs of the late John M’Dougall Esq. of Ardincaple; and Major Campbell of Melfort.  The land was primarily used for,  4 slate quarries, black cattle, black faced sheep. Herring-fish.  The population in 1801 was 2278 and in 1831 was 2833.  The registers were not regularly kept from 1753 until 1793. The next volume was lost. The register has been regularly kept since 1826.  In good weather the church is always crowded, about 400 communicants. The number of Disenters is about 200 in 1836, chiefly to the Covenanters and Independents. 2 Baptists, 1 Roman Catholic family.

This account was written in 1843.
source:  New Statistical Account of Scotland (Family History Library 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 Kilbrandon and Kilchattan. 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 Kilbrandon and Kilchattan as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years Family Hisotoy Library Film Number Surname Index              
1841 1042716 941.38/K4 X22s 1841
1851 1042716 941.39 X2a
1861 103796
1871 103953
1881 203557 6086508 (set of 4 Fiche)
1891 220166

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.

Transcripts of the census returns, made by genealogists with an interest in the parish, can be found at


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: 1753–1854 1041068 items 1–2
Marriages: 1753–1767, 1776–1791 1041068 items 1–2
1806–1807, 1825–1854 1041068 items 1–2
Deaths: No entries

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 one entry for 1751, only three entries for July 1760–March 1763, and five entries for February 1767–March 1776. The record is defective September 1781–February 1783. Only ten entries appear September 1797–June 1805, and after January 1809 the record is irregular and defective until 1825.
Marriages: There are no entries April 1767–August 1776 and April 1791–December 1825, except three entries January 1802 and four entries 1806–1807.
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 1753–1778, 1784, 1789, 1827–1903
Accounts 1776–1796, 1827–1845
Proclamations 1825–1893
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/209.

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.


From the Statistical Account of Scotland, for Kilbrandon and Kilchattan for 1843: “The number of Dissenters in the parish, as reported to the Church Commissioners in 1836, was 200. They belong chiefly to the Covenanters (Reformed Presbyterian) and Independents. There are two persons belonging to the Baptists and one Roman Catholic family.” No histories of these groups are available.

Kilbrandon and Kilchattan Free Church
[edit | edit source]

The minister of the parish and most members of the parish left the Established Church in 1843 and formed the Free Church of Kilbrandon and Kilchattan. Tthe Marquis of Breadalbane gave them a tent for worship during the winter months. He also aided largely with the building of the new church, which was opened in 1846. The manse was erected in 1866. Membership decreased owing to depopulation. Of the local congregation of the Covenanters who left the local parish church in 1787, the majority joined the Free Church in 1872. They became extinct as a body in 1876.
Membership: 1848, 222; 1900, 128.
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 1843–1900
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1846–1900
Note:Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/189

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]

Kilbrandon and Kilchattan was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of The Isles 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-names' of Argyll and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of The Isles
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