Sleat, Inverness-shire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #115

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

History[edit | edit source]

SLEAT, or SLATE, a parish, in the island of Skye, county of Inverness, 16 miles (S. by W.) from Broadford. This parish, the name of which is supposed to be of Danish origin, is situated in the south-eastern part of the island. The church, situated at Kilmore, near the centre of the parish, is a plain structure bearing the date of 1631; it has been repaired, and contains sittings for about 500 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

Sleat forms the south-eastern part of the Island of Skye. The parish commences to the north of Kyle-rhea, a narrow ferry which separates Skye from the mainland of Glenelg, and it extends to the south-west along the sea. To the north, it is bounded by the parish of Strath, from which it is divided by a high ridge of hill from Kyle-rhea to Loch-in-daal. Opposite to Loch-in-daal, another branch of the sea, called Loch-Eishart, comes in from the westward, and is separated from Loch-in-daal by a narrow isthmus, about half a mile in breath. The parish from Loch-in-daal forms a peninsula, extending westward to the point of Sleat. The population is located on both sides of this parish.

 There are no town or villages in the parish. A parliamentary road runs through the parish, opening the communication from Armadale to Broadford, a distance of sixteen miles. There are also district roads connecting different parts of the parish. A steam-boat from Glasgow to Portree calls once a week in the summer, and once in three weeks in the winter.

Lord Macdonald is the sole proprietor of the parish.

The only register belonging to the parish is that of births and marriages, commencing in 1813, and regularly kept since that period.

The church is situated at Kilmore about the middle of the parish. It is an old building, and has the date 1631 marked on it. It has been lately repaired, and is seated for nearly 500.

This account was written December 1840.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland, for Sleat Family History Library book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 14.

 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 you are interested in. 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 Sleat, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Number Surname Indexes
1841 1042642 none
1851 1042098 6344852 (3 fiche)
1861 0103837 none
1871 0104002 none
1881 0203427 6086593 (4 fiche)
1891 0208643 none

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, 1841-1901, 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.  The census is also indexed on and  These are all pay websites, but should help in locating everyone listed in the census 1841-1911.

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]


Record Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1813-1853 0990672 item 1-2
Marriages: 1813-1852 0990672 item 1-2
Deaths: No entries none


Condition of Original Registers—
[edit | edit source]

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: Original record is injured by dampness. There is, however, a copy with a slightly different form of entry.
Marriages: The original of this record was also injured by dampness, but there are two copies of the portion previous to 1818. No entries December. 1817–1820.
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:

Reference Title Date Access status
CH2/1111 Records of Sleat Kirk Session 1853-1914 
CH2/1111/1 Sleat kirk session: Minutes 1882-1914

CH2/1111/2 Sleat kirk session: Minutes 1853-1882 
CH2/1111/3 Sleat kirk session: Cash book 1882-1903

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.

Sleat Free Church[edit | edit source]

Those adhering to the Free Church in 1843 formed the congregation in Sleat, and elders were ordained in July of that year. The failure of a call addressed to a minister in 1844 made the situation uncertain, and some time elapsed before further action could be taken. At length in 1853 a satisfactory settlement was obtained. Steps were taken to build a church in 1855.
Membership: 1855, 200; 1900, 40.
Source:  Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1943–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols.,pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

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]

Sleat 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 inverness. 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 Inverness-shire 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 Inverness-shire. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Inverness-shire and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records. 

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 30 July 2014.

Return to Inverness-shire parish list.