Kippen, Stirlingshire, Scotland GenealogyEdit This Page

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Parish #484

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



KIPPEN, a parish, partly in the county of Perth, but chiefly in the county of Stirling containing the greater portion of the late quoad sacra parish of Bucklyvie, the village of Kippen, and the hamlets of Arnprior, Cauldhame, Kepp, and Shirgarton, 10 miles (W.) from Stirling. This place derives its name, in the Gaelic language signifying "a promontory," from the situation of the village at the extremity of an eminence which terminates near Boquhan, in the eastern portion of the parish. The parish is bounded on the north by the river Forth, and is about eight miles in extreme length. The church, erected in 1825, is a handsome structure in the later English style of architecture, with a square embattled tower, and contains 800 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. A church in connexion with the Establishment was built in 1835, at Bucklyvie, where is also a place of worship for the United Secession.[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 Kippen, 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

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

Click here[low quality link] to go to the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the Established Church records for Kippen, covering the years 1700-1854.

Condition of Original Registers

Indexed: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers. The records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
Births: The form of entry is tabulated. After the record for 1819, there is another register containing entries many of them irregular, from 1751–1820.
Marriages: Records are blank May 1745–June 1753, excluding three entries for December 1746, and January 1754–February 1758. At 1753 there are two leaves containing transcribed entries of “Pawns” March 1747– February 1750.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church Kirk Session Records

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:

Accounts and Financial Minutes 1746–1811
Discipline - few leaves 1777–1778
Account Book 1801–1848
Minutes 1778–1900
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/396.

Nonconformist Church Records

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.

Buchlyvie Associate Session

The parish of Kippen is bounded on the south by that of Balfron in which great excitement was produced in 1735 by the violent settlement of a minister after several years of determined opposition on the part of the parishioners. (See Holm of Balfron under Balfron parish.) While matters were in this state, the minister of Kippen wrote a pamphlet slandering the Erskines, who were leaders of the Secession, which greatly incensed a number of his parishioners. In 1737, several of the parishioners left the Established Church and joined the Secession. They traveled to Stirling to attend the ministry of the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine until the congregation of Holm of Balfron was organized in 1742 and they became a part of it. At the Breach in 1747, the congregation, with few exceptions, adhered to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod. Thinking themselves sufficiently numerous to form a congregation and being desirous of having a place of worship in their own locality, those members residing in Kippen applied to the Presbytery of Glasgow to be disjoined, which was allowed in 1751. Church built that year in Buchlyvie. Altered and improved in 1871. A history of the congregation was written by the minister for its centenary.
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.

Minutes 1752–1764, 1768–1891
Accounts 1752–1831
Signatures to Judicial Act and Testimony 1787–1827
Members 1833–1838
Baptisms 1752–1785
Congregational Minutes 1825–1827
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/611.

Kippen Free Church, Muirhead

The minister of Kippen, and many of his people, “came out” in 1843. They encountered much opposition. During the summer they met for worship either in the open air or in a barn. The church was erected in 1843–1844.
Membership: 1848, 138; 1900, 115.
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.

Session Minutes 1846–1929
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/331.

Civil Registration Records

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

Kippen 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. 82-98. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 February 2014.

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  • This page was last modified on 1 July 2015, at 15:48.
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