Alyth, Perthshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Perthshire Gotoarrow.png Alyth

Parish #328

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


ALYTH, a parish, partly in the county of Forfar, but chiefly in that of Perth, 17 miles (N. W.) from Dundee. This place appears to have derived its name, signifying, in the Gaelic language, an "ascent," from the gradually sloping eminence on which its ancient church, and the older portion of the village, are built. The church, situated in the village, is a handsome and spacious structure in the Norman style, built in 1839, and contains 1290 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Associate Synod, and Original Seceders, and a small Episcopal chapel.[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 Alyth, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
941.32 X22p 1851 no.328
6086646 (6 fiche)
208729, 208730

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

Record Type
Years Covered
Family History Library Film Number










Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: 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: Births intermixed with marriages prior to April 1633 and again December 1643–July 1754. There are only four entries for March 1695–October 1697 and none December 1707–June 1712. Mothers' names not recorded until 1720 and omitted, except 1747–1748 January 1742–October 1786. Scroll record of births 1792–1796 after deaths for September 1820.
Marriages: Marriages intermixed with births prior to April 1633 and again December 1643–July 1754. No entries Marchch 1633–January 1637, from which date to January 1665 there is a record of proclamations in a separate volume. No entries July 1754–February 1786. Scroll record 1792–1796 after deaths for September 1820.
Deaths: Burials until November 1643. No entries 1626–1631 inclusive. After November 1643, except 14 entries of burials for 1651, there are no entries until 1688, from which date until January 1737 Mortcloth Dues are recorded. No entries January 1737–January 1786, when a record Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland of burials is resumed. No entries December 1788–December 1801.
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:

Minutes 1669–1688, 1698–1699, 1737–1792, 1840–1967
Bill of Mortality 1747–1754
Baptisms 1783–1784
Marriages 1783–1784
Proclamation Registers 1855–1891
Cash Book 1809–1827, 1848–1895
Accounts with a few Minutes 1804–1826
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/912.

Nonconformist Church Record

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 Lists.

Alyth Associate Later United Presbyterian Church

The United Presbyterian congregation of this place was formed in 1781 by members of the congregation of Rattray resident in and about Alyth, because of the distance from their place of worship. Church built in 1781. New church opened in 1869.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details are given in the source.

Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms 1781–17980304670 item 2
Baptisms 1781–1860, 1866–1926 1482995 items 2–6
Marriages 1833–1863 1482995 items 2–6
Minutes 1782–1833 1482995 items 2–6
Managers’ Minutes 1784–1820, 1827–1927
Managers’ Accounts 1781–1820, 1827–1891
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/15.

Alyth Free Church

This congregation was formed at the Disruption, Glenisla as well as Alyth being put in charge of the session. The church was erected, and manse, school, and teacher's house were also provided. The congregation at Glenisla was not formed until 1849. The population tended to decrease. The burning of part of the local factory deprived some three hundred of occupation, causing them to leave the district.
Membership: 1848, 365; 1900, 249.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D. 2 vols, pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Minutes 1843–1927
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1845–1911
Deacons’ Accounts 1844–1882
Communion Rolls 1846–1822
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/808.

Alyth Episcopal Church

There was an Episcopal chapel in Alyth by 1843, with seating for 92. It was estimated at that time that membership was 50, which included the families of the two chief resident heritors, land owners, in the parish. The minister came from Coupar Angus once every fortnight to preach.
Source: The New Statistical Account of Scotland, for Perth, Family History Library book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 10

Extent of pre-1855 records is unknown. For information write to the minister at:
Back Road
Bridge of Cally
Blairgowrie PH10 7JL

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

Alyth was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dunkeld until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dunblane. 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 Perthshire and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dunkeld.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Perthshire. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Perthshire 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. 23-45. Adapted. Date accessed: 02 May 2014.

Return to Perthshire parish list.