Arbroath, Angus, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Angus Gotoarrow.png Arbroath

Parish # 272

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


History

ARBROATH, or Aberbrothock, a thriving seaport, burgh, and parish, in the county of Forfar, 15 miles (S. E. by E.) from Forfar, and 58 (N. N. E.) from Edinburgh; containing the late quoad sacra parish of Abbey, and part of that of Lady-Loan. This place derives its name, originally Aberbrothock, of which its present appellation is a contraction, from its situation at the mouth of the river Brothock, which falls into the North Sea. The church, which was enlarged in 1764, and to which an elegant spire was added in 1831, is a plain cruciform structure, situated nearly in the centre of the town, and adapted for 1390 persons. A chapel of ease was erected in 1797, on the grounds of the ancient abbey, and is thence called the Abbey chapel; it is a neat edifice for a congregation of about 1280, and a quoad sacra parish has been annexed to it. Another chapel of ease was erected in 1829, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of that portion of the suburbs within the parish of St. Vigean's; it is a neat structure, and contains 1080 sittings. The church of Lady-Loan is also of recent date, and in the town. There are places of worship for Episcopalians, Free Church congregations, members of the United Secession, members of the Relief Synod, Original Seceders, and Independents; and for smaller congregations of Baptists, Bereans, Glassites, and Wesleyans.[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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. 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.

Click here[low quality link] to go to the Family History Library Catalog entry for the census records of Arbroath.

The Family History Library also has surname indexes for the 1841 and 1881 censuses

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 census and 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
Births:
1653-1734
0993331

1748-1780
0993331

1820-1854
0993332

1653-1734
0993331

1748-1854
0993332
Deaths:
1825-1854 - burials
0993333

1835-1854 - burial schedules
0993390-98 2-3 years per film

1855-1858 - burials
1068236 item 9

 

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 are intermixed with marriages and other matters up to 1655. The records are blank July 1655–November 1658. Births are inter-mixed with marriages November 1658–September 1734. They are blank from August 1699–September 1700, except for five entries between 1738–1743 and September 1734–September 1748. There are separate registers for births after 1748. The records prior to 1700 were damaged by damp conditions and negligence.
Marriages: Marriages are intermixed with births and other matters up to 1655, then, they are blank July 1655–November 1658. Marriages are Inter-mixed with births November 1658–September 1734. Marriages are blank from August 1699–September 1700 and September 1734 to September 1748. There is a separate register for marriages after 1748. The records prior to 1700 were damaged due to dampness and negligence.
Burials: There are two volumes of birth and marriage records, and 16 volumes of burial schedules.
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:

Old Arbroath

Records—
Minutes and Accounts 1732–1735, 1748–1819, 1834–1925
Treasurers Accounts Including Mortcloths 1804–1823
Accounts 1777–1803
Abstract of the Enumeration of the Inhabitants of the Parish, June 1831
Scroll Minutes1754–1772, 1827–1829, 1834–1846
Cartulary 1825–46
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1415.

Ladyloan Kirk

Various Minutes 1837–1843
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/608

Abbey Kirk

Various Minutes 1797–1933
Pew Rentals and Transfers 1795–1875
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/911

Inverbrothock Kirk

Minutes 1834–1977
St.Vigeans, Destitute Sick Society Accounts 1838–1888
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/903

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.

General Statement:
The New Statistical Account of Scotland, dated December 1833 FHL book 941 B4sa Ser. 2, vol. 11 pt. 2, states that there were within the parish two United Secession churches, one Original Secession church, one Relief church, one Congregational church, one Wesleyan Methodist church, meeting places for the Glasites, Bereans, and Baptists, and an Episcopalian chapel. There were also groups of Dalites, Socinians and Universalists without churches. Other churches came into being after 1833. An 1823 survey stated that 540 persons were Episcopalian, 537 were United Secession, 131 were Original Secession, 282 were Methodist, 134 were Glasite, 99 were Congregationalist, and 51 professed one of the other faiths, while 186 persons belonged to no denomination.

Seceding Churches

Princes Street United Presbyterian Church

History—
This congregation was formed by members of the congregation of Dumbarrow. They petitioned the General Associate Presbytery to be disjoined and formed into a separate congregation in 1782. They met in a hall until 1791 when they moved to a place of worship in 1824. Session premises were added in 1861, and a new church was built in January 1867.
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.

Records—
Minutes 1783–1806, 1823–1923
Roll of Members 1839, 1848–1857
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/964

Erskine Arbroath Second United Presbyterian Church

History—
This congregation originated in the dissatisfaction felt by a number of persons taught in the Established Church. A regular supply of sermon was granted in July 1814. A church was built but remained unfinished until August 1821 when it opened. Another church was opened in 1851.
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.

Records—
Minutes 1829–1837, 1845–1916
Baptismal Registers 1851–1918
Communion Rolls 1854–1873
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/963

Park Street or St Paul's United Presbyterian Church

History—
This congregation originated with a number who separated from a society in that connection because the Conference would not receive the Rev. John Grahame. The place of worship was built in 1826. The congregation applied to be received into connection with the Relief Synod, which was granted.
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.

Records—
No pre-1855 records known.

Arbroath East Free Church

History—
This congregation was formed at the Disruption by those who "came out" of the old church and the Abbey Church at Arbroath. The church with school was built in the extreme east of the town. In 1854 a Territorial district was assigned to it between the Abbey and High Street. In 1850 the manse was built. A new church was erected in 1875.
Membership: 1848, 486; 1900, 458.
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.

Records—
Various Minutes 1843–1889
Cash Book 1844–1874
Collection Book 1846–1862
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/910

Arbroath High Street Free Church

History—
This congregation represents the majority of Maule Street Anti-burgher congregation which joined the Free Church in 1852. The minority, who refused to join, retained the church. An old Episcopalian church in High Street was purchased in 1857 and the congregation took the name of High Street.
Membership: 1858, 165; 1900, 294.
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.
Records—
No pre-1855 records known.

Inverbrothock Free Church

History—
The minister of Inverbrothock “quoad sacra” church and the great bulk of his congregation "came out" in 1843. Deprived of their church they worshiped in a wooden building near the parish church until their own church was opened in October 1843. Later the church was renovated and partly rebuilt. A manse was erected in 1849 and also a school. A new church was built in 1888. The manse was sold the same year and a new one acquired. Mission work has been carried on since 1849.
Membership: 848, 694; 1900, 471.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vol’s., pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Records—
Minutes 1843–1865
Accounts 1849–1909
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/909

Ladyloan Free Church

History—
The minister of this “quoad sacra” charge, and almost the entire congregation, "came out" in 1843. They continued to worship in the church until expelled in 1845. In the end of that year their own church was opened.
Membership: 1848, 845; 1900, 973.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vol’s., pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Records—
Minutes 1843–1901
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/531

Dissenting Churches

Queen Street Congregational Church

History—
This congregation was formed about 1800, but the exact date is uncertain because the records were destroyed by fire in 1849. They met at first in the Mason’s hall then moved to a newly erected chapel in Gravesend in 1803. A new chapel was built on Queen Street in 1866. The chapel is now located on Maule Street.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott 1960, Family History Library 941 K2es; and The Scottish Congregational Ministry, 1794–1993, by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton 1993, Family History Library 941 K2mwd. Sources include names of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The United Reformed Church Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX
Scotland

Keptie Street Evangelical Union Church

History—
This congregation was formed in 1864 and met at first in a hall on John Street. The congregation joined the Evangelical Union in 1866. They moved to a building on Keptie Street in 1879. They ceased to meet in 1909.
Sources: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott 1960, Family History Library 941 K2es; and The Scottish Congregational Ministry, 1794–1993, by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton 1993, Family History Library 941 K2mwd. Sources include names of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown. For more information write to the above address.

Abroath Baptist Church

History—
This church was formed in 1810. Up to the early 1870s, the church was ministered to by laymen, and the members have always met in rented rooms or halls. The congregation was formally admitted to the Baptist Union in 1872 and the first regular pastor was inducted the following year. The church is still active.
Source: History of Baptists in Scotland, by Rev. Geo. Yuille 1926, Family History Library 941 K2hi Source includes a list of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The Baptist Union of Scotland
12 Aytoun Road
Glasgow G41 5RT,
Scotland

Arbroath Methodist Church

History—
The first Methodist chapel in Arbroath was officially opened by none other than John Wesley in 1772. The society is still active today, and the original church was still in use in 1947.
Source: Methodism in Scotland, by Wesley F. Swift, pub. 1947. Family History Library British Book 941 K2sw.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
St. John Methodist Church
15 Ponderlaw St.
Arbroath,
Scotland

Arbroath Episcopalian Church

History—
No history is available other than what is mentioned in the general statement on page 8.

Records—
Christenings and Marriages 1812–1854
Note: Records presumably available from the minister. Write to:
St. Mary Rectory
2 Springfield Terrace
Arbroath, DD11 1EL
Scotland

Arbroath Catholic Church

History—
From 1787 this church was served from Dundee, see that parish for early records. A congregation was formed in 1839.

Records—
Baptisms 1840–1956
Marriages 1841–1951
Note: Available online for a fee, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, record RH21/90.

Arbroath Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–Day Saints

Records—
Family History Library Film Number
Record of Members, 1845–1880 0104149 item 3

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

Arbroath was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of St.Andrews until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dundee. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 Angus and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of St.Andrew.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Angus. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Angus and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References

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


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