Ardnamurchan, Argyll, Scotland Church Records
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Ardnamurchan. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
- 1 History
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Civil registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
ARDNAMURCHAN, a parishpartly in the county of Argyll, and partly in the county of Inverness; comprising the quoad sacra districts of Aharacle and Strontian. The present parish of Ardnamurchan, previously to the Reformation, was distributed into three separate parishes, comprehending the five districts of Ardnamurchan, Sunart, Moidart, Arasaig, and South Morir. These districts still remain as distinct portions, and from the first the parish takes its name, signifying "the promontory" or "heights of the great sea." The parish is in the presbytery of Mull and synod of Argyll, and is ecclesiastically distributed into five portions, namely, the parish church district, two quoad sacra parishes, a district under the care of a missionary, and another under that of an assistant. The first of these embraces the western portion of the peninsula of Ardnamurchan, and contains a place of worship at Kilchoan, on the south, four or five miles from the point, and one at Kilmorie, on the northern coast. The Kilchoan church, which, on account of its situation, commands the larger attendance, is a superior edifice, built in 1831, and accommodating more than 600 persons; that of Kilmorie, raised by a late incumbent, is a very humble structure, originally built of dry stone, and thatched. There are five Roman Catholic chapels, with two officiating priests.
Before the reformation, 3 parishes comprised this area. At the establishment of the Protestant Church these came under the care of one minister. In 1639 a Minister of the Church of Scotland was already established. The village of Ardnafuaran is the nearest town. The occupancy of this district was by the Earl of Islay. It was in the way of every Norse evasion.The land was primarily used for, lead mines, sheep, black cattle farming, oats, potatoes, hay, gardens, and orchards.
The population in 1795 was 2552. In the rugged and secluded quarter the inhabitants are Roman Catholics. Protestants are about 1/6 of the population. A parish church was built in 1831.
This account was written in 1838.
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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Ardnamurchan. Also available at the Family History Library.
This parish also includes Acharacle, Ardnamurchan, Strontian or Sunart, and Kintra Mission.
A census record 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 Ardnamurchan as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Year||Family History Library Film Number||Surname Index|
|1841||1042714 and 1042715||941.38 X22s 1841 v. 1-5|
|1851||1042348 and 1042349||941.39 X2a|
|1881||0203554||6086508 (set of 4 fiche)|
The 1911 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, 1841-1911, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.
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:||1829–1854 - Acharacle||1041003 item 3-6|
|1777-1854 - Ardnamurchan||1041003 item 3-6|
|1804-0854 - Strontian or Sunart||1041003 item 3-6|
|1810–1819 - Kintra Mission||1041003item 3–6|
|Marriages:||1831–1854 - Acharacle||1041003 item 3–6|
|1777–1854 - Ardnamurchan||1041003 item 3–6|
|1804–1854 - Strontian or Sunart||1041003 item 3–6|
|1810–1816 - Kintra Mission||1041003 item 3–6|
Condition of Original Records—
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 be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
Births: Acharacle: there is no record prior to 1829.
Ardnamurchan: the pages are blank January 1779 –May 1802 and April 1809–May 1810. The record proper terminates January 1812 and is followed by a supplement to the parish register of Ardnamurchan for baptisms in the Mission of Kintra, etc., from March 1810.
Strontian or Sunart: a separate register exists from May 1804, which is blank except for a few entries, October 1811–March 1814.
Marriages:Aharchle: there is no record prior to 1831.
Ardnamurchan: no record occurs until April 1810, except entries for May 1776–September 1778, with one entry for 1787, when the supplementary register for the Mission of Kintra commences.
Strontian or Sunart: blank pages occur February 1811–January 1815 except for one entry for 1813.
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 Kirk 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:
Note:Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/439.
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
Strontian Free Church
Those who adhered to the Free Church formed this congregation at the Disruption. The congregation, prohibited from erecting even a tent in which to worship, in 1846 arranged for a floating church which was anchored in the loch. Later, it was driven ashore by a storm but remained accessible. Finally in 1869 the congregation secured a site and erected a church.
Membership: 1854, 30; 1900, 21.
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.
Extent of pre-1855 records is unknown.
Arisaig Catholic Church
A church was consecrated to St. Mary in 1800 but no early records survive.
Note: Available online for a fee, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, record RH21/44.
Moidart Catholic Church
A church was consecrated to Our Lady of the Angels in 1769 but no early records survive.
Note: Available online for a fee, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, Edinburgh, record MP/48.
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.
Ardnamurchan was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Argyll until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dunoon. 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 Argyll and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Argyll.
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.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 59-72. Adapted. Date accessed: 23 May 2014.
Return to the Argyllshire Parish List.