Argyllshire, Scotland Genealogy
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Guide to Argyllshire ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
Argyllshire is a maritime county in the west of Scotland, bounded on the north by Inverness-shire, on the east by the counties of Inverness, Perth, and Dumbarton, and on the south and west by the Firth of Clyde and the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 115 miles in extreme length and about 50 or 60 miles in average breadth, comprising an area, including the various islands connected with it, of about 3800 square miles. It contains about 50 parishes and six civil districts. It includes the royal burghs of Inverary and Cambelltown and has several other small towns and villages.
At a very early period, the area was inhabited by the Scots who migrated from the Irish coast. After the subjugation of the Picts and the union of the two kingdoms, it became identified with the general population of the country. It is a place of celebrated romantic legend, the principal scene of the exploits of the heroes of the race of Fingal. The family or clan of Campbell, ancestors of the Dukes of Argyll, for many generations possessed an absolute and sovereign authority over their vassals in the county.
(Source: Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851. Family History Library book 941 E5L.)
ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.
The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:
For more detail on exact record availability, see Availability. For examples of the records available, see Record Types and Examples. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a small pay per view fee to see the actual digitized record.
Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for Argyllshire for 1881. Click here for other census indexes available at the library.
- ScotlandsPeople, index, images, free index, pay per view ($)
- Scotland Census, 1841, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1851, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1861, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1871, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1881, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1891, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1901, index and images, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1911, index and images, ($).
- 1658 - 1919 - Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 at FamilySearch — index
Civil Registration or Statutory Registers
For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Statutory Registers - Vital Records.
Some of the Argyllshire parish records are indexed in Argyll Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.
- This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Argyll in the country of Scotland. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. Also included are some records from non-conformist churches. You will find interesting phonetic spelling. Some of the records may be in Latin or even a Welsh or Scottish dialect. Due to the nature of the records and because the records were originally compiled by a third party, it is difficult to absolutely verify the completeness and validity of the data.
Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Argyll with their parish numbers. The insular parishes are islands off of the mainland. Click on the parish name to see information about records. Click on this link to a parish map of Argyllshire.
Argyll and Bute were combined into one county in 1974. The county archives is the Argyll & Bute Council Archives, located in Lochgilphead. Situated at Manse Brae (for GPS use cross-street Cossack or Lochnell), the archive is small but well-equipped to assist researchers in family history. It is best to book a table before arrival. If you give them some idea of what type of records and the time period you want to research, the staff can be better prepared to assist you. They have a binder which lists family history sources, and the records are filed by the number given in that binder. To help prepare for a visit to the Argyll & Bute Council Archives, prepare a list of source numbers from the family history source binder. The council also accepts enquiries by letter, email, or text, and has a limited research service for those who cannot visit the archive. For details, see the archive website.
There were 5 workhouses in this county:
A description with drawings and photos of them today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the links above located on the site entitled "The Workhouse: The Story of an Insitution" which is owned and operated by Peter Higginbotham.
Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society
Unit 13, 32 Mansfield Street
Glasgow G11 5QP
Tel. +44 (0) 141 339 8303
The Highland Archive Centre]
Tel: +44 (0)1463 256444
Lochaber Archive Centre
West Highland College
Carmichael Way, Fort William PH33 6FF
Tel: 01397 701942
The Scottish Genealogy Society
15 Victoria Terrace
- Argyllshire Resources and help pages on RootsChat Argyllshire Resources and help pages. (Free).