Drymen, Stirlingshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Stirlingshire Gotoarrow.png Drymen

Parish #477                          

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


DRYMEN, a parish, in the county of Stirling; including part of the late quoad sacra district of Bucklyvie, 55 miles (W. by N.) from Edinburgh. The name of this place was originally written Drumen, which is derived from the Celtic word Druim, signifying a knoll or rise in the ground, and is strikingly descriptive of the locality, the surface being marked in many places by such eminences. The church, built in 1771, and reseated in 1810, is a substantial edifice in good repair, and contains about 400 sittings. The United Associate Secession have a place of worship.[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.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Drymen as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available.


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 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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1672-1854 1041941 items 1-2
Marriages: 1721-1854 1041941 items 1-2
Deaths: 1729-1884 1041941 items 102

Condition of Original Registers—

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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: Records are blank May 1678–November 1721. At the end of 1760 is a list of baptisms, bearing to be extracted from the records of the Kirk–Session of Aberfoil, dated between July 1753 and December 1765 (5 leaves). There is a duplicate of the record January 1755–May 1780.
Marriages: The record 1728–1756 inclusive is chiefly proclamations. Entries of irregular marriages for years 1734–1737 are on four pages after January 1744. The fact of marriage is often omitted after 1776.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues until 1733; then record is blank until October 1783, after which it is burials. Record ends April 1784.
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 he 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 1693–1740, 1743–1744, 1831–1904
Communion Roll 1834
Male Heads of Families 1835–1836
List of Poor 1740
Accounts 1724–1726 - damaged
Poors’ Fund Minutes 1743–1840
Stipend Book, Crops 1743–1777 - with gaps; 1779–1803
Communion Roll 1835
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/1229.

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.

Drymen United Presbyterian Church

After the parish minister was charged with gross offenses in 1738, several parishioners withdrew from his ministry and acceded to the Associate Presbytery. They were joined in the following year by Seceders from neighboring parishes. Sermon was occasionally supplied by the Presbytery. The people became part of the Holm of Balfron congregation when it was formed in 1742. A place of worship was built at Drymen sometime after, and the minister preached alternately there and at Balfron. Drymen became a separate congregation, with a minister of its own, in 1820.
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 1850–1901
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/1226.

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

Drymen 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 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 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. 280-297. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 February 2014.

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