Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Perthshire Gotoarrow.png Dunblane

Parish #348

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


DUNBLANE, an ancient episcopal town and parish, and now the seat of a presbytery, in the county of Perth; containing the village of Kinbuck, 6 miles (N.) from Stirling, and 41½ (W. N. W.) from Edinburgh. This place derives its name from an eminence on which was an ancient convent of Culdees founded by St. Blaan in the reign of Kenneth III. The parish is situated at the western extremity of the Ochill range. The church is the choir of the ancient cathedral, originally a venerable structure combining elegant details of the Norman, and early and decorated English styles. The Episcopalians have just erected a chapel; the members of the Free Church have a place of worship, and there are three meeting-houses for the United Secession.[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 Dunblane, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086646 (6 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed onwww.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
1658-1784 - baptisms
1040065 item 3-4

1769-1786 - baptisms
1040065 item 3-4

1040066 item 1-2

1040066 item 1-2

1849-1854 neglected entries
1040066 item 1-2
1040065 item 3-4

1040066 item 1-2
1828-1829 - burials
1040066 item 1-2

1839-1859 - burials
1040066 item 1-2


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: Irregular birth entries are very frequent after 1783 and at 1819 many entries dated 1820–1843 are inserted. Many interpolated entries occur 1760–1812. Mothers' names are not recorded until about 1810.
Marriages: Proclamations. There are no entries February 1691–January 1787. The fact of marriage is generally added after 1803.
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 1652–1688, 1692–1714, 1730–1802
Accounts 1708–1757, 1810–1887
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/101.

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 Lists.

First Church United Presbyterian Church

In July 1739, 19 persons resident in the parish of Dunblane acceded to the Associate Presbytery and became members of the congregation of Stirling. In 1740 the Seceders in the parishes of Callander, Kilmadock, Kincardine, Monteith, Dunblane, and northern and western parts of Logie, were joined in an Association under the designation of the "Correspondence of Monteith", out of which the congregation of the Bridge of Teith arose soon after. The Breach in 1747 divided the Seceders in these places. On 11th of January 1757, the Seceders in Dunblane were organized as a congregation and later applied for union with Bridge of Teith, which was sanctioned. The two congregations, under one minister, continued united for seven years. In 1765, the congregations were disjoined. The first church was built in 1758, and the second in 1835.
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.

FHL Film Number
Session Minutes 1777–1798 1482987 items 8–12
Marriages 1777–1778 1482987 items 8–12
Presbytery Minutes 1843–1867 1482987 items 8–12
Baptisms 1836–1900 1482988 items 1–3 X
Marriages 1836–1898 1482988 items 1–3 X
Session Minutes 1798–1896 1482988 items 1–3 X
Repair Accounts 1789 1482988 items 1–3 X
Rents 1814 1482988 items 1–3 X
Note: The X means records have been extracted.
Minutes 1758–1938
Seat Rent Book 1815–1833
Cash Book 1835–1849
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/90.

Second Dunblane United Presbyterian Church, extinct before 1873

At the Breach in 1747, the majority of the congregation of the Bridge of Teith adhered to the Associate Burgher Synod while the minority adhered to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod and returned to their original meeting place in Thornhill, which lies 8 miles from Dunblane. Those adherents resident in and about Dunblane wanted the seat of the congregation to be removed to their locality. A compromise was reached with meetings being held at both places on alternate Sabbaths. A place of worship was eventually built in Thornhill in 1761. In 1758 the Seceders assembling at Greenloaning were united with Thornhill and Dunblane under the designation of the congregation of "Strathallan and Monteith", but still met at Greenloaning, 5 miles North East of Dunblane. The junction of three congregations was served by one minister who preached at Dunblane and Greenloaning on alternate Sabbaths and at Thornhill five times a year. The second church in Dunblane was built in 1763. The places of worship had no fixed minister until 1769. In 1778 Thornhill broke from this union and was joined with the congregations of Buchlyvie and Stirling. In 1803, the congregations of Strathallan and Dunblane were divided into the congregations of Greenloaning and Dunblane, and each made choice of a minister for itself. The congregation joined the Evangelical Union 1849, and soon after expired. (See also Greenloaning below.)
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.

Extent of pre-1855 records is unknown.

Greenloaning Associate Presbyterian

When the Associate congregation of Kinkell and Comrie originated, the seceders at Greenloaning were included in it, and a place of worship was erected there in 1752. When Kinkell and Comrie were disjoined, Greenloaning continued as a part of the latter, the minister preaching at each place alternately. On the 21st of September 1762, the Seceders assembling at Greenloaning, then called Strathallan, were disjoined from those assembling at Comrie, and united with those assembling at Thornhill and Dunblane, under the designation of the congregation of "Strathallan and Monteith", as mentioned above. In 1803 the Seceders assembling at Greenloaning were disjoined from those assembling at Dunblane, and each left to provide a fixed pastor for itself. Dunblane did so in a short time, but it was not until twenty-two years after that Greenloaning was finally supplied with one.
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.

Extent of pre-1855 records is unknown.

Dunblane Free Church

The minister of the Cathedral Church, with eight out of nine elders, "came out" in 1843. A Church and school were built that year and the manse in 1845.
Membership: 1848, 300; 1900, 376.
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.

Extent of pre-1855 records is unknown. No records deposited at the National Archives of Scotland.

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

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

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. 310-320. Adapted. Date accessed: 08 May 2014.

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