East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Scotland Gotoarrow.png Lanarkshire Gotoarrow.png East Kilbride

East Kilbride (#643)

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


KILBRIDE, EAST, a parish, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark; 8 miles (S. S. E.) from Glasgow. This place, distinguished by its affix from West Kilbride, in the county of Ayr, and including the ancient parish of Torrance, is of great antiquity, and once formed part of the see of Glasgow. The parish takes its name from the dedication of the church to St. Bride or Bridget. The church, which is situated in the village of Kilbride, is a plain neat structure, with a tower surmounted by a spire; it was erected about 1774, and contains 913 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and the Relief.[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 East Kilbride. 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 Scotland Census Records.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of East Kilbride.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

Years Surname Index         
1851 CD-ROM no. 1850
1861 6205845
1881 6086616 ( 41 fiche)

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 indexes through the library.

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish and their Family History Library call numbers.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Event Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1688-1854 - index 1066591 item 1-2
1688-1820 1066590 item 4-5
1820-1854 1066591 item 1-2
Marriages: 1688-1749,  1754-1819 1066590 item 4-5
1818-1854 1066591 item 1-2
Deaths: 1821-1838 1066591 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 be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.  
Births: Births are Irregular and incomplete 1749–1754. There is one page of irregular entries for 1749–1761 at December 1758. Mothers’ names are seldom recorded until 1755, and again omitted 1771–1804.
Marriages: There are no entries March 1749–June 1754. After 1758 the fact of marriage is seldom added to the entries of proclamation. See also Kirk Sessions below.
Deaths: There are no death records until 1821.
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:

Marriages 1676–1678
Minutes 1716–1785, 1796–1802, 1809–1818, 1825–1859
Minutes (discipline) 1790–1709, 1741–1947
Accounts and Discipline 1671–1677, 1689–1768
Accounts 1646–1654, 1720–1725, 1741–1744, 1780–1800, 1851–1859
Accounts of Collections, Mortcloths, and Proclamations 1844–1848
Poor Accounts 1732–1741, 1759–1769, 1781–1813, 1835–1858
Testimonials 1727–1803, 1847–1848
Mortcloth Book 1788–1847
Certificates 1699–1715, 1820–1837
Seat Rents 1781–1811
Rolls of Male Heads of Families 1836, 1838
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/307 and 1485.

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.

East Kilbride Free Church

At the second meeting of Hamilton Free Church Presbytery on June 29, 1843 the minister of East Kilbride and three of his elders applied for admission to the Free Church. They were duly received. They worshiped first in a barn known as the “Spale Kirk”. The church was erected in 1845 and the manse in 1848. The church was subsequently enlarged and renovated.
Membership: 1848, 160; 1900, 184.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown

East Kilbride Relief, later United Presbyterian Church

In March of 1791, a large body of heritors, elders, and heads of families in the parish, grieved over the forced placement of a new parish minister, withdrew from the Established church and petitioned the Relief Presbytery of Glasgow to be received as a forming congregation, which was granted. A church was built that same year. All Relief Presbyterian Church congregations became United Presbyterian Church congregations in 1847.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. FHL Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

Marriage Registers 1797–1820
Various Minutes 1792–1957
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh CH3/1001.

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

East Kilbride was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Hamilton and Campsie until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Glasgow. 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 Lanark and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Hamilton and Campsie.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Lanark. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Lanark and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

Return to the Lanarkshire parish list.


There are three public cemeteries within the boundaries of East Kilbride.  The oldest is the churchyard attached to the Old Parish Church in the Village, built in 1774 on an existing church site, with the earliest headstone dated 1710.  A printed transcript of the Old Parish Church's monumental inscriptions was published in 1974 and is available at East Kilbride Central Library.  By 1904 it was necessary to open a municipal graveyard, East Kilbride Cemetery in Mavor Avenue, East Mains, and another, Phillipshill Cemetery in 1989, on the north-west edge of the town.

South Lanarkshire Council holds the burial records for each of these cemeteries, and can be contacted at 18 Forrest Street, Blantyre, Glasgow, G72 0JP (phone 01698 717823).


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 22-41. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 February 2014.