Fowlis Wester, Perthshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Fowlis Wester. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
FOWLIS WESTER, a parish, in the county of Perth; including the villages of Buchanty and Gilmerton, 5 miles (E. N. E.) from Crieff. The origin of the name of this place, Fowlis, or Foulis, is differently accounted for. A local tradition states that one of the earls of Strathearn, wishing for a church in the vicinity of his castle here, stood on an eminence where he had a summer seat, and resolved to erect one where the sun first shone, which was on the spot it now occupies, by him denominated Fowgnolish, "under the light." The church, a very ancient edifice, accommodates 800 persons with sittings.
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.
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 Fowlis Wester, 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 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.
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:||1674-1819||1040351 item 4-6|
||1820-1854||1040381 item 1-2|
|Marriages:||1674-1821||1040351 item 4-6|
||1820-1854||1040381 item 1-2|
|Deaths:||1708-1819||1040351 item 4-6|
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: Births are intermixed with marriages and other matters until August 1708. There are no entries September 1689–November 1691 or October 1695–April 1697. Births and marriages are again intermixed from 1712. Mothers' names are not recorded in entries until 1759. One page of irregular entries for 1785–1800 follows the entries for 1815, followed by a copy of the record from 1801 which is continued as the principal register.
Marriages: Marriages are intermixed with births and other matters until August 1708. There are no entries September 1689–November 1691 and October 1695–April 1697. Marriages are again intermixed with births from 1712, but there is a record of proclamations as well as marriages for 1712–1799.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues are intermixed with the proclamations of marriage.
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:
There are no known records.
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.
There were no known nonconformist groups in this parish.
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.
Fowlis Wester 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.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 441-457. Adapted. Date accessed: 09 May 2014.
Return to Perthshire parish list.