Glassford, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Scotland Gotoarrow.png Lanarkshire Gotoarrow.png Glassford

Glassford (#645)

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



GLASSFORD, a parish, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 2½ miles (N. E.) from Strathaven containing the villages of Westquarter and Chapelton. This parish, which is bounded on the south by the river Avon, is not distinguished by any events of historical importance. The parish church, situated in the village of Westquarter, nearly at one extremity of the parish, was erected in 1820, and is adapted for a congregation of 560 persons. A handsome church, with a spire, was erected on the Church-extension principle in 1839, in the village of Chapelton, about three miles from the parish church. There is also a place of worship for the Free Church.[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  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Glassford.  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 Glassford.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index            
1851 CD-ROM no. 1850
1861 6206626
1881 6086616 ( 41 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on  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.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

Years Covered FHL Fillm Number
Births: 1692-1854 1066591 item 3-4
1832-1891 0889489 item 2
Marriages: 1692-1854 1066591 item 3-4
Deaths: 1733-1807 1066591 item 3-4
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 Internation Genealogical Index. 
Births: The lower portion of the page at January 1715 has been torn off. There are no entries June 1726–February 1731. There is one page of irregular entries, 1765–1794, recorded at October 1783. Mothers’ names were unrecorded until December 1765.
Marriages: The first page of marriages contains entries, 1692–1694, of persons in other parishes married at Glassford. There is only one entry December 1707–August 1709; and no entries April 1723–April 1732, and 1745. There is one for 1763, June 1746–December 1783, and two entries June 1784–September 1790, July 1798–December 1801, March1804–September 1816. There is one entry October 1739–December 1741 and only proclamations after September 1816.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues, 1733–1796. There are no entries November 1748–March 1766, August 1779–April 1781 and only one entry July 1791–July 1794. There are burials, October 1783–January 1807 and no entries November 1788–August 1790, November 1792–July 1794. There are only two entries May 1798–January 1802.
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 none.

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.

Chapelton Free Church

The minister of the Chapelton church, in the parish of Glassford, and nearly all his congregation “came out” in 1843. They were deprived of their church and for a time worshiped in the open air and then in the school. A church was built very soon in spite of much opposition from influential quarters. The decline of handloom weaving seriously affected the congregation, no other industry taking its place. The congregation was reduced to a preaching station in 1849. Sanction was restored in 1855. A new church was built in 1888. The congregation was joined by a number from the Relief Church.
Membership: 1859, 170; 1900, 132.
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 not known.

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

Glassford was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Glassgow until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Glassgow. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at  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 Glasgow.
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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 February 2014.

Return to the Lanarkshire parish list.