Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png LanarkshireGotoarrow.png Lesmahagow

Lesmahagow (#649)

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

History

LESMAHAGO, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Lanark, 6 miles (S. W. by W.) from Lanark, and 22 (S. S. E.) from Glasgow; including the villages of Abbey-Green and Turfholm, Boghead, Crossford, Hazelbank, Kirkfield-Bank, Kirkmuirhill, and New Trows. This place is supposed to have derived its appellation from a Celtic term signifying "garden," and from the name of its tutelar saint, who is said to have had a cell here about the 6th century. The church, built in 1804, is handsome and substantial, and is adapted for a congregation of 1330 persons. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and for Independents, the Reformed Presbytery, 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 Lesmahagow.  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 Lesmahagow.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

 

Years Surname Index          
1841
1851 CD-ROM no. 1850
1861 6205866
1871
1881 6086616 ( 41 fiche)
1891

The 1841-1911 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, 1841-1911, 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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1692-1844 1066597
1844-1854 1066598 item 1-2
1834-1854 - neglected entries
Marriages: 1692-1819 1066597
1819-1854 - proclamations 1066598 item 1-2
Deaths: 1765-1819 1066597
1820-1844 1066598 item 1-2
1765-1844

 Book 941.43/L2 K22L

 A-L and L-Y


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 be indexed in theInternational Genealogical Index. 
Births: There are only three entries, one incomplete, September 1697–August 1699 and five entries November 1743–November 1746. Mothers’ names are not recorded until June 1696.
Marriages: There are no entries November 1743–November 1746. The fact of marriages is often not added to the entries 1703–1763 and from April 1804–November 1811 bookings for proclamations only are recorded.
Deaths: Burials; there are no entries April 1807–January 1812.
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 and Some Accounts 1651–1657, 1683–1727, 1768–1811
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/239.

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.

Lesmahagow Free Church

History—
At the Disruption there were two churches in Lesmahagow and both ministers adhered to the Free Church. One was the Burgher congregation which had joined the Church of Scotland in 1839. When their minister was called away in 1843 this congregation at once transferred themselves and their property to the Reformed Presbyterian Church but did not survive until the Union of 1876. With Dr. Parker, minister of the parish, about eight hundred members “came out”. Church, manse and school were erected in 1844. This congregation became the mother of several new congregations in the surrounding district, parting with many of its members for the purpose.
Membership: 1848, 750; 1900, 499.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

Records—
No pre–1855 records.

Lesmahagow Relief, later United Presbyterian Church

History—
The Relief Presbytery of Hamilton began providing supply of sermon for individuals living in the Lesmahagow area in July 1836. A congregation of 70 members was organized in October of the following year. They took possession of their own place of worship in 1838.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Family History Library Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including name of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.

Crossford United Presbyterian Church

History—
On account of the travel distance, individuals from this area who had been attending the Secession Congregation in Lanark were formed into a separate congregation in 1830. A church was built that year.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Family History Library Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including name of ministers.

Records—
No pre–1855 records.

Lesmahagow Original Burgher, later Reformed Presbyterian Church

History—
Originally an offshoot from the original Burgher Congregation of Carluke, this congregation received separate supply of sermon from the Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1814, and was erected in 1816. The first minister was settled in 1820. With the Synod it entered the Church of Scotland in 1839, and in 1843 it adhered to the Free Church. On the departure of the then minister in the same year, a portion of the members refused to unite with a neighboring Free Church and applied to the Reformed Presbytery for supply of Sermon. Their request was granted and the individuals were recommended in the meantime to worship with the Douglas Water congregation. Lesmahagow was finally erected into a separate congregation at a meeting of the Presbytery in March 1844 and in May elders were elected. A minister was finally settled in December 1846, with 76 members and 15 adherents signing his call. The congregation struggled for more than twenty years. In 1868, deeply in debt, it was disbanded and the church and manse were assigned to the minister as compensation for arrears. The members dispersed to other congregations.
Source: The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland, by W.J. Couper, pub. 1925. Family History Library Book 941 K2c.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.

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.

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


Lesmahagow was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Lanark until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Glasgow.  Probate records for 1513- 1925 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 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.

 References

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 157-175. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 February 2014.

Return to the Lanarkshire parish list.