Pettinain, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png LanarkshireGotoarrow.png Pettinain

Pettinain (#653)

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


PETTINAIN, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Lanark; 5 miles (E. by S.) from Lanark. The name of this parish is supposed to have been derived from the old British word Peithynan, signifying "a clear space of flat ground," in reference to a level tract stretching along the north of the village. The church, which is a very plain building, is conveniently situated, is in good repair, and seats about 234 persons: the belfry, supposed to have belonged to an older church, bears the date of 1696 and the inscription, "Holiness becomes God's House."[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 Pettinain.  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 Pettinain.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index            
1851 CD-ROM no. 1850
1861 6205853
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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1689-1854 1066603 items 3-5
Marriages: 1689-1804, 1820-1853 1066603 items 3-5
Deaths: 1696-1780, 1820-1849 1066603 items 3-5
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 of the records may be indexed in theInternational Genealogical Index. 
Births: Births are intermixed with marriages until June 1709. They are extremely irregular and incomplete December 1779–April 1792 and entries have many years out of order of time are frequent after April 1792. Mothers’ names are seldom recorded before 1796.
Marriages: Marriage record up to 1709 is intermixed with births for the same period. There are no entries June 1709–October 1710, after which there is a separate register. There are no entries, except for one May 1727–June 1731, and nine December 1734–May 1741. There are six entries for June 1746–April 1772 and except for three entries dated 1804, 1816 and 1817 the record ends May 1778. There are, however, entries of sums paid by persons intending marriage, 1696–1779 which to some extent supply the defects of the regular register.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues.
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 1689–1839
Accounts 1778–1846
Baptisms 1764–1804
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/301.

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 are none.

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

Pettinain 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- 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 Lanark.

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. 367-388. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 February 2014.

Return to the Lanarkshire parish list.