Rattray, Perthshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Rattray. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
- 1 History
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
RATTRAY, a parish, in the county Perth, 1 mile (E. N. E.) from Blairgowrie; containing the villages of Old and New Rattray. This place lays claim to a considerable degree of antiquity, and is supposed to have derived its name, of which the etymology is uncertain, from the family of Rattray, by whom, according to records yet extant, it appears to have been possessed prior to the year 1066, and whose descendants are still the principal proprietors. The church, built in 1820, to replace the ancient church, which had fallen into decay, is a substantial and handsome structure with a square tower, and contains 620 sittings. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church and United Secession.
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 Rattray, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|| FHL Film Number
|| Surname Indexes|
|| 941.32 X22p 1851 no. 389|
|| 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:||1606-1611 - baptisms||1040201 item 8|
||1611-1820 - baptisms||1040134|
||1820-1854||1040135 item 1-2|
||1611-1621 - proclamations||1040134|
||1820-1855||1040135 item 1-2|
|Deaths:||1699-1726 - mortcloth dues||1040134|
||1727-1787 - mortcloth dues||1040135 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. The records may be indexed in the Genealogical Index.
Births: No birth entries, except one, June 1674–May 1699. Several traces of erasure occur after 1794. After record for 1674 there are seven pages containing entries May 1701–May 1706 and two entries 1707, which appear to relate mainly to children belonging to the neighboring parishes. Mothers' names are not recorded until May 1699. No entries between 1622–1659, June 1647–May 1699, except one.
Marriages: No marriage entries July 1673–June 1699. Duplicate of record for June 1701–March 1705. No entries July 1744–August 1746, December 1782–July 1785, and August 1794–November 1810. There is also a record of proclamations of marriage 1700–1723 in vol. 1 intermixed with other matters. There are no entries 1622–1659, July 1673–June 1699.
Deaths: Burial Mortcloth dues are intermixed with 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:
Minutes 1656–1658, 1665–1674, 1687–1690, 1692–1701, 1818–1900
Accounts 1699–1745, 1818–1842
Court of Immorality 1701–1705, 1716
Heritors Minutes 1774, 1787–1838
Poors Accounts 1775–1784
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/525.
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.
Rattray (Blairgowrie) United Presbyterian Church
Rattray, the name by which this congregation was long known, is a parish neighboring Blairgowrie. The congregation of Rattray originated in1757. On September 20th 1757 obtained supply of sermon from the General Associate Anti-burgher Presbytery of Perth. First church built 1758, at Old Rattray; second built, 1792, third 1835. The name of Blairgowrie was given to the congregation in 1871.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873.Film #477618. More details are given in the source.
Various Minutes 1757–1884
Other post-1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1467.
Rattray Free Church
The minister of Rattray and many of his people "came out" in 1843. The church was erected soon after. The congregation has suffered owing to depression of trade, closing of mills, etc. Originally in the Presbytery of Dunkeld, it was transferred to Meigle in October 1843.
Membership: 1848, 460; 1900, 290.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols, pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.
Communion Rolls 1845
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/857.
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.
Rattray was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dunkeld 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. 399-416. Adapted. Date accessed: 16 May 2014.
Return to Perthshire parish list.