Shotts, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png LanarkshireGotoarrow.png Shotts

Shotts (#655)

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



BERTRAM-SHOTTS, a parish, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark including the villages of Harthill, Omoa-New-Town, Sallysburgh, and Shotts-Iron-Works; 5 miles (E. by S.) from Holytown. This place is generally supposed to have derived its name from a famous robber called Bartram de Shotts, who, in ancient times, signalized himself by his depredations, and was eventually killed near the site of the present church. The church, the position of which is central, and on an elevated site, was built in 1820, and has 1200 free sittings. There is a place of worship belonging to the Associate Synod.[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 Shotts.  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 Shotts.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index               
1851 CD-ROM no. 1850
1861 6205870
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 Film Number
Births: 1707-1755, 1786-1819 1066605
1819-1854 1066606
Marriages: 1704-1755, 1786-1819 1066605
1820-1855 1066606
Deaths: 1709-1736, 1794-1820 1066605
1820-1855 1066606
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 International Genealogical Index. 
Births: There are no entries 1708–1712, 1714–1716 and 1738–March 1753. There are no entries, except for a few irregular entries, January 1755–May 1786. Entries out of the order of time are frequent 1786–1799. Mothers’ names are not recorded, except in irregular entries until 1786.
Marriages: The record previous to November 1717 consists of five fragments of pages. There are no entries 1706–1712, 1714–1716 and two of the fragments bear no year. A few of the entries on these five pages are complete. There are no entries November 1738–January 1752 and December 1753–March 1794, except one page of entries for 1755. The record throughout is one of proclamations and after January 1795, it is intermixed with other matters.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues. There are no entries 1714–1725 and 1736–January 1795. After January 1795 the record consists of three separate sections, namely, one for each of the three qualities of Mortcloth in use. After August 1816, the entries are intermixed with those of proclamations, etc.
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:

Various Minutes and Accounts 1640–1659, 1691–1714, 1725–1726, 1756–1767, 1795–1914, with gaps
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/460.

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.

Shotts Free Church

This congregation was begun as a mission station in 1846, services being help on Hall Road. The church was erected and the charge sanctioned in 1848. A new church was erected in 1878. The population depended for employment on the Shotts Iron Works. The prosperity of the congregation fluctuated with that of the works.
Membership: 1854, 148; 1900, 306.
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 unknown.

Shotts United Original Secession Presbyterian Church

In 1738, due to the unpopular settlement of a new minister in the parish church, a number of elders and parishioners withdrew from the Established church and acceded to the Associate Presbytery. Occasional sermon was supplied by the Presbytery until 1742, when a minister was ordained for Cambusnethan and the people in Shotts were included in that congregation. The settlement of another unacceptable minister in the Shotts parish church in 1768, after six years of battle between the parishioners, the trustees, the General Assembly and the Presbytery, caused another large part of the congregation to withdraw and accede to the Associate Presbytery. The new seceders now joined with the earlier seceders from Shotts and were formed into a congregation for Shotts. A church was built in 1771. In 1799, the minister and the majority of the congregation withdrew from the Associate Synod and helped to form the Original Associate Burgher Synod. In 1842, this congregation became part of the United Original Secession Church, but it eventually split with some of the members joining the Free Church and the others remaining with the Original Secession Church.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. FHL Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

Shotts Evangelical Union Church

A Congregational church was formed at Shotts in September 1844. The church building at Manse Field was opened in November. The church was admitted to the Evangelical Union in 1876. A new church was built in 1908.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960. FHL Book 941 K2es. This book includes a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown. For information, write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX

Harthill Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–Day Saints

                                                    FHL Film Number
Record of Members   1844–1852      0104153 item 2

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

Shotts was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Hamilton and Campsie 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 Hamilton and Campsie.
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. 101-123. Adapted. Date accessed: 06 March 2014.

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