Walston, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png LanarkshireGotoarrow.png Walston

Walston (#658)

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



WALSTON, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Lanark; containing the village of Ellsrickle, 4 miles (N. by E.) from Biggar. The ancient name is supposed by some to have been Welston, and derived from the numerous springs here, of which one became celebrated for its efficacy in the cure of cutaneous diseases. The church is a neat plain structure, chiefly erected about the close of the 18th century, but having an aisle of more ancient date in the later English style, with a window of elegant design; it is in good repair, and contains 190 sittings.[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 Walston.  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 Walston.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index            
1851 941.43/W3 X2
1861 6205853
1881 6086616 ( 41 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 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

Record Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1679-1854 1066607 item 5-6
Marriages: 1680-1849 1066607 item 5-6
Deaths: No entries
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 birth entries, except one for 1692, six for 1693 and one for 1698, April 1690–October 1700. Entries are frequently out of the order of time after 1747.
Marriages: There are no marriage entries June 1688–January 1690, April 1692–February 1702, December 1705–August 1707, 1720, except for two in 1741, 1734–June 1743, December 1746–April 1748, August 1748–February 1753, April 1763–October 1781, July 1792–July 1816, 1818.
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 1703–1881
Scroll Minutes 1790–1849
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/363.

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.


Ellsridgehill Free Church

Services were begun in Ellsridgehill immediately after the Disruption. It was in the center of the parishes in which there was then no Free Church. In response to a petition from the people the Assembly in 1845 sanctioned a regular charge here. The Old Anti-burghers meetinghouse was purchased and repaired. This served as their place of worship until the new church was built and opened in 1872. The population of the district, which is rural, tended steadily to decrease.
Membership: 1848, 119; 1900, 101.
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.

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

Walston 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 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 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. 588-608. Adapted. Date accessed: 06 March 2014.

Return to the Lanarkshire parish list.