Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Alloa. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
ALLOA, a burgh of barony, sea-port town, and parish, in the county of Clackmannan, 7 miles (E.) from Stirling; containing the villages of Cambus, Coalyland, Holton-Square, and Tullibody. This place, of which the name, in various documents Aulewoy and Alloway, is supposed to signify, in the Gaelic language, "the way to the sea," includes also the ancient parish of Tullibody. The parish church, erected by the heritors and feuars, in 1819, is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lofty spire, together 207 feet in height, and contains 1561 sittings: the steeple of the old church is still remaining. The ancient church of Tullibody, which had been in disuse from the time of the Reformation, was restored and again appropriated to the purposes of divine worship. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, Independents, Wesleyans, and Swedenborgians; and an episcopal chapel.
The name of this parish, also spelled Alloway, means 'the way to the sea.' The parish is small, containing only 7 3/4 square miles. The River Forth, which rises at the eastern side of Ben Lomond, extends along the south side of the parish by a very circuitous course, a distance of four and a half miles to the west of the town of Alloa, and about one mile to the east, where it ceases to be a river and becomes a firth.
There are several collieries in the parish. Before 1775, the colliers were attached to the properties in which they were born and were virtual serfs or slaves, supported by the master. After the Act of Parliament which abolished the system, the colliers could move between collieries at will, and they were supported in their needs by the Alloa Colliers' Fund or Friendly Society which was founded in 1775.
The ancient family of Erskine, the Earls of Mar, are the chief landowner in the parish and owner of collieries. Alloa House, their family home, burned to the ground in 1800 and one of the treasures lost was a picture on copper of Queen Mary, gifted by her to one of her ladies-in-waiting before her execution.
The population in 1755 was 5816, in 1791 was 4802, and in 1841 was 7930. Sheep and cattle are raised in the parish and a variety of crops are grown including barley and oats. There are several mills and manufactories in the parish which make a variety of products from blankets to glass and pottery. There is a brewery for ale, which is shipped throughout the world. Alloa, is the county town and is industrious and properous.
The village of Tullibody is about two miles west of Alloa. The church of Tullibody was built by king David I in 1149. It fell into disrepare after the Catholic Church was abolished, but about 1835 it was refitted as a Church of Scotland preaching-station for the benefit of the village and neighbourhood.
Alloa was formerly a chapel dependent on the parish church of Tullibody, but afterwards it became a separate parish and swallowed up the mother church. Tullibody was united with Alloa in 1600. The old church of Alloa was declared ruinous in 1815 and a new one was built.
There are ten schools in the parish including the parish school and an academy. The Clackmannashire Library was founded at Alloa in 1797 and it contains upwards of 1500 volumes. There are four other libraries and a reading room in the parish. There are four fairs held on the second Wednesday of February, May, August, and November. There are five hotels and inns, 38 taverns, and 30 grocers' shops selling spirits, which are more than the necessities of the people reguire. Coal is the only fuel used in the parish.
The above is an extract of the account written in 1840-1.
Source: The New Statistical Account of Scotland, for Alloa, pub. 1845. (Family History Library book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 8; film 990222 Item 1; fiche 6026403, set of 10).
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 Alloa. 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 Alloa as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Year||Family History Library Film Number||Surname Index|
|1851||1042274||941.35/A1 X22c, 2 vols.|
|1881||0203534||6086544 (2 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
Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1609–1740 1040205 items 3–4
1804–1854 1040207 items 1–2
Marriages: 1609–1804 1040206
1804–1854 1040207 items 1–2
Deaths: 1825, 1849, 1854–1860 1040207 items 1–2
Condition of Original Registers
Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index available on computers at the Family History Library and family history centers. Some records may also be indexed in FamilySearch Records.
Births: The record prior to August 1622 is tabulated; also May 1646–April 1653, December 1663–March 1712, and July 1782–December 1800. The record for December 1657–July 1659 is defective. There are two imperfect pages after March 1775. At February 1783 are found three pages of omitted entries for 1776–1782.
Marriages: There are only six entries for January 1610–January 1613. There are no entries for November 1621–January 1623, March 1641–April 1645, and December 1657–November 1659. June 1767–April 1807, the fact of marriage is often not added to the entry of Proclamation. Early portions are much injured by damp.
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 Kirk session was made up of he 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 1609–1926 - with gaps
Stent Roll of Town and Barony 1620, assessment of the value of land held directly of the King by Barons and Burghs.
Accounts 1611–1634, 1645–1652
Poors’ Fund Distributions 1762–1769
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/942.
Seat Rental Book 1842
Managers Minutes, Papers, etc. 1839–1932
Other Post -1855 records
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, records CH2/1512.
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 List.
Click here to see a list of pre-1855 Aloa nonconformist churches and their 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 record.
Alloa was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Stirling until 1823. From then it was under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Court of Alloa. 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 Catalog/frameset_fhlc.asp library catalog for the 'Place' of Clackmannan and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Stirling.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Clackmannan. Look in the Catalog/frameset_fhlc.asp library catalog for the 'Place' of Clackmannan 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. 23-45. Adapted. Date accessed: 17 April 2014.
[Return to the Clackmannanshire parish list.]