Argyllshire, Scotland Genealogy
Argyllshire is a maritime county in the west of Scotland, bounded on the north by Inverness-shire, on the east by the counties of Inverness, Perth, and Dumbarton, and on the south and west by the Firth of Clyde and the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 115 miles in extreme length and about 50 or 60 miles in average breadth, comprising an area, including the various islands connected with it, of about 3800 square miles. It contains about 50 parishes and six civil districts. It includes the royal burghs of Inverary and Cambelltown and has several other small towns and villages.
The surface of the county is generally wild and mountainous but includes fertile tracts of valleys which afford productive arable land and good pasture. Of the numerous islands included within the limits of the county, the principal are Mull, Jura, Islan, Coll, Tiree, Colonsay, Lismore, and Oronsay, with several smaller islands. Between these islands and the mainland are several extensive sounds. The coasts are deeply indented with arms of the sea constituting salt-water lochs of considerable extent.
The quantity of land which is arable and in cultivation is little more than 100,000 acres; about 30,000 acres are in woodland and plantations and the remainder, nearly 1.300.000 acres, with the exception of about 25,000 in inland lakes and rivers, is principally heath and hill and mountain pasture.
Cattle, of the West Highland breed, and sheep are the chief livestock raised. Limestone and coal are wrought and granite and marble are quarried. Some lead and copper are mined. The principal manufacture is wool, and also flax. There are several distilleries, tanneries, and some bleach fields. The herring-fishery in Loch Fine is on an extensive scale. The population of the county in 1851 was 97,371.
At a very early period, the area was inhabited by the Scots who migrated from the Irish coast. After the subjugation of the Picts and the union of the two kingdoms, it became identified with the general population of the country. It is a place of celebrated romantic legend, the principal scene of the exploits of the heroes of the race of Fingal. The family or clan of Campbell, ancestors of the Dukes of Argyll, for many generations possessed an absolute and sovereign authority over their vassals in the county.
(Source: Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851. Family History Library book 941 E5L.)
Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Argyll with their parish numbers. The insular parishes are islands off of the mainland. Click on the parish name to see information about records.
Acharacle or Aharacle -- see Ardnamurchan
Appin -- see Lismore
Ardgour -- see Ballachulish
Cara -- see Gigha
Coll -- see Tyree
Colonsay & Oronsay -- see Jura
Dalavich -- see Kilchrenan and Dalavich
Dunoon & Kilmun (#510)
Duror -- see Lismore
Glenarary -- see Inverarary
Glencoe & Ballachulish -- see Lismore
Inishall -- see Glenorchy
Inveraray & Glenaray (#513)
Iona (Insular) (#538)
Kilarrow -- see Bowmore
Kilberry -- see Kilcalmonell
Kilbride -- see Kilmore and Kilbride
Kilchattan -- see Kilbrandon & Kilchattan
Kilchenzie -- see Killean
Kilmelfort -- see Kilninver
Kilmeny (Insular) (#543)
Kilmore (Insular) (#544)
Kilmorich -- see Lochgoilhead
Kilmun -- see Dunoon
Kilvickeon -- see Kilfinichen
Kinlochspelvie (Insular) (#545)
Kintra -- see Ardnamurchan
Oa (Insular) (#546)
Oban -- see Kilmore and Kilbride
Portnahaven (Insular) (#547)
Salen (Insular) (#548)
Skipness -- see Saddell
Stralachlan - see Strachur
Strontian -- see Ardnamurchan
Here is an historic map of Argyllshire. Click on the map to see a larger version. Click on the map again, then click on the 'Expand' button when it appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the map.
Click here to see an outline map of the parishes of Argyll.
[Return to county list.]