Dundee, Angus, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Dundee. 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 City Records
- 5 Civil Registration Church
- 6 Maps
- 7 Probate Records
St Mary's Church was founded in 1198. The building was wrecked by the English army in 1547 but was gradually restored. It became the parish church of Dundee in 1560. by 1788 the original building was divided into five churches, all serving the parish of Dundee. In 1822 St. David's Church was added. In 1841 the East, North, and South churches in the central building were destroyed by fire, leaving only St. Clement's known as the Steeple Church. By 1847 two of the churches, St. Mary's and St. Paul's had been restored to their places and an additional building was purchased for the third displaced church, St. John's or the Cross Church. St. Paul's and St. David's were later united. The four remaining churches had a joint Kirk Session.
St. Andrew's Church was opened in 1774; a Gaelic chapel was opened in Long Wynd in 1791 and also in 1791 the Chapelshade Church was opened. Between 1800 and 1842 nine more churches were started: St. David's, St. Peter's*, Hilltown*, St. Paul's*, Dunhope*, Wallacetown*, Lochee, St. Aidan's Broughty Ferry, and Willison*, making a total of seventeen churches. Those marked with an asterisk all seceded and joined the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843. Seven other churches lost large sections of their membership to the Free Church.
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 library numbers for available surname indexes:
|1881||6086580 (set of 12 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
The original records are deposited at the National Archives in Edinburgh. Here is a list of records available on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
|Record Type||Years Covered||FHL Film Number|
||1850-1854 - neglected entries||0993408|
||1837-1865 - St. Peter's Church||0993408|
||1847-1855 - Western Cemetery||0993408|
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:
Treasurers Accounts 1640–1757, 1832–1835, 1840–1844, 1852–1949
Accounts of Emoluments of Session Clerk’s Office 1770–1856
Poor Widow’s Fund Cash Book 1745–1951
Anderson Mortification Accounts 1831–1940
Counter-Foils of Proclamations of Banns 1823–1831
Note: Available at the Dundee City Archive and Record Centre, Dundee, Scotland, record CH2/1218; also on microfilm at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Chapelshade Church, Chapel of Ease
St. David's Kirk
Minutes 1834–1849, 1876–1911
Note: Available at the Dundee City Archive and Record Centre, Dundee, Scotland. Also on microfilm at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh; record CH2/926.
Note: Available at the Dundee City Archive and Record Centre, record CH2/958.
Various Minutes 1829–1905
Note: Available at the Dundee City Archive and Record Centre, record CH2/1268.
St. Andrew's Kirk
Records— Family History Library Book Number
Baptismal Records November 1871–March 1887 Q941.31/D1 K2a
Committee Minutes 1771–1776, 1797–1915
Cash Book 1772–1908
Legal Papers 1715–1873
Note: Available at the Dundee City Archive and Record Centre, Dundee, Scotland, record CH2/1272.
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.
The New Statistical Account of Scotland, dated December 1833 FHL book 941 B4sa, ser. 2, vol. 11 pt. 1, states that there were in Dundee at that time three United Secession churches, one Associate Original Burgher church, one Associate Original Seceder church, one Relief chapel, one Congregational church, a meeting of Scotch Independents, a Methodist chapel, a Scotch Baptist meeting, two other Baptist parties, a large congregation of Glasites, two Epicopalian chapels, and a Roman Catholic chapel. The Free Presbyterian congregations would have been founded after the Disruption in 1843.
For more information on Dundee nonconformist churches and their records, click here.
The Friends of the Dundee City Archives and the Tay Valley Family History Society worked together to create the database of individuals buried in Howff which is the city's cemeter. 
Civil Registration Church
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.
An 1821 Map of Dundee provided by the National Library of Scotland Website.
Dundee was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of St.Andrews until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dundee. 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 Angus and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of St.Andrews.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Angus. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Angus and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
Return to Angus parish list.