Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy Genealogy

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Lanarkshire is an extensive inland county in the south of Scotland, bounded on the north by the counties of Dumbarton and Stirling, on the east by the counties of Linlithgow, Edinburgh and Peebles, on the south by Dumfriesshire, and on the west by the counties of Renfrew, Ayr and Dumfries.  It is about 52 miles in length and 33 miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 926 square miles or 592,640 acres.

The county, also called Clydesdale (or Strathclyde), from the valley of the river Clyde, was--after the departure of the Romans--part of an extensive independent kingdom which consisted of nearly all of Scotland south of the river Forth.  The inhabitants were ancient British tribes who lost their independence after their metropolis of Dumbarton was taken by the combined forces of the Picts and Saxons in the eighth century.  After the subjugation of the Picts by Kenneth II in about the year 971, the whole area came under the authority of the Scottish kings.

During the twelfth century, numerous Flemish families settle in the Strathclyde.  In the reign of James I (1603-1625), a portion of Strathclyde was separated from the rest of the county of Lanark and formed into the county of Renfrew.  

Lanarkshire consists of 50 parishes and, for civil purposes, is divided into the Upper, Middle and Lower wards, each under a sub-sheriff based at Lanark, Hamilton, and Glasgow.  The county includes the royal burghs of Glasgow, Rutherglen, and Lanark, and eight towns and numerous villages.  

The surface is greatly varied.  In the Upper ward, which is the largest division, is it principally mountainous.  In the Middle ward the land is of a lower level but undulated, leaving little level ground except in the valleys of the river Clyde.

Crops of all kinds are abundant.  Cattle and sheep are raised.  There are freestone, limestone, and whinstone, and coal is extensively wrought, as well as ironstone and limestone.  Mines of lead are found in the south.    The principal manufactures are cotton (the most extensive), linen, woollen, lace, and iron.  There are large cotton mills at Glasgow, Blantyre and New Lanark.  Lace is manufactured at Hamilton.  There are many ancient remnants and ruins.  The population of the county in 1851 was 426,972.

(Source:  Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851.  Family History Library book 941 E5L


The Family History Library has county-wide census indexes for Lanarkshire for 1841, 1851 and 1881.  

The library also has a collection of census surname indexes for different places within Lanarkshire. Click here to see a table listing these other census surname indexes that are available at the library.


Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are avilable online. The directory available for Airdrie is:

1896: These are available in either PDF format or viewable online.


Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Lanark with their parish numbers. Click on a parish name to see information about records.

Parish No. Parish No.
Avondale 621 Glassford 645
Barony 622 Gorbals 644-2
Biggar 623 Govan 646
Blantyre 624 Hamilton 647
Bothwell 625 Lamington -- see Wandell 659
Cadder 626 Lanark 648
Cambuslang 627 Leadhills -- see Crawford 635
Cambusnethan 628 Lesmahagow 649
Carluke 629 Libberton 650
Carmichael 630 New Monkland (including Airdrie) 651
Carmunnock 631 Old Monkland (including Coatbridge) 652
Carnwath 632 Pettinain 653
Carstairs 633 Roberton -- see Wiston 660
Covington & Thankerton 634 Rutherglen 654
Crawford (including Leadhills) 635 Shotts 655
Crawfordjohn 636 Stonehouse 656
Culter 637 Strathbungo -- see Govan 646
Dalserf 638 Symington 657
Dalziel 639 Thankerton -- see Covington 634
Dolphington 640 Walston 658
Douglas 641 Wandell & Lamington 659
Dunsyre 642 Wiston & Roberton 660
East Kilbride 643
Glasgow 644-1


Lanark, c. 1845.jpg

Click on the map at the right to see a larger version, and click again on the larger map. Next, click on the ‘Expand’ button when it appears in the lower right-hand corner of the map.

Click here to see an outline map of the parishes of Lanarkshire.

Poorhouse Records


There are ten poorhouses in Lanarkshire:

Helpful Websites

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