Callander, Perthshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Perthshire Gotoarrow.png Callander

Parish #336

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


CALLANDER, a parish, in the county of Perth; containing the village of Kilmahog, 6 miles (N. N. E.) from Port of Monteith. This place derives its name, of Gaelic origin, from an ancient ferry across the river Teath, the principal road to which lay within its limits. The village is on the great road from Stirling to the Western Highlands. The church, a neat edifice, with a tower and spire, was erected in 1773, and is adapted for a congregation of 800 persons. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church.[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 Website. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. 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 census records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Callander, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
941.3 X22c v. 6-10
6086646 (6 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on 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.

Church Records

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

Record Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1710-1854 1040071
Marriages: 1710-1854 1040071
Deaths: No entries none


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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: Irregular birth entries occur after 1793 and more frequently after 1801.
Marriages: Marriage records were carefully kept. The entries embrace both the proclamations and the marriages with great regularity.
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 (discipline) 1841–1877
Accounts 1820–1821, 1843–1877
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH2/1245.

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.

Callander Free Church

The minister of Callander, who was understood to sympathize with the Evangelical party, resigned his charge immediately after the Disruption. A considerable majority of the congregation "came out" and, formed the Callander Free Church. They worshiped for a time in the Independent Chapel. The church was built in 1843–1844. A school was opened in 1843. Until 1857 Callander was an English-Gaelic charge.
Membership: 1848, 382; 1900, 374.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Minutes 1845–1936
Note: Available at the Stirling Council Archives, Stirling, Scotland, record CH3/1169.
The Statistical Account of Scotland for Callander for 1837 states that there were 2 Episcopalians, 4 Seceders, 16 Independents, and 6 Roman Catholics in the parish, but no chapels. They would attend services in neighboring parishes.

Cemetery Records

  • Tom na Chessaig: Transcriptions & photos of the Old Callander Burial Ground
  • Lillte Leny: Transcriptions and plan of Callander Little Leny burial ground (Buchanans & linked families)

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.


Callender War Memorial in Ancaster Square: Provides names of men of this parish who died in WWI and WWII.

Probate Records

Callander was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dunblane until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dunblane.  Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at 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 Perthshire and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dunblane.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Perthshire. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Perthshire 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. 163-185. Adapted. Date accessed: 08 May 2014.

Return to Perthshire parish list.