Cortachy & Clova, Angus, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Scotland Gotoarrow.png Angus Gotoarrow.png Cortachy & Clova

Parish #278

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


CORTACHY and CLOVA, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 4 miles (N.) from Kirriemuir. The former of these ancient parishes, which were united in 1608, is supposed to have derived its name, anciently Quartachie, from a Gaelic term descriptive of the situation of its church and castle in a small valley surrounded with elevated lands. The name of the latter parish is of very uncertain derivation. The present church of Cortachy, situated near the southern extremity of the parish, was erected on the site of the former edifice, in 1829. it is a handsome structure, containing 550 sittings. The church of Clova, about ten miles distant from that of Cortachy, is an ancient structure, repaired and enlarged by the erection of a gallery in 1731. It contains 250 sittings.[1]

The parishes of Cortachy and Clova were united in 1608.

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 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 Cortachy & Clova, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086580 (12 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: 1662-1691 0993416

1697-1854 0993416
Marriages: 1662-1690 0993416

1697-1820 0993416

1824-1854 0993416
Deaths: 1751-1819 0993416


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: Cortachy births are intermixed with marriages until 1678. The records are blank September 1675–November 1677. Birth records are blank July 1691–November 1697.
Birth records for Cortachy & Clova are blank November 1709–January 1711. There is only one birth entry December 1716–March 1718. Births are blank also January 1732–February 1746, except for two entries 1738–1740. Mothers' names are not recorded, except in a few irregular entries, until March 1760. Clova has no birth entries January 1773–July 1774.
Marriages: Marriages for Cortachy are blank August 1678–October 1679 and August 1690–December 1697. Marriages for Cortachy and Clova are blank August 1708–February 1713, December 1716–January 1725, December 1731–February 1746, November 1774–September 1781, November 1809–September 1817 and 1820–1824.
Deaths: Death records for Cortachy and Clova are transcribed entries of Mortcloth Dues
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:

Various Minutes 1659–1687, 1697–1732, 1795–1901
Cortachy Session Collections and Minutes 1748–1826
Poor’s Money 1816–1825
Cash Book 1800–1816, 1827–1834, 1852–1898
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/561

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.

There are no known pre-1855 nonconformist churches or records for this parish.

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.

Probate Records

Cortachy & Clova was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Brechin until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dundee. 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 Angus and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Brechin.

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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 30 May 2014.

Return to Angus Parishes