Covington & Thankeston, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Lanarkshire Gotoarrow.png Covington & Thankeston

Covington & Thankeston (#634)

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


COVINGTON and THANKESTON, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Lanark, 4 miles (W. by N.) from Biggar. Of these ancient parishes, which were united about the beginning of the 18th century, the former derives its name, anciently Colbanstoun, from its proprietor Colban, in the 12th century; and the latter, from a Flemish settler named Tankard or Thankard, who obtained a grant of lands here during the reign of Malcolm IV. The church of Thankeston has been suffered to fall into ruins, and that of Covington has been enlarged for the population of the whole parish.[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 at  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Covington and Thankerton.  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 Scotland Census Records.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Covington and Thankerton.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

Years Surname Index         

941.43/C6 X2m 1851

CD-ROM no. 1850

1861 6206625
1881 6086616

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 indexes through the library.

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish with their Family History Library call numbers.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Event Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1652-53, 1664-1774 1042972 item 3
1772-1856 1066585
Marriages: 1691-1705 1042972 item 3
1774-1855 1066585
Deaths: 1750-1767 1042972 item 3
1774-1853 1066585
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 be indexed in the International Genealogical Index. 
Births: This record appears to have been regularly kept, and entries are tabulated throughout. They are arranged in odd order on the film: entries for 1664–1690 are followed by financial accounts for 1691–1705, then entries for 1705–1774; entries for 1652–1653 and 1691–1704 are then found after deaths for 1750–1767. The second film is also in sections.
Marriages: There are financial accounts 1691–1705 and prior to December 1783 there are only entries of Consignation Money and of sums collected at marriages. There are no entries December 1785–October 1787 and only one entry September 1800–January 1803, one for January 1813–January 1815 and none for July 1818–October 1820.
Deaths: Deaths for Mortcloth Dues prior to March 1778.
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 1652–1821
Baptisms 1705–1772
Marriages 1705–1766
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/72.

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.

There are none 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

Covington and Thankerton was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Lanark until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Glasgow.  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 Lanark and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Lanark.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Lanark. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Lanark 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. 218-233. Adapted. Date accessed: 27 February 2014.

Return to the Lanarkshire parish list.