Culross, Perthshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Perthshire Gotoarrow.png Culross

Parish #343

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


CULROSS, a royal burgh and a parish, in the county of Perth, 7 miles (W.) from Dunfermline, and 21 (W. N. W.) from Edinburgh; containing the villages of Blairburn and Lowvalley-field. This place, which is of remote antiquity, derives its name from its situation in a detached portion of the county, forming part of the peninsula of Fifeshire. The town, which is situated on the north shore of the Frith of Forth. The parish formerly included the barony of Kincardine, which was separated from it in 1672, and added to the parish of Tulliallan. The church is a portion of the ancient abbey, originally a venerable cruciform structure, with a lofty tower rising from the centre, which, with the choir now appropriated as the parish church, and containing 700 sittings.[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 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 Culross, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
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: 1641-1687 - baptisms 1040076 item 5

1687-1819 1040077

1687-1854 1040077
Marriages: 1640-1686 1040076 item 5

1687-1854 1040077
Deaths: 1667-1885 1040076 item 5

1820-1854 1040077


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: Birth record appears to have been regularly kept. Mothers' names are not recorded until October 1667 and are frequently omitted 1672–1700.
Marriages: A portion of the second page is lost. Entries for 1661–August 1670 have been lost. There are only three entries November 1698–July 1700, none for January 1734–April 1746, and one for December 1807–1812. There are no entries June 1818–May 1820. After 1706, except for 1746–1754, the fact of marriage is seldom added to the entries of proclamation.
Deaths: There are no death entries December 1641–May 1647 and November 1648–August 1667, and one for July 1674–November 1679.
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 1630–1662, 1676–1684, 1693–1862
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/77.

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.

Culross Free Church

A church was built in 1847. The charge was sanctioned in 1867.
Membership: 1869, 92; 1900, 113.
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.

Extent of pre-1855 records is unknown. No records deposited at the National Archives of Scotland.

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

Culross 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-names' 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. 246-259. Adapted. Date accessed: 08 May 2014.

Return to Perthshire parish list.