Dalserf, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Lanarkshire Gotoarrow.png Dalserf

Dalserf (#638)

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


DALSERF, a parish, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark; including the villages of Millheugh, Larkhall, and Rosebank, 7 miles (S. E. by E.) from Hamilton. This place is supposed to derive its name from the Gaelic words Dal, signifying "a holm" or "flat field," and Sarf, "a serpent," making together the term "the field of serpents." The church, which is beautifully though somewhat inconveniently situated on the bank of the Clyde, was built in 1655, and repaired in 1721; it contains 550 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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Dalserf. 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 <u>census records of Dalserf.</u>

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

Years Surname Index          
1851 CD-ROM no. 1850
1861 6205851
1881 6086616 ( 41 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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 number.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Event Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1738-1838 1066587 items 6-7
1838-1854 1066588 item 1
Marriages: 1740-1775, 1785-1789 1066587 items 6-7
1802-1819 1066587 items 6-7
1819-1844 1066588 item 1
Deaths: 1740-1774, 1783-1784 1066587 items 6-7
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 theInternational Genealogical Index.
Births: The record for November 1753–May 1772 is very irregular and incomplete. After December 1812 there are irregular entries on nine pages dated 1732–1831.
Marriages: Registers are Proclamations. There are no entries June 1759–November 1772, January 1775–March 1785 except two for 1789, August 1785–September 1802.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues prior to November 1754, except November 1750–September 1751 only the year is specified in entries. There are no entries April 1759–August 1772, January 1775–October 1783 and the record ends October 1784.
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 1812–1907
Proclamations 1845–1869
Poor Fund Accounts 1737–1759, 1802–1825
Accounts 1812–1905
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1013.

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.

Larkhall Free Church

Evening services were appointed at Larkhall in July 1843. There is no evidence of progress until after a visit by Home Mission deputies in 1857. A mission station was formed in 1859. The charge was sanctioned in 1860. The church was built in 1861 and the manse in 1868.
Membership: 1866, 153; 1900, 245.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

Larkhall United Presbyterian Church'

In March 1834, the Relief Presbytery of Glasgow opened a preaching station in Larkhall which prospered despite opposition. A congregation was organized in August 1836 with 47 persons in communion with the Relief Church and 50 others belonging to other churches. A church was built that year; and was later enlarged.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. FHL Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

Larkhall Congregational Church

This church was formed in 1804. It met in Wellgate Street. There is no record of any ordained minister over the church until 1822. This church ceased in 1848. A church of the Evangelical Union was formed in Park Road, Hamilton in the early 1870s. The members’ from Larkhall increased in Number to such an extent that is was decided to form a church in Larkhall, which was done in 1874. It was admitted to the Evangelical Union the following year. A church was built in Muir Street in 1876.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960. FHL Book 941 K2es. This book includes a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX

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

Dalserf was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Hamilton and Campsie until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Glasgow.  Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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 Hamilton and Campsie.
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.

Return to the Lanarkshire parish list.



Dalserf is a small village and civil parish in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It lies on the River Clyde 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Larkhall and 7 miles (11 km) south east of Hamilton. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalserf

Historical Map, Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654.  http://maps.nls.uk/atlas/blaeu/view/?id=96


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 259-280. Adapted. Date accessed: 27 February 2014.