Dalziel, Lanarkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Lanarkshire Gotoarrow.png Dalziel

Dalziel (#639)

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


DALZIEL, a parish, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 2½ miles (E. N. E.) from Hamilton; containing the villages of Motherwell and Windmill-Hill. The parish of Dalziel is by some writers supposed to have derived that appellation, signifying "the white meadow," from the peculiar appearance of the lands before they were brought into cultivation. The parish is bounded on the north and west by the river Calder, and on the south-west by the river Clyde. The church, dedicated to St. Patrick, was built in the twelfth century. The ancient building, which was of the same date as the cathedral of Glasgow, was taken down about ten years after the erection of the present church, which was built in 1789, and is a neat cruciform structure. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[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 Dalziel. 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 Dalziel.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

Years Surname Index          
1851 CD-ROM no. 1850
1861 6205852
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 and their Family History Library call numbers.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Event Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1648-1854 1066588 item 2-3
Marriages: 1654-1854 1066588item 2-3
Deaths: 1697-1749 1066588 item 2-3
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: Except for four entries in 1648 there is no record until June 1654. There are no entries December 1655–April 1658, except for three October 1662–June 1670. The lower portion of two pages at 1677 and 1681–1682 are cut off. There are no entries July 1677–January 1681 and May 1682–August 1697. Between December 1722 and January 1723 are five pages containing entries for 1732–1743. Mothers’ names are not recorded until February 1741.
Marriages: The lower portion of the first leaf is cut off. There is only one entry December 1655–June 1659 and no entries October 1662–July 1670 after “Our Minister’s return”. There are five entries at 1680 and two 1693–1694 and November 1676–October 1697. Between November 1722–January 1723, there are four pages of proclamations 1734–1742. There are no entries May 1732–June 1734. The fact of marriage is seldom recorded 1786–1809.
Deaths: Between November 1722 And January 1723 are entries applicable to 1734–1744 on three pages. The record ends February 1749. Record of Mortcloth Dues, 1701–1711.
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 1723–1740, 1744, 1797–1953
Accounts 1723–1743
Statute Labor Book 1807–1828
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/462.

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.

Dalziel Free Church

The minister of the parish “came out” at the Disruption. The new church and manse were built in Motherwell, then a quiet country village. Little progress was made. When he retired it was reduced to a preaching station. Sanction was restored in 1854 when, owing to the opening of new industries in the district, a remarkable increase in the population began. The church buildings were greatly improved and a suite of halls added.
Membership: 1848, 89; 1900, 726.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

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.


Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are avilable online. The directory available for Motherwell is:

1896: These are available in either PDF format or viewable online.

Probate Records

Dalziel was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Glasgow 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 Glasgow.
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. 259-280. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 February 2014.

Return to the Lanarkshire parish list.