Dowally, Perthshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Dowally. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
DUNKELD and DOWALLY, a parish, in the county of Perth, 15 miles (N. by W.) from Perth, and 55 (N. N. W.) from Edinburgh; comprising the ancient city of Dunkeld, partly within the parish of Caputh; for many years the seat of the primacy of the kingdom prior to its removal to St. Andrew's, and now the seat of a presbytery. This place, which is of very remote origin, and is supposed to have been the capital of the ancient Caledonia, appears to have derived its name from the erection of a castle or stronghold. The town is beautifully situated on the north bank of the river Tay. The parish of Dowally and the ancient city of Dunkeld both formed originally part of the extensive parish of Caputh, from which they were separated in 1500. The church of Dowally was erected in 1820, on the site of the old church founded by Bishop Brown; it is a neat structure containing 210 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, Independents, and Glassites.
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 your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.
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 Dowally, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|| FHL Film Number
|| Surname Indexes|
|| 941.32 X22p 1851 no. 344|
|| 6086646 (6 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 the separate indexes through the library.
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:||1706-1856||1040078 item 1-4|
|Marriages:||1746-1856||1040078 item 1-4|
|Deaths:||1750-1819 - mortcloth dues||1040078 item 1-4|
||1820-1847||1040078 item 1-4|
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: There are no birth entries 1716–1721, December 1725–April 1727, or July 1750–April 1754. Irregular entries are frequent after 1793.
Marriages: The marriage record was more regularly kept than that of baptisms. A few entries of irregular marriages for 1760–1764 and of proclamation fees for 1787–1819 are in the volume containing Mortcloth Dues, etc.
Deaths: The record is of fees paid for tolling the bell at funerals and for the Mortcloth. There are no entries for March 1753–October 1754.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. Brit. 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:
There are no known pre-1855 records.
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 were no known nonconformist groups in 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.
Dowally was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dunkeld until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dunblane. 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 Perthshire and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dunkeld.
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.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 320-349. Adapted. Date accessed: 08 May 2014.
Return to Perthshire parish list.