Dunbarney, Perthshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Perthshire Gotoarrow.png Dunbarney

Parish #347

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


DUNBARNY, a parish, in the county of Perth, 3½ miles (S.) from Perth; containing the villages of Bridge of Earn and Kintillo. The name of this place, variously written in old records, but generally Dunberny, is supposed to be a compound of two Celtic terms, dun, a hill, and bearn, a breach or fissure, and to have been applied to the parish in consequence of the church and principal village being on the estate of Dunbarny, which is marked by a fissure in a ridge of hills. The parish is situated in the most beautiful part of Strathearn, and bounded on the north partly by Perth. The church erected in 1684 stood a few yards west of the present structure, which was built in 1787; the churchyard was partly formed in 1821, and finished some years afterwards, and is altogether artificial, being composed of 2000 cartloads of sand brought from the banks of the river. 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 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 Dunbarney, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
941.32 X22p 1851 no. 347
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.

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
1594-1615 - baptisms
1040064 item 3-4

1652-1767 - baptisms
1040064 item 3-4

1040065 item 1-2
1040064 item 3-4

1040064 item 3-4

1040065 item 1-2

1040065 item 1-2

1040065 item 1-2
1598-1615 - mortcloth dues
104064 item 3-4

1850-1854 - burials
1040065 item 1-2


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 August 1615–September 1652 and December 1653–August 1657. Mothers' names are not recorded until July 1817.
Marriages: There are no marriage entries October 1615–July 1657, March 1689–May 1694, October 1698–November 1704, and March 1710–October 1746. The record after 1704 is one of contracts and proclamations only.
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 1657–1682, 1691–1830
Accounts 1658–1830
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/100.

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.

Dunbarney Free Church

The minister and two elders of Dunbarney "came out" in 1843 with many of the people. The parish was then a popular health resort, many people coming to drink the waters at the famous Pitkeathly Mineral Well. The well gradually lost its attraction, to the disadvantage of the district. The congregation profited by the revival in 1860.
Membership: 1848, 260; 1900, 94.
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. There are no records deposited at the National Archives of Scotland.
Note: The Statistical Account of Scotland for Dunbarny for 1842 states that there were at that time 3 Episcopalian families, 3 belonging to the Relief Church, 13 belonging to the Associate Synod, and 1 Irvingite (Catholic Apostolic Church) family within the parish, but there were no Dissenter chapels so they would have attended services in neighboring parishes or Perth.

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

Dunbarney 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 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 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. 310-320. Adapted. Date accessed: 08 May 2014.

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