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Strachur and Stralachlan, Argyllshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #534

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


History[edit | edit source]

STRACHUR and STRACHLACHLAN, a parish, in the district of Cowall, county of Argyll, 8 miles (S. S. E.) from Inverary. The former of these places was originally called Kilmaglass, or "the Burialground of Maglass," a local saint. Strachlachlan was anciently denominated Kilmorrie, or "St. Mary's;" its present appellation means "the Strath of Lachlan," having been applied in reference to a portion of land, or a strath, belonging to Lachlan, the principal heritor of the district. Previously to the year 1650, Strachur was included in the parish of Lochgoilhead, and Strachlachlan in that of Inverchaolain. The church of Strachur was erected in 1789, and accommodates 400 persons with sittings; that of Strachlachlan, six miles from the former, was built in 1792, and contains sittings for 200 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

    Prior to 1650 these parishes were part of Lochgoilhead and Inverchaolain.   Lochgoilhead is the nearest town.  There is a hill in Stralachlan, rising in a curious conical shape. It is called Siene Sluagh, the residence of the fairy people.  The major land owners were: John Campbell, Esq. of Strachur; and Robert M’Lachlan, Esq. of Stralachlan.  The land was primarily used for, sheep,  black-cattle,  grains, potatoes, turnips, and hay.  The population in 1801 was 1097.  The population in 1841 was 1086. There are no parochial registers in existence prior to 1753. For the next 28 years they were not punctually kept. Since then they have been regularly kept.  There are two parish churches. All the families with the exception of one Roman Catholic family belong to the Established Church.

This account was written in 1843.

Source:New Statistical Account of Scotland (FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2 vol. 7) 


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 Strachur and Stralachlan. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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 Strachurand Stralachlan as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years FHL Film Number Surname Index                
1841 1042719
1851 1042354 941.39 X2a
1861 103797
1871 103954
1881 203561 6086508 (set of 4 Fiche)
1891 220172

The 1901 and 1911 census of Scotland is indexed on  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1911, 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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1764-1854 1041077 items 3-6
Marriages: 1764-1854 1041077 items 3-6
Deaths: No entries

Condition of Original Records[edit | edit source]

Index: 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: Stralachlan: one family 1789–1798 is recorded after May 1794. Entries after 1788 are tabulated.
Strachur: only 13 entries appear prior to February 1753. Irregular entries are not infrequent 1805–1818. Mothers' names are rarely recorded prior to 1775 and sometimes omitted until 1783. Entries are tabulated.
Marriages: Stralachlan: no entries appear July 1779–July 1781. Strachur: no entries exist for 1811. Entries are tabulated.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records[edit | edit source]

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 1753–1931 (with large gaps)
Poor Accounts 1795–1846
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/340.

Nonconformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

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 List.


Strachur and Strathlachlan Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was formed at the Disruption, and a minister was settled in January 1844. For ten years no site for a place of worship could be obtained. At length, in 1854 a church and manse were erected. The church was renovated in 1889.
Membership: 1848, 80; 1900, 87.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Roll of Members and Adherents 1850
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/946.

Lochfyneside Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was formed immediately after the Disruption and was nurtured under the guidance of the minister of Strachur. The church was built about 1848 and a manse in 1870.
Membership: 1866, 43; 1900, 67.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Extent of pre-1855 records is unknown.

Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Strachur and Stralachlan  was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of  Argyll  until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dunoon. 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 Argyll and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Argyll.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Argyll. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Argyll and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 30 May 2014.

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