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Tyree, Argyllshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #551

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


History[edit | edit source]

TIREE and COLL, a parish, in the division of Mull, county of Argyll, the one district 30 miles (W.) and the other 20 (W. by N.) from Tobermory; containing the island of Coll. Tiree is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "the Country of Iona," from its having formed part of the possessions of that church in the time of St. Columba. The old church of Tiree was built in 1776, and enlarged in 1786; it was a plain structure containing 500 sittings. In lieu of it, two new churches have been built in Tiree. The church of Coll was erected in 1802. It is a plain edifice containing 300 sittings. There are places of worship in Tiree for members of the Free Church, Baptists, Independents, and members of the United Secession.[1]

     The name of this parish is derived from Tir-reidh, (pronounced Tir-re), signifying the flat or level land. The island of Coll was annexed to the parish of Tiree in 1618.   Oban and Arinangour are the nearest towns.  There are two upright stones or pillars, about six feet high, and towering upwards. Some coins have occasionally been discovered.  The land was primarily used for, 
sheep, cattle, fish, bear, oats, potatoes, pigs.  The populatin in 1755 was 2702.  The population in 1841 was 5846.   The registers extends back to 1775. All the parish records previous to that period were sent to Edinburgh relative to a legal process, and were lost or never returned. They have been regularly kept since 1814.  There are two churches in the Parish. There are no Episcopalians or Catholics; but there are some Dissenters, chiefly of the Independent persuasion, and a few Baptists.
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 Tyree.  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 Tyree as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years FHL Film Number Surname Index           
1841 1042721




941.39 X2a
1861 103798
1871 103955
1881 203563 6086508 (set of 4 Fiche)
1891 220174

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: 1766-1854 - Tyree 1041081
1844-1853 - neglected entries 1041081
1776-1856 - Coll 1041082
Marriages: 1775-1854 - Tyree 1041081
1776-1856 - Coll 1041082
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: Tyree: births are intermixed with marriages until May 1774. Births are separated from marriage records from January 1775 on. It appears to have been regularly kept. Mothers’ names are seldom recorded until 1793.
Coll: entries dated prior to July 1813 are copies certified by the Sheriff and placed after the marriage entries. After July 1813, births are intermixed with marriage records until October 1816. Entries after 1813 are tabulated.
Marriages: Tyree: marriages are intermixed with births until May 1774 and separated from birth records from January 1775 on. The record appears to have been regularly kept.
Coll: entries dated prior to July 1813 are copies certified by the Sheriff and placed first in order before the birth entries. After July 1813 marriages are intermixed with birth records until October 1816 after which marriages are recorded on an occasional page of the register of births. Entries after 1813 are tabulated. Earlier records appear to have been sent to Edinburgh and lost sometime around 1775.
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:

Tyree[edit | edit source]

Minutes 1775–1935
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/482.

Coll[edit | edit source]

Minutes 1733–1735, 1775–1844
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/70.

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.


Tyree Free Church[edit | edit source]

A few members of the parish left the Established Church at the Disruption and were without a minister until 1853 when they were united in one charge with Coll. When management of the two islands was found to be difficult, they were formally separated in 1862. In 1876 Tyree was sanctioned as a separate charge. The church at Kirkapol was built in 1880, the manse in 1884, and the church at Balinol in 1888.
Membership: 1883, 182; 1900, 100.
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.

No known pre-1855 records exist.

Coll Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister and most of the population of Coll left the Established Church in 1843. At the first vacancy in the charge, the Island of Tyree was put under the care of the minister of Coll. Such were the difficulties in the way of securing sites for church and manse that in 1858 the congregation was still worshiping in the open air or from house to house while the minister and his family lived in "a miserable bothy." In 1861, through the kind offices of Mr. Bouverie, M.P., a site was granted, and the church and manse were erected in 1863.
Membership: 1848, 25; 1900, statistics unavailable.
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.

No known pre-1855 records exist.

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]

Tyree 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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