Uig, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

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Ross and Cromarty

Uig  # 89 (Insular)

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


UIG, a parish, in the Island of Lewis, county of Ross and Cromarty; containing the islands of Great and Little Bernera, Pabbay, and Vuiavore. This place seems to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "a solitary spot," from its situation on the western coast of the island of Lewis, at a remote distance from the parishes of Stornoway and Lochs, from which it is separated by a tract of swampy moorland extending nearly twelve miles in length. The church, situated nearly in the centre of the parish, is a neat plain structure, erected in the year 1829, and containing 1000 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

The word Uig is applied to many situations in the Highlands, and signifies a solitary place. It is applicable to this parish because it is situated on the west coast of the Island of Lewis. It is bounded by the Harris mountains on the south; by the Atlantic Ocean on the west; and on the north by a district of the parish of Lochs, which runs across the island from east to west. The bay of Uig is the only notable bay in the parish; it is one English mile in width. Gallan-head is the most prominent point on the coast. There are twelve islands within the bounds of the parish, exclusive of the Flannel Isles, of which there are seven, four are inhabited; the other islands are peculiarly adapted for pasturing sheep and black-cattle. The Flannel Islands are about fifteen miles from the mainland of the parish and are supposed to have been the residence of ecclesiastics in the time of the Druids.

Stornoway is the market-town of the Lewis, and is thirty miles from the manse of Uig. It is also the only place of a post-office in the whole island. All the people dwell in little farm villages, and in several of them are from 40 to 50 families.

James Alexander Stewart M’Kenzie, Esq. of Seaforth, is the sole land-owner of this parish.

Black cattle, sheep and horses, all of the small Highland breed, have been the kinds reared in this parish, from time immemorial; but recently Cheviot and black-faced sheep have been introduced into the parish with success.

Parochial registers have been kept in this parish only since 1826, and they are marriage and birth records.

The parish church is situated in the most convenient and center part of the parish, but those living north and north-east coasts of Loch Roag, are thirteen miles from the church. The church was built in 1829, and affords accommodations from 1000 sitters. There is one catechist in the parish, appointed and principally supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, the communicants is 60. There is not a mission or a Government church in the parish, and there are no dissenters of any description with the bounds of the parish.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland for Uig, FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 14.

 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 you are interested in. 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 Uig, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6037266 (6 fiche)
6086658 (4 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, 1841-1911, 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
Birth: 1824-1854 0990792
Marriage: 1824-1854 0990792
Death: No entries none


Condition of Original Registers—

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.
Note: No records were kept before 1824.
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:

The extent of records is unknown.

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 List.

Uig Free Church

The minister of the parish, and his congregation, "came out" at the Disruption. The church and manse were built in 1844–1845.
Membership: 1855, 700; 1900, 693.
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.

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.

Probate Records

Uig was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Ross until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff Court of Ross & Cromarty.  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 Ross & Cromarty and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Ross.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Ross & Cromarty. Look in the library catalog
 for the 'Place-names' of Ross & Cromarty 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. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 1 August 2014.

Return to Ross & Cromarty parish list.