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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Dundee Gotoarrow.png Dundee

Guide to Dundee, Scotland history, family history, and genealogy parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

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Dundee flag
Coat of arms of Dundee
Location of Dundee in Scotland

Dundee is officially the City of Dundee. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea. Under the name of Dundee City, it forms one of the 32 council areas used for local government in Scotland. The name "Dundee" is made up of two parts: the common Celtic place-name element dun, meaning fort; and a second part that may derive from a Celtic element, cognate with the Gaelic dè, meaning 'fire'.

While earlier evidence for human occupation is abundant, Dundee's success and growth as a seaport town arguably came as a result of William the Lion's charter, granting Dundee to his younger brother, David (later Earl of Huntingdon) in the late 12th century. The situation of the town and its promotion by Earl David as a trading center led to a period of prosperity and growth. The earldom was passed down to David's descendants, among whom was John Balliol. The town became a Royal Burgh on John's coronation as king in 1292. The town and its castle were occupied by English forces for several years during the First War of Independence and recaptured by Robert the Bruce in early 1312. The original Burghal charters were lost during the occupation and subsequently renewed by Bruce in 1327.

The burgh suffered considerably during the conflict known as the Rough Wooing of 1543 to 1550, and was occupied by the English forces of Andrew Dudley from 1547. In 1548, unable to defend the town against an advancing Scottish force, Dudley ordered that the town be burnt to the ground. In 1645, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Dundee was again besieged, this time by the Royalist Marquess of Montrose. The town was finally destroyed by Parliamentarian forces led by George Monck in 1651.

The town played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Jacobite cause when John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee raised the Stuart standard on the Dundee Law in 1689. The town was held by the Jacobites in the 1715–16 rising, and on 6 January 1716 the Jacobite claimant to the throne, James VIII and III (the Old Pretender), made a public entry into the town. Many in Scotland, including many in Dundee, regarded him as the rightful king.

The economy of medieval Dundee centered on the export of raw wool, with the production of finished textiles being a reaction to recession in the 15th century. Two government Acts in the mid 18th century had a profound effect on Dundee's industrial success: the textile industry was revolutionized by the introduction of large four-story mills, stimulated in part by the 1742 Bounty Act which provided a government-funded subsidy on Osnaburg linen produced for export. Expansion of the whaling industry was triggered by the second Bounty Act, introduced in 1750 to increase Britain's maritime and naval skill base. Dundee, and Scotland more generally, saw rapid population increase at end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century.

The phasing out of the linen export bounty between 1825 and 1832 stimulated demand for cheaper textiles, particularly for cheaper, tough fabrics. The discovery that the dry fibers of jute could be lubricated with whale oil (of which Dundee had a surfeit, following the opening of its gasworks) to allow it to be processed in mechanized mills resulted in the Dundee mills rapidly converting from linen to jute, which sold at a quarter of the price of flax. Interruption of Prussian flax imports during the Crimean War and of cotton during the American Civil War resulted in a period of inflated prosperity for Dundee and the jute industry dominated Dundee throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Unprecedented immigration, notably of Irish workers, led to accelerated urban expansion, and at the height of the industry's success, Dundee supported 62 jute mills, employing some 50,000 workers.

While the city's economy was dominated by the jute industry, it also became known for smaller industries. Most notable among these were James Keiller's and Sons, established in 1795, which pioneered commercial marmalade production, and the publishing firm DC Thomson, which was founded in the city in 1905. Dundee was said to be built on the 'three Js': Jute, Jam and Journalism.

The jute industry fell into decline in the early 20th century, partly due to reduced demand for jute products and partly due to an inability to compete with the emerging industry in Calcutta. This gave rise to unemployment levels far in excess of the national average, peaking in the inter-war period, but major recovery was seen in the post-war period, thanks to the arrival first of American light engineering companies like Timex and NCR, and subsequent expansion into microelectronics.[1]


Cemeteries (Civil)

The Howth

  • Meadowside
  • Dundee DD1 1LN

Balgay Cemetery

  • 153 Blackwood Ct
  • Dundee DD2 2EG

Pitkerro Grove Cemetery

  • Drumsturdy Rd
  • Dundee DD5 3NY

Birkhill Cemetery

  • Templeton Rd
  • Birkhill
  • Dundee DD3 0QH

Church Records


Scotland does not have Anglican Churches as such. Instead the denomination is known as the Scottish Episcopal Church and follows the same liturgy. Dundee also has an Episcopal Cathedral.

St Paul's Cathedral

  • High St
  • Dundee DD1 1TD
  • Phone: +44 1382 224486

St Salvador's

  • St Salvador St
  • Dundee DD3 7EW
  • Phone: +44 1382 221785

St Ninian's

  • 4 Longtown Rd
  • Dundee DD4 8JS
  • Phone: +44 1382 453818

All Soul's Episcopal Church

  • 59 Main St
  • Invergowrie
  • Dundee DD2 5BA
  • Phone: +44 1382 562244

St Mary Magdalene's

  • Dudhope Cres Rd
  • Dundee DD1 5RR

Scottish Episcopal Church

  • 90-92 Queen St
  • Dundee DD5 1AJ

St Margaret's

  • 19 Ancrum Rd
  • Dundee DD2 2J

For outlying parishes in the Dundee area, please go to the Diocese of Brechan:

Although there are many Episcopalian Churches as shown above, the major Church in Dundee, as throughout Scotland, is the Church of Scotland. This denomination broke away from the original Roman Catholic Church in 1560 AD with the reformation work of John Knox, about the same time that Henry VIII broke away and formed the Anglican Church. Knox was greatly influenced by John Calvin, as well as by the work of Martin Luther in what is now Germany.

Logie and St John's Parish Church

  • Shaftesbury Terrace
  • Dundee DD2 1HJ
  • Phone: +44 1382 668514

Stobswell Parish Church

  • 170 Albert St
  • Dundee DD4 6QW
  • Phone: +44 1382 812423

St Luke's

  • Queen Street
  • Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 1AU
  • Phone: +44 1382 779212

Fintry Parish Church

  • Fintry Dr
  • Dundee DD4 9HE
  • Phone: +44 1382 458629

Balgay Parish Church

  • 4 Tullideph Rd
  • Dundee DD2 2PN

Lundie Road Church of Scotland

  • Lundie
  • Dundee DD2 5NW

Douglas and Mid Craigie Parish Church

  • Balbeggie Pl
  • Dundee DD4 8RD
  • Phone: +44 1382 731173

Downfield Parish Church

  • 39 Haldane Cres
  • Dundee DD3 0JW

Non Conformists

The following other Christian denominations and religions are also represented in Dundee:

  • Baptists
  • Evangelical
  • City Church
  • Christian Science
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Grace Church
  • Jehovah's Witness
  • Methodists
  • Presbyterians
  • Roman Catholics
  • Seventh Day Adventist

Non Christian populations include:

  • Buddhists
  • Hindus
  • Jews
  • Muslims
  • Sikhs

Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths, have been kept by the UK government from July 1837 to the present day.

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers



Dundee is a regional employment and education center for north east Tayside, with around 325,000 people within 30 minutes' drive of the city center and 860,000 people within one hour. Many people from North East Fife, Angus and Perth, and Kinross, commute to the city. As of 2015, there were 395 employers who employed 250 or more staff; over a five-year period (2011-2015) and the number of registered enterprises in Dundee increased by 20.9% from 2,655 to 3,210.

The largest employers in the city are NHS Tayside, Dundee City Council, University of Dundee, Tayside Contracts, Tesco, D. C. Thomson & Co and BT. Other employers include limited and private companies such as NCR, Michelin, Alliance Trust, Aviva, Royal Bank of Scotland, Asda, Stagecoach Strathtay, Tokheim, Scottish Citylink, C J Lang & Son (SPAR Scotland), Joinery and Timber Creations, HBOS, Debenhams, Xplore Dundee, and W. L. Gore and Associates.

The biomedical and biotechnology sectors, including start-up biomedical companies arising from university research, employ just under 1,000 people directly and nearly 2,000 indirectly. Information technology and Video game development have been important industries in the city for more than 20 years.

Dundee is also a key retail destination for North East Scotland and has been ranked 4th in Retail Rankings in Scotland. The city center offers a wide variety of retailers, department stores and independent/specialist stores.[2]

As of the end of 2017, Dundee was adding new jobs at a rate of more than 700 per month. NCR alone is posting for 11 jobs in January of 2018. Other companies showing major growth at the present time (February 2018)are: Logicnow (electronics), GFI Software, Ion Geophysical, and Sciquest. [3]



Web Sites


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Dundee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 9 February, 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Dundee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 14 February, 2018.
  3., Dundee openings,,8_IL.9,15_IC3312174.htm,, accessed 14 February 2018.