Angus (or Forfarshire), Scotland Genealogy

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Angus (formerly Forfarshire) is a maritime county in the east of Scotland. It is bounded on the north by the counties of Aberdeen and Kincardine, on the east by the German Ocean, on the south by the Firth of Tay, and on the west by Perthshire.  It is about 38 1/2 miles in length and 37 1/2 miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 840 square miles or 537,600 acres.  The county or area was anciently called Angus after the brother of King Kenneth II to whom it was granted by the king after his victory over the Picts.  It was later called Forfarshire after the county town of Forfar. [Apparently the name changed back to Angus in 1950.]

The county is comprised of fifty-five parishes and two civil districts of Forfar and Dundee.  The royal burghs are Forfar, Dundee, Arbroath, Montrose, and Brechin.  The market-towns are Kirriemuir and Glammis, and there are several smaller towns and villages.

The surface of the county is boldly varied.  Toward the north it forms part of the Grampian range, consisting of the Binchennin hills and the Sidlaw hills.  Between them is the beautiful and fertile valley of Strathmore extending nearly thirty-three miles in length.  The district between the Sidlaw hills and the coast is a level tract of great fertility in the highest state of cultivation.  There are also numerous rivers and lakes in the county, the former of which abound with trout and salmon, and the Lunan river with eels.  About three-fifths of the land is under cultivation.  The Angus-shire breed of cattle is well known and numbers of sheep of various breeds are pastured on the Grampian and Sidlaw hills.  Horses are also bred.  Limestone and lead and copper ore are found in the hills and ground. 

The principal manufactures are the spinning of flax, the weaving of linen and other coarser fabrics, and the manufacture of fine colored thread.  There are large tanneries, breweries, distilleries, and other works, and ship-building is pursued at the ports of Dundee, Arbroath, and Montrose.  Salmon fisheries are in the Firth of Tay and along the coast.  There are several railway lines in the county.  The population of the county in 1851 was 170,520.

(Source:  Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851.  FHL book 941 E5L.)


Here is a list of the historic parishes of the county of Angus (formerly Forfarshire) with their parish numbers. Click on the parish name to see information about records.

Parish No.   Parish No.
Aberlemno 269   Kirkden 298
Airlie 270   Kirriemuir 299
Arbirlot 271   Lethnott and Navar 300 
Arbroath 272   Liff, Benvie & Invergowrie  301 
Auchterhouse 273   Lintrathen 302 
Barry & Carnoustie 274   Lochlee 303
Benvie -- see Liff 301   Logie-Pert 304
Brechin 275   Lunan 305
Carmyllie 276   Lundie and Fowlis 306
Careston 277   Mains and Strathmartine 307
Cortachy & Clova 278   Maryton 308
Coupar-Angus 279   Menmuir 309
Craig 280   Methy -- see Inverarity 292 
Dun 281   Monifieth 310
Dundee 282   Monikie 311
Dunnichen 283   Montrose 312
Eassie and Nevay 284   Murroes 313 
Edzell 285   Navar -- see Lethnott 300
Farnell 286   Nevay -- see Eassie 284 
Fearn 287   Newtyle 314
Forfar 288   Oathlaw 315
Fowlis -- see Lundie 306   Panbride 316
Glammis 289   Rescobie 317 
Glenisla 290   Ruthven  318
Guthrie 291   St. Vigeans  319
Inchbrayock -- see Craig 280   Stracathro 320 
Inverarity & Methy 292   Strathmartine -- see Mains 307
Inverkeilor 293   Tannadice 321
Invergowrie -- see Liff 301   Tealing 322
Kettins 294
Kingoldrum 295 
Kinnell 296 
Kinnettles 297


The Scottish government began taking censuses of its population in 1841, and every ten years there after. The records must be 100 years old before they are released to the public, so the most recent record available is for the 1911 census.  Read more about Census Records.

Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide placename census indexes for Angus for 1841 and 1881.  Click here for other census indexes available at the library.


Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland:

PO Directories Online:

The above directories includes the following areas:

  • Montrose
  • Forfar
  • Brechin
  • Arbroath
  • Kirriemuir 


Click on the map at the right to see a larger version, and click again on the larger map. Next, click on the ‘Expand’ button when it appears in the lower right-hand corner of the map.


Click here to see an outline map of the parishes of Angus.

[Return to county list.]


There were 5 workhouses in this county:

A description with drawings and photos of them today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the links above located on the site entitled "The" which is owned and operated by Peter Higginbotham.

 Web Sites

Angus Archives