Kilmore and Kilbride, Argyllshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #523

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

History[edit | edit source]

KILMORE and KILBRIDE, a parish, in the district of Lorn, county of Argyll, 3½ miles (S. by E.) from Oban; containing the island of Kerera, and the late quoad sacra district of Oban. These two ancient parishes, which appear to have been united soon after the Reformation, are supposed to have derived their names, of Gaelic origin, from the dedication of their churches respectively to the Virgin Mary and St. Bridget. The parish is bounded on the north by Loch Etive, on the south by Loch Feochan, and on the west by the sound of Mull. The church of Kilmore was erected about the year 1490, and contains 350 sittings; the church of Kilbride, of a later date, contains 300 sittings. A church has also been erected at Oban, where are likewise places of worship for Seceders.[1]

This parish is named for a  burying place dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Kilmore and Kilbride were united soon after the restoration.  Oban is the nearest town.  The major land owners were: Captain M’Dougall of M’Dougall; Archibald Campbell, Esq. of Lochnell; the most Noble the Marquis of Breadalbane; and Sir Donald Campbell of Dunstaffnage, Bart.  The land was primarily used for, barley, oats, potatoest, turnips, black-cattle, and black faced sheep.  The population in 1791 was 2729.  The population in 1841 was 4327.  The parochial register commenced in Oct 1783 and has been kept regularly since.  There are two churches. Attendance at both is usually good. About 15 Dissenters, either Baptists or Independents are in the parish.   The Episcopalians number from 9-12, and about 15 Roman Catholics.
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 Kilmore and Kilbride.  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 Kilmore and Kilbride as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Years FHL Film Number Surname Index            
1841        1042717 941.38/K3 X22s, 941.38/O1 X22s (Oban)
1851 1042352 941.39 X2a
1861 0103796 None
1871 0103953 None
1881 0203558 6086508 (set of 4 fiche)
1891 0220169 None

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: 1782-1854, 1766-1854 1041071 items 1-2
Marriages: 1803-1854, 1766-1854 1041071 items1-2
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: The record appears to have been regularly kept.
Marriages: Except one entry for 1803, no record appears until December 1810; afterwards the record was regularly kept.
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:

Kilmore and Kilbride Minutes 1810–1966
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1534.

Oban Town Mission Association Minutes 1809–1903
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1537.

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.

Oban United Secession Church[edit | edit source]

When a minister of the United Associate Church went to preach in Oban about 1830, he was well received. The Presbytery of Glasgow immediately made arrangements to supply the town with regular sermon. Two years later it was withdrawn when a Chapel of Ease was opened nearby. In 1834 the people of Oban petitioned for the station to be reopened, and a missionary was sent to them. In 1836 a place of worship was erected. A new church was built in 1868.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Minutes 1831–1938
Roll of Members 1844–1877
Baptisms 1837–1877
Congregational Minutes 1836–1861
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/727.

Oban High Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister of Oban quoad sacra church and many of his people left the Established Church in 1843. With the generous help of Lord Breadalbane, a church was speedily erected. It was built under the condition that two–thirds of the sittings in the area would always be free to the inhabitants of Oban or others who might desire to worship there. This condition was removed in 1870.
Membership: 1848, 194; 1900, 134.
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 pre-1855 records is unknown.

Oban Congregational Church[edit | edit source]

Twenty converts formed the church in Oban in 1805. The congregation was split in 1806/1807 by the controversy over baptism. Many holding Baptist views left and those remaining were unable to support a pastor until 1811. The congregation was greatly persecuted by the members of the Established Church. Some were deprived of their farms by landlords. Despite this, the first chapel was built in 1820. In 1880 a new church was built in Argyll Street, Tweedale. This church contributed to the establishment of many preaching stations in the area and is still active.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960. FHL book 941 K2es. This source contains further details.

Extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189, 240 Cathedral Street,
Glasgow G1 2BX, Scotland

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]

Kilmore and Kilbride 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: 23 May 2014.

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