"Perthshire, east-midland co. of Scotland, bounded N. by Inverness-shire and Aberdeenshire, E. by Forfarshire, SE. by Fife and Kinross-shire, S. by Clackmannanshire and Stirlingshire, SW. by Stirlingshire and Dumbartonshire, and W. by Argyllshire; greatest length, E. and W., 72 miles; greatest breadth, N. and S., 60 miles; the detached portion (lying along the upper reach of the Firth of Forth, and separated from the main body by a belt of Fife and Clackmannanshire) is 6½ miles by 4½ miles; area, 1,617,808 ac.; pop. 129,007.

Perthshire includes some of the grandest and most beautiful scenery in Scotland, combining features characteristic both of the Highlands and the Lowlands. The ranges of the Ochils and the Sidlaw Hills, which are parted by the estuary of the Tay, occupy the SE.; while the N. and NW. districts, to the extent of more than one-half of the entire county, are occupied with the mountains of the Grampian system, this Highland region being intersected by numerous lochs and glens."

From John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887.


Perthshire (Siorrachd Pheairt), is a highland county located in central Scotland.  And, along with Kinross, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Inverness, Argyll and Bute, Moray, Stirling and Isle of Arran, is one of eight areas with the Highland Council’s administration. A local administrative county between 1890 and 1975,  Perthshire  extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor.

Please visit the Names, Personal section below for information about the Clans in Perthshire.


Archives & Libraries

There are a number of local libraries and archives which serve Perthshire or have a degree of Perthshire content

There are some with a narrower focus:



  • Mitchell, J. F. & Mitchell, S., Monumental inscriptions (pre-1855) in North Perthshire and Monumental inscriptions (pre-1855) in South Perthshire (1975 and 1974, Scottish Genealogy Society).

    A new edition has been printed, with corrections, as a 4 volume set, available from Tay Valley FHS, the Scottish Genealogy Society and others.

  • Monumental Inscriptions are being collected by Tay Valley FHS, who are also involved in the Scottish National Burial Index.

  • Information on obtaining burial records held by Perth & Kinross Council.

  • If your relatives were buried in Wellshill Cemetary you may be able to locate the grave using their location tool.  There is also a listing of war casualties that were buried in Wellshill on the Commonweath War Grave Commission website.

  • Ford Road Cemetary has a photo library of gravestones as well as surname lists and lists of monuments.



There has been a census every ten years since 1801, excluding 1941. The earliest for practical purposes is usually 1841 and the latest that is currently available is for 1911. Scottish census returns are held by the Registrar General.

Microfilm copies are held locally by Tay Valley FHS, the LDS Family History Centre, Dundee, and A K Bell Library, Perth and can also be ordered at LDS Family History Centres around the world.


Church Records


Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. Certificates are held by the Registrar General and can also be ordered through Scotland's People.


Court Records

Sheriff Court Records for Perthshire fall under either Perth or Dunblane and are held by the National Archives of Scotland:

  • Perth: Ref. SC.49
  • Dunblane: Ref. SC.44

A variety of local court records are held by Perth & Kinross Archive.

Records of sasines, testaments, inventories etc. are held at the National Archives of Scotland.


Description & Travel

  • Highland Perthshire Tourism
  • The Visit Scotland has a comprehensive guide to the county.

  • Undiscovered Scotland has a collection of information about the area, including accomodation, local business and places of interest. Click on place names on the map to home in.

  • Balquidder Kirk is a lovely old church built near the ruins of the original church.  It has been a place of worship for members of Clan MacLaren for the past 900 years and is also the location of the grave of Rob Roy and some of his family.


Emigration & Immigration







Perthshire Coat of Arms

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the County of Perth appears to have been granted for use on the colours and standards of the volunteer and militia units of the county raised at the end of the eighteenth century. The Earl of Kinnoull, a native of Perthshire, and commanding officer of the Perthshire Gentlemen and Yeomanry Cavalry, was also Lord Lyon King of Arms at the time, and he presented the arms to the county in 1800. The grant document was discovered in the Lyon Office in 1890, and forwarded to the newly formed Perth County Council. Image courtesty of Wikipedia.

The shield is very similar to the Scottish royal arms, reflecting that Perthshire was the home county of the House of Dunkeld and contains the former royal capital, Scone. Further royal references are made on the canton, which shows Scone Palace surmounted by the Crown of Scotland. The crest is a Highland soldier, reflecting that the famous Black Watch were formed in the county. The supporters are an eagle and a warhorse, the former from the arms of the city of Perth.  (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perthshire)


Historical Geography

See Regalities and Baronies for more information about Perthshire's history of geographical boundaries.




Land & Property

  • Most major records relating to land ownership are held nationally, so look at the entry on the main Scotland page.

  • Perth & Kinross Archive hold a range of different records relating to local property.




Names, Personal

Many families make up each Clan in Scotland, so although a Clan may be called Clan Campbell or Clan MacLaren, there are many family names that are different than those of the Clan leaders yet are still make up the membership of the Clan. Below is a list of Perthshire Clans. Most of the Clan websites provide the names of families who belong to the Clan.

Clans and Families




Poor Houses, Poor Law

According to the Family Search wiki page, there were three poorhouses in the Perthshire area.  There is a general page that has informationi about workhouses in the UK and that can be found here.