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"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.
There are a number of local libraries and archives which serve Perthshire or have a degree of Perthshire content
The A K Bell Library, Perth including its Local Studies department.
University of Dundee Archive, Records Management and Museum Services
Central Library Dundee and its Newspapers, Periodicals and Magazines held in the local history library.
There are some with a narrower focus:
National Records of Scotland - you can search for just about any type of record via this site.
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.
- Old Parish Registers for Church of Scotland congregations are 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.
- Kirk Session records (Church of Scotland) are with the National Archives of Scotland, although parts are sometimes on OPR microfilms.
- Non-Church of Scotland Registers are more problematic. Some may be found in Perth & Kinross Archive or in the National Archives of Scotland. It is often worth doing a search at the National Register of Archives for specific localities.
- For information on records for a particular parish, please see the appropriate parish page.
- Perthshire Parish Records on the British Birth, Marriage and Death records website has more parish information for the area.
- This website gives baptismal records back to the 1500's.
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.
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.
- 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.
- These articles or short essays, on Scots migrants & emigrants and other topics, include people from Perthshire.
- Perth County Pioneers has accounts of former tenants of the Breadalbane estate.
- Scotland Emigration and Immigration - all kinds of information on Scottish immigration and emigration
- Brief History-Emigration/Immigration Scotland Research Guide - a history of Scottish immigration and emigration
- Scots Genealogy - Emigration
- Scottish immigration to America
- Information as to why highlanders emigrated to America
More about Perthshire from The Gazetteer of Scotland by Rev. John Wilson, 1882.
The description of Perthshire from The National Gazetteer (1868). Transcribed by Colin Hinson.
© Copyright Colin Hinson, 1999-2010, &c.
- The Perthshire website has a listing of Clan and Family names of Perthshire.
- Perth and Kinross Council Records - This site offers a wide range of resources and has some really good information. For example, under the Jacobites in Perthshire, it gives records of dates of appointment and a listing of the names of the men who were appointed by the magistrates to guard the town.
- Perth burgh burial registers, 1794-1855
- Jacobites in Perthshire
- Threiplands People
- Archive online catalogue
- Variety of other resources and downloadable pdfs toward the bottom of the page
- Family Search wiki has some information about Perthshire as well as links to records. There are a variety of different kinds of records on this page - census, probate and poorhouse records.
- Another general resource comes from the Perthsire Geneology page of the geneologylinksnet.uk website - a collection of links to a variety of different geneology resources.
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)
See Regalities and Baronies for more information about Perthshire's history of geographical boundaries.
Historical information about Perthshire from Visit Scotland.
The history of the Strathearn area.
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.
Various maps of Perthshire have been put online by the National Library of Scotland.
A wide selection of maps and plans are held by A K Bell Library, Perth.
First edition Ordnance Survey maps are available online from the Landmark Information Group.
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
Back issues of local newspapers are held by A K Bell Library, Perth.
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.
North Perthshire Family History Group.
Moulin & Pitlochry Historical Society (includes archives of the Moulin & Pitlochry History Circle.
More detailed information about Perthshire towns and parishes.