Map of Dunbartonshire


"DUMBARTONSHIRE (sic), Co., partly maritime but chiefly inland, in W. of Scotland, comprising a main body and a detached portion; area, 154,542 ac.; pop. 75,333, or 312 persons to each sq.m. The main body is in the shape of a crescent, having the convex side adjacent to the estuary of the Clyde, and measures 1.5 to 14 miles in breadth, and about 38 miles between its extreme points. The N. section (about two-thirds of the entire area), projecting between Loch Long and Loch Lomond, is wholly mountainous, and is celebrated for its picturesque and sublime scenery. Ben Vorlich and Ben Vane, in the extreme N., are 3092 and 3004 ft. high. The lower district along the Clyde is flat, and in general under excellent cultivation. The peninsular par. of Roseneath separates Loch Long and the Gare Loch, offshoots of the Firth of Clyde. The detached section (12 miles by 4 miles) lies 4.5 miles E. of the nearest point of the main body. The rivers, besides the Clyde, are the Leven, Allander, Kelvin, and Endrick. The mfrs. are very important; numerous bleachfields, dye, print, and other works line the banks of the Leven; and there are extensive shipbuilding yards along the Clyde: D. in former times formed part of the territory of Lennox. Vestiges of the Roman wall of Antoninus still exist. The co. comprises 11 pars. and a part, the parl. and royal burgh of Dumbarton (part of the Kilmarnock Burghs), and the police burghs of Cove and Kilcreggan, Helensburgh, and Kirkintilloch. It returns 1 member to Parl."

[Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]




See "Monumental inscriptions (pre-1855) in Dunbartonshire" by John Fowler Mitchell and Sheila Mitchell, published at Edinburgh in 1986 by the Scottish Genealogy Society.


There has been a census every 10 years since 1801 (excluding 1941) but only those pages after 1841 (with a few exceptions) carry details of named residents. Census pages for 1841-1911 can be consulted at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh and copies on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world. LDS centres also carry microfiche indexes to the 1881 census pages. The National Records of Scotland has a page giving information on the Family Records that they hold. Computerized indexes for 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 are available at the General Register Office in Edinburgh and the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 indexes are also now searchable on-line, for a fee, at the ScotlandsPeople web site.

Church Records

For information on records for a particular parish, please see that parish's page (where available).

Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For details of these and other records held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, see the GRO tutorial. The GRO has a page giving information on the Family Records that they hold.

Many of these records, as well as those in the Old Parish Registers, are now searchable on-line, for a fee, at the ScotlandsPeople web site. The database covers the years 1553-1900 (Births, Christenings and Marriages) and 1855-1925 (Deaths).

Court Records

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



There is now an electronic mailing list for those with an interest in this county. To subscribe to DUNBARTONSHIRE-GENWEB-L or to its digest form DUNBARTONSHIRE-GENWEB-D, send an email message to either or Leave the subject field blank and put


in the body of the message.

Military Records

(Monumental Inscriptions - see Cemeteries)

Names, Personal

There is now a surnames list which includes this county. If you are researching any families in Dunbartonshire, please consider submitting details to this new list.


The Glasgow & West of Scotland FHS covers this county.


For a social and economic record of the parishes of Dunbartonshire, together with considerable statistical material, see Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland, which was compiled in the 1790s. Follow-up works to this were the New Statistical Account (also known as the Second Statistical Account) which was prepared in the 1830s and 1840s; and more recently the Third Statistical Account which has been prepared since the Second World War.

Thanks to a joint venture between the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh the First and Second Statistical Accounts can now be accessed on-line at The Statistical Accounts of Scotland, 1791-1799 and 1845.

These records give a fascinating glimpse into our ancestors daily lives. The local Church of Scotland ministers were asked to describe their parishes, for example, what the land was like; what crops were grown; what the predominant language spoken in the parish was; the health of the parishioners etc. Please bear in mind that some ministers had better descriptive powers than others. Nevertheless, you will learn a great deal about their lives. There are no individual names mentioned unless they were major landowners. So this is not a document to search for names. More recently the Third Statistical Account has been prepared since the Second World War.