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Help and advice for Perthshire

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Imperial Gazette Perthshire page
Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland - Perthshire

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 and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south. Perthshire offers a wide range of lanescapes from agricultural straths to the high mountains of the southern Highlands giving it the descriptive name "big county”.

The Highland Council is the administrative body for much of the Highlands, with its administrative centre at Inverness. However, the Highlands also includes parts of the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Moray, Perth and Kinross, and Stirling. Although the Isle of Arran administratively belongs to North Ayrshire, its northern part is generally regarded as part of the Highlands.


Prior to the 1890s Perthshire's boundaries were irregular: the parishes of Culross and Tulliallan formed an exclave some miles away from the rest of the county, on the boundaries of Clackmannanshire and Fife; while the northern part of the parish of Logie formed an enclave of Stirlingshire within the county. (Wikipedia:

Coat of arms

Perthshire 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:

Clans of Perthshire

I don't know if this is a full listing of Clans in Perthshire but here are a few Clan names and a bit of history on each courtesy one of the Perthshire websites that I found.




Archives and 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.

  • A detailed breakdown of the location of burial records held by Perth & Kinross Council.


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.

Indexes and images for census records from 1841 to 1911 are available and searchable online at Scotland's People.

Church Records

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.

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 and Travel

Emigration and Immigration

  • These articles or short essays, on Scots migrants & emigrants and other topics, include people from Perthshire.

  • These accounts by emigrants to Canada in 1842 include a number by people formerly of Perthshire.

  • Perth County Pioneers has accounts of former tenants of the Breadalbane estate.



  • There is a Perthshire mailing list.

  • Researchers may be interested in Perthshire GenWeb.

  • Those researching in Highland Perthshire may like to visit Rannoch.Net.

Historical Geography

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


Land and 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.