"STIRLINGSHIRE, west-midland county of Scotland; consists of a main portion and two detached sections to the NE. included in Perthshire and Clackmannanshire; is bounded N. by Perthshire, NE. by Clackmannanshire and a detached portion of Perthshire, E. by the Firth of Forth and Linlithgowshire, S. by Linlithgowshire, Lanarkshire, and detached part of Dumbartonshire, and W. by Dumbartonshire; greatest length, NW. and SE., 46 miles; greatest breadth, NE. and SW., 22 miles; area, 286,338 ac., pop. 112,443. The E. part of the co. is flat, finely wooded, and well cultivated; and the valley of the Forth along the N. boundary includes some of the finest land in Scotland. The middle and S. are occupied with hills and valleys - the principal ridges being the Campsie Fells and Kilsyth Hills, and the Fintry Hills and Gargunnock Hills. On the W. a long projection extends northwards, including a mountainous district in which Ben Lomond rises to an alt. of 3192 ft., and parts of Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine. Besides the Forth, the chief streams are the Avon, Carron, Bannock, Allan, Endrick, and Blane. Coal and ironstone are extensively worked; limestone and sandstone are abundant. There are important manufactures of woollens, cotton, and iron; and there are several large chemical works and distilleries. The co. comprises 21 pars. with parts of 5 others, the parl. and police burgh of Stirling (part of the Stirling District of Burghs - 1 member), the parl. and police burgh of Falkirk (part of the Falkirk District of Burghs - 1 member), and the police burghs of Alva, Bridge of Allan, Denny and Dunipace, Grangemouth, Kilsyth, and Milngavie. It returns 1 member to Parliament.
[Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]
See also the entry for Stirlingshire in the 1868 gazetteer.
For information on Stirling Council Local Archives, including records for various burghs in the county, see the Stirling Libraries and Archives page.
From the Stirling Observer of 25th May 2005:
"Stirling's depute provost has officially opened the council's new archive service. The building at 5 Borrowmeadow Road, Springkerse is now home to nearly 3000 sq ft of historical documents. The custom-made building provides secure and environmentally controlled conditions for the proper preservation of the archive collections..... ....The collections which are in the care of the service date from the Middle Ages to the present day and include family and estate papers, church records, records of societies and associations, local newspapers, maps and photographs, as well as the usual holdings of records of successive local authorities. The service's search room is open to the public on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9.30am-12.30 and 1.30-4.30pm. There are plans to open on Thursdays in the future. An hourly bus service (E41) runs from Stirling Bus Station to Borrowmeadow Road. For more information or for directions to the new premises contact the archive service on 01786 450745."
The Falkirk Archives cover the most populated part of the former County of Stirlingshire.
The Falkirk archives also include a page addressing Family History.
There has been a census every ten years since 1801 (excluding 1941) but only those returns after 1841 (with a few earlier exceptions) carry details of named residents. Census returns for 1841-1891 can be consulted at the General Register Office 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 returns.
Computerised census indexes for 1881, 1891 and 1901 are available at the General Register Office in Edinburgh and their web-site Scotlands People.
For information on records for a particular parish, please see that parish's page (where available). Copies of many parish registers may be consulted around the world in LDS Family History Centres.
Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For details of these and other records held at the General Register Office in Edinburgh, see the GRO tutorial.
Records of testaments, inventories etc. are held at the National Records of Scotland.
"Monumental inscriptions (pre-1855) in West Stirlingshire", John F Mitchell & Sheila Mitchell, published Edinburgh, 1973 (Scottish Genealogy Society)
The Central Scotland FHS covers this county. They continue to add to their publications list, and have much to offer to everyone with ancestors from the area. The site is highly recommended.
For a social and economic record of the parishes of Stirlingshire, together with statistical material, see Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland which was compiled in the 1790s. The account was reprinted in facsimile form in 1978 by EP Publishing Limited of Wakefield, England and volume 9 deals with Stirlingshire.
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.