"Glasgow, parl. and royal burgh, partly in Renfrewshire but chiefly in Lanarkshire, on river Clyde, 14 miles SE. of Dumbarton (at the commencement of the Firth of Clyde), 47½ (by rail) W. of Edinburgh, and 401½ (by West Coast route) NW. of London -- royal burgh (co-extensive with City par.), pop. 166,128; parliamentary and municipal burgh, pop. 511,415; town (municipal and suburban), pop. 674,095; 13 newspapers. Market-day, Wednesday. Glasgow is the commercial and industrial metropolis of Scotland, and claims to be the second city of the British Empire. It is an ancient place, but almost the only monument of antiquity which it contains is the Cathedral (1179), dedicated to St Mungo, or Kentigern, the apostle of Strathclyde, who is said to have settled at Glasgow about 580. The old University buildings in High Street have been converted into a railway station; the new University buildings (1870), on Gilmore Hill, in the NW. of the city, are probably the finest modern specimen of secular architecture in Scotland. The University (1450) had in 1882-1883 professors to the number of 27, and students to the number of 2275, of whom 1307 were Arts students. The commercial importance of Glasgow is of comparatively modern date. At the Reformation the population was about 5000, at the Union about 12,000, and at the beginning of the 19th century about 77,000; it is now. including the neighbouring burghs, which are essentially parts of Glasgow, about 750,000. The chief natural cause of the rapid growth of Glasgow is its position within the richest coal and ironstone field in Scotland, and on the banks of a river which has been rendered, by almost incredible labour, navigable for vessels of the largest tonnage. Its industries, which are characterised by their immense variety, include textile mfrs. (principally cotton, woollen, and carpets): bleaching, printing, and dyeing; chemical mfrs.; the iron mfr., engineering, and shipbuilding. All the iron trade of Scotland is controlled by Glasgow, which is also the headquarters of the great shipbuilding industry of the Clyde. Glasgow has 4 distilleries and 6 paper mills. It is one of the three principal seaports of the United Kingdom. The harbour extends along the river for over 2 miles, and includes 2 tidal docks, one of them (the Queen's Dock) the largest in Scotland. The foreign trade is with all parts of the world, but chiefly with India, the United States, Canada, and South America, Belgium, France, and Spain. Glasgow contains terminal stations of the 3 great trunk lines of Scotland; and its railway communications are assisted by the City Union Railway and the Underground Railway. Tramways penetrate into every suburb, and the Clyde is crossed by numerous bridges and ferries. There are 4 parks -- the Green, the Kelvingrove or West End Park, the Queen's Park, and the Alexandra Park. The health of the city has been greatly benefited by the Loch Katrine water supply, completed in 1859, and by the Improvement Act of 1866. The New Municipal Buildings, at the E. end of George Square, were founded October 1883. Glasgow is a brigade depot; the barracks (1876) are at Maryhill. The burgh returns 7 members to Parliament -- 7 divisions, viz., Bridgeton, Camlachie, St Rollox, Central, College, Tradeston, and Blackfriars and Hutchesontown, 1 member for each division; its representation was increased from 3 to 7 members in 1885, when the parl. limits were extended; the Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen return 1 member."
From John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887
The Glasgow City Archives (formerly known as the Strathclyde Regional Archives) are housed in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.
A catalogue and family history material are held by the Mitchell Library including the Glasgow City Archives.
Richard Stenlake Publishing
(Ochiltree Sawmill, The Lade, Ochiltree, Ayrshire KA18 2NX)
have published a range of illustrated books showing past scenes of old Glasgow. Contact the publishers for a full list, but some of the titles are:-
The Gorbals - an illustrated history by Eric Eunson - published 1996 - ISBN 1872074685
Bygone Partick (volumes 1 & 2) (1992)
Partick Remembered (1996)
The story of Partick (1996)
Glasgow and the River Clyde were famous for its shipbuilding. Glasgow City Archives in the Mitchell Library holds shipbuilding records from Fairfields, Connels, Barclay Curle and other shipyards.
- Shipbuilding on the Clyde
- Inverclyde Shipbuilding & Engineering
- River Clyde (Wikipedia)
- Upper Clyde Shipbuilders
Lists of coal mines operating in Lanarkshire in 1896 were at one time available for eastern Lanarkshire and western Lanarkshire, but the group concerned now seems to focus only on lead mines in Derbyshire.
Lists of metalliferous mines operating in Lanarkshire in 1896 were at one time similarly available for eastern Lanarkshire and western Lanarkshire but the group concerned now seems to focus only on lead mines in Derbyshire.
See also the Scottish Mining website entry for Lanarkshire.
"Some ancient cemeteries in the city have been converted into building ground or market places; while others at the Cathedral, St. David's, St. Mary's, Gorbals, Calton and Bridgeton still remain, but are not now important for their original purpose, but as lungs for the city."
"Inside the city there were also intramural cemeteries at North Street and Main Street in Anderston, Cheapside Street in Anderston, Christchurch in Mile End, and Greendyke Street Episcopalian church, in a crypt under the United Presbyterian church in Wellington Street, and for Roman Catholics in Abercromby Street."
"In a report furnished in 1869.....it was recommended that, except in very special cases, the intramural cemeteries of St. David's; College; North Street and Main Street, Anderston; Cheapside Street, Anderston; Calton; Bridgeton; Rutherglen Loan, Gorbals; St. Mungo's Cathedral; Abercromby Street, Roman Catholic; Christchurch, Mile End; Greendyke Street; and Wellington Street should no longer be used. The interments in these have fallen ....... to 60 last year, ......; and now interments take place in the following extramural cemeteries:-
The Necropolis, Sighthill Cemetery, the Eastern Necropolis or Janefield, the Southern Necropolis, Craigton at Paisley Road, Sandymount at Shettleston, Dalbeath at London Road, Cathcart at New Cathcart, and the Western Necropolis at Maryhill."
Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1883
Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society has published transcriptions of monumental inscriptions in the St. David's Ramshorn Burial Ground. Individual members of the FHS have made transcriptions in various other cemeteries in the West of Scotland, notably the Glasgow Necropolis (incomplete) and Maryhill Old Burial Ground.
The Special Collection Room at the Mitchell Library holds the records of some twenty Glasgow cemeteries covering the period from the Glasgow City Archives, as well as lair plans and registers of burials in intra-mural burial grounds from 1870 to 1950. Records are arranged in chronological order and there are no indexes! The burial records actually run up until 1995 at which point the records are kept by Glasgow City's Council's Bereavement Services.
A comprehensive listing, including location of registers and monumental inscriptions can be found in:- Burial Grounds of Glasgow: a brief guide for the genealogist by J Willing and J S Fairie - published by the Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society 2nd Revised Edition published in 1997.
Additional cemetery registers for Glasgow are kept by Glasgow City Council. (best to do a Google search for "glasgow city council cemeteries")
In the Lanarkshire area microfilm copies can be consulted at a number of locations in Glasgow and at a number of local libraries.
A summary of Glasgow's church histories from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1896.
The following list of churches has been compiled from the 1807 map of Glasgow (& Anderston & Calton) on the National Library of Scotland website. These are not currently recorded in the church database.
8 parish churches:-
- Glasgow Cathedral, also called the High Kirk of Glasgow or St Kentigern's or St Mungo's Cathedral
- Barrony (sic) Church (by the cathedral) : see Barony
- College Church (High St)
- North West Church (Canon St)
- St Andrew's Church (St Andrews Sq)
- St Enoch's Church (St Enoch's Sq off Argyll St)
- Tron Church (Trongate St)
- Wynd Church (New Wynd)
- Episcopal Chapel (off St Andrews Sq)
- Relief Meeting House (Great Dove St / Graeme St)
- Relief Meeting House (Campbell St / Graeme St)
- Burgher Meeting House (Graeme St)
- New Light Burgher Meeting House (Graeme St / Campbell St)
- Antiburgher Meeting House (Duke St)
- New Light Burgher meeting house (North Albion St)
- Albion St Chapel (North Albion St)
- Chapel of Ease (North Albion St)
- Independent Meeting House (Grey Friar's Wynd)
- Relief Meeting House (Cochran St)
- Methodist Chapel (Cochran St)
- Baptist Meeting House (George's St)
- Gaelic Chapel (Ingram St)
- Gaelic Chapel (Duke St)
On SE map:-CALTON
- Cameronian Meeting House (High St)
- Calton Church (Tobago St)
- Relief Meeting House (John St)
On SW map: ANDERSTON
- Chapel (Clyde St)
- Antiburgher Meeting House (Cheapside / Picadilly)
- Relief Meeting House (High St/Bishop St)
Dates of Glasgow Old Parish Registers
A list of demolished churches in Glasgow, by district.
Some assorted photographs of churches in Glasgow.
A Historical Directory to the Presbytery of Glasgow as of c. 1900. A recent (c. 2006) update to the history of congregations and parishes compiled by Very Rev Dr Andrew Herron in 1984.
Glasgow and West of Scotland Family history Society is assisting Glasgow City Archives in the ongoing project of indexing the records of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Glasgow City Archives also house the Church of Scotland Kirk Session records for the Presbytery of Glasgow.
A list of Registration Districts in Glasgow is available from the National Records of Scotland.
Glasgow Court Records at the Mitchell Library.
The Glasgow Story tells the story of the great city in words and pictures.
Copies of most editions of the Glasgow Directory can be viewed in the Glasgow Collection of the Mitchell Library. These cover years 1787, 1789, 1790, 1793 to 1799, 1801, and 1803 to 1978 (pre-1886 directories are on microfiche). The previous link to the First Glasgow Directory (1787) is no longer available on the web.
The Glasgow 1927 Directory and similar directories are available for download from the internet archive.
The description of Glasgow from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1896.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Glasgow to another place.
A number of useful facilities for researching your ancestors and their backgrounds exist within the City of Glasgow.
A leaflet, entitled Family Roots, is available from the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Board and gives some information on places where family history research can be conducted throughout the board's area.
The Mitchell Library has many facilities for Family History research in its Special Collection Room on the 5th floor (lifts available). These include Old Parish Registers (generally meaning the Church of Scotland records) and Census pages (for Glasgow, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire) on Microfilm, IGI microfiche versions and the "Family Search" computerised database version of the IGI on CD ROM - NOTE that access to the "Family Search" CD ROM version MUST be booked in advance and is available for 1 hour at a time.
The Family History pages offer a good starting point for on-line research.
Glasgow City Archives, also based in the Mitchell Library, have a wide range of records of interest to the genealogist - see the leaflet mentioned above for more details.
Entrance to the Mitchell Library is FREE as is the use of its microfilm/mircofiche readers - photocopies or printed copies of documents carry a small charge.
The Glasgow Registrars Office has a Genealogy Centre at 22 Park Circus, Glasgow, G3 6BR. Its facilities include the Statutory Registers (on microfiche) of the former Strathclyde region , a national computer index covering the period since 1855, an index to the 1891 census and other source material.
The Mormon Church has a Family History Centre at their Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Julian Avenue, Glasgow G12. The opening hours of this centre are Monday 11am - 2pm: Tuesday 10am - 9pm and Wednesday 2pm - 6pm, but please note that advanced booking is required by letter or telephone.
The Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society has a Research Centre at Unit 13, 32 Mansfield Street, Partick, G11 5QP, Glasgow. Contact the FHS to confirm access arrangements.
In addition, a surname index of the 1851 Census is available on computer at the research centre for Glasgow City, Barony, Gorbals, Govan, Old and New Monkland, Carmunnock, Rutherglen, Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and Campsie. The 1851 census films for these areas are also available. A number of indexes for the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891 and 1901 Censuses are also available.
You can see the administrative areas in which Glasgow has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NS618665 (Lat/Lon: 55.872021, -4.209709), Glasgow which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
Glasgow was built on the Clyde and on the trade that river brought. The Merchant Marine and shipbuilding both played a large part in the city's history.
Registers of Deceased Seamen can be found in the Special Collection of the Mitchell Library.
- The Battle of Langside, the scene of the victory gained by Regent Murray, in 1568, over Mary Queen of Scots, before her flight into England.
- Glasgow Evening Times Roll of Honour, WW1.
- Glasgow University Roll of Honour, WW1 (also includes WWII).
- Glasgow's War - take some time to explore the various facets of this interesting site, including A Glaswegian's War Diary - WW1.
The book "A Guide to Glasgow Addresses 1837-1945", which gives details of street name changes in the city, is available from the Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society
The Glasgow Collection of Newspapers is available in the Glasgow Collection of the Mitchell Library. This contains a variety of newspapers published since 1715 until 1993 including
microfilm copies of the Evening Times from 1877,
Bulletin 1915 to 1960,
Evening Citizen 1877 to 1974,
Sunday Mail from 1919,
the Daily Record from 1895 and
the Glasgow Herald from 1790.
The Herald (as it is now known) is the only paper which is indexed and the quality of this is varied; from 1889 to 1905 an annual manuscript index is available (sometimes difficult to read); from 1906 to 1984 an annual index was published; from 1985 a good card index is available.
- Schools. Pupils and Teachers in Glasgow and the West of Scotland - records at the Mitchell Library.
- Scotland Street School Museum - Scotland Street School was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh between 1903-1906 for the School Board of Glasgow. Now a museum, it tells the story of 100 years of education in Scotland, from the late 19th century to the late 20th century.