Place:Carstairs, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Alt namesCaisteal Tarraissource: Scottish Gaelic
Coordinates55.72°N 3.71°W
Located inLanarkshire, Scotland     (1672 - 1975)
See alsoStrathclyde, Scotlandregional authority 1975-1996
South Lanarkshire, Scotlandunitary authority or Council Area since 1996
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


Carstairs was a parish in the former county of Lanarkshire, which ceased to exist following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974. The parish had an area of 40km2 (15.4 sq. miles) and had 6 neighbouring parishes: Cambusnethan, Carluke, Carnwath, Lanark, Pettinain in Lanarkshire and West Calder in Midlothian (since 1996 in West Lothian).

Carstairs is now located in the South Lanarkshire Council Area, some 5 miles (8 km) east of Carluke and 13 miles (20 km) northeast of Douglas in South Lanarkshire. There are two centres of population in the parish: Carstairs village and Carstairs Junction. Both had populations of well under 1000 in 2001, the last census available. The West Coast Mainline railway runs through the parish.


Research Tips

Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses

  • Scotland's People This is a pay website providing vital statistics and census data for all of Scotland with original images. There is a description at Scotland under Genealogical Resources.

Notes for Lanarkshire

  • GENUKI has a list of references for Lanarkshire. Some of these may be superseded by more modern material.
  • FreeCen index includes the whole of Lanarkshire for 1841 and a substantial section for 1851. The Genealogical Society of Utah sponsored the collection of 1881 census records and these will be found at FamilySearch. A search of all the censuses for Scotland may be done for a fee at Scotland's People
  • ’’Lanarkshire Monumental Inscriptions: Pre 1855 Inscriptions and maps from the burial grounds of the Upper (southern) Ward of South Lanarkshire’’. Edited by Sheila A Scott, M.A. Book available through both of the above family history societies or from the original publisher: The Scottish Genealogical Society.
  • The Carstairs Parish Registers for the Church of Scotland provide information on baptisms (1672-1820 and 1820-185), marriages (1672-1705, 1712-1729, 1749-1801 and 1820-1855) and burials (1664-1708, 1712-1729, 1749-1801 and 1818-1854). See the FamilySearch Wiki article on Carstairs for other church denominations.

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • Scottish Places article on the parish of Carstairs. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparative maps.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Carstairs provides direct reference to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the parish.
  • The National Library of Scotland have a website devoted to maps from the 1600s right up to the present. Comparisons of modern-day and old maps of the same place can be made. From the home page click on "Find by place" and then follow the instructions on the next page. Once you are viewing the place you want, use the slider <----> at the top of the map to compare the layout of roads and the place names of smaller areas, perhaps even farms, with the landscape today. The website takes some getting used to. The One-inch 2nd edition, Scotland, 1898-1904 OS is a series of maps with the parishes delineated. Each of these maps cover an area of 18 x 24 miles and will zoom to comfortable reading size with a couple of mouse clicks on the map itself. Unfortunately, they are not geo-referenced, and it is necessary to go to the OS One Inch 1885-1900 series to locate places by latitude and longitude.
  • The Statistical Accounts for Scotland In the 1790s and again in the 1830s, the ministers of the all the parishes of the Church of Scotland were asked to provide a description of their parish to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The original account request included 160 questions to be answered. These accounts are available in print in 20 volumes and are also online where it is freely available to browse. The browsing portal is below the viewing area of most computer screens. Scroll down to "For non-subscribers" and click on "Browse scanned pages". This brings you to another page on which one can enter the name of the parish in which you are interested.
  • Excerpts from The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885 are provided by Scottish Places. Selections from Groome and other gazetteers from the 19th century are also found on GENUKI.