|Alt names||Glas Cau||source: Blue Guide: Scotland (1980) p 180|
|Glas Chu||source: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 338|
|Located in||Lanarkshire, Scotland (1609 - 1975)|
|Also located in||City of Glasgow, Scotland (1975 - )|
- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
Glasgow is assumed to have been established 1609, the year the birth registers started.
Area: 175.1 sq. km (43,243 acres)
Population: 629,500 in 2001 (the last census available)
The following article is taken word for word from Scottish Places or the Gazetteer of Scotland
- Located on the River Clyde, Scotland's most populous city is 44 miles (71 km) west of Edinburgh, 34 miles (55 km) north east of Ayr and 144 miles (232 km) south west of Aberdeen. The area of the city is 175.1 sq. km (43,243 acres), making it the 7th smallest of the 32 local government areas; its population has declined steadily since the 1950s but in 1997 it was still 36% larger than that of Edinburgh; and it is the third largest regional city in Britain. Glasgow was the headquarters of the former county of Lanarkshire until 1975 when it became the centre of Strathclyde Region (1975-1996).
- Glasgow is built on a moderately hilly landscape formed by marine deposits and some 180 drumlins, most of which are north of the Clyde with their higher sides to the north west and their 'tails' to the south-east. Its geology also includes large amounts of coal and iron ore though today the total area is primarily developed for urban use (77%) with little than 15% occupying open countryside, the smallest proportion of the 32 councils areas. Glasgow's climate, like much of the west of Scotland, is usually cloudier, slightly warmer and much wetter than the rest of Scotland.
- The city was extended several times to take in nearby villages and neighbourhoods. The main additions were in 1846 when Anderston, Bridgeton, Calton, Gorbals, Kelvingrove and Woodside were added to the city, in 1891 when Govanhill, Hillhead, Kelvinside, Maryhill and Pollokshields were included and in 1912 when Cathcart, Govan, Partick and Pollokshaws entered the city boundaries. Post-World War Two planning initiatives involved the creation of numerous council-owned high-rise flats on the city's outskirts, the renewal of city-centre housing and the Glasgow Overspill plan which moved several hundred thousand people to nearby New Towns, such as East Kilbride, Cumbernauld and Irvine.
- Glasgow began as a religious centre with a monastery built by St Kentigern (also known as St. Mungo) in the 6th Century. During the 12th century the town became a burgh (c.1190), gained a cathedral (consecrated 1197) and an archbishopric. It became an educational centre with the founding of the University of Glasgow (1451).
- The town remained small by Scottish standards, in 1649 it became the country's fourth largest burgh but by 1670 it was the second largest, behind Edinburgh. Its position was ideal for access to Edinburgh, the Highlands and Ireland, and its wealth grew through a ready supply of natural resources (coal and fish). It was not suited to European trade but grew during the 17th and 18th centuries through the Atlantic trade (tobacco and, to some extent, slaves) and through the rise of manufacturing (e.g., soap-making, distilling, glass-making, sugar and textiles). Textile production used coal in steam-driven cotton mills and power-loom factories; other industries included bleaching, dyeing and fabric printing.
- By the early 19th century Glasgow was the second city of the Empire but endured many of the side effects of industrial growth (social deprivation, infant mortality). With its growing importance, Glasgow attracted a large number of immigrants (Irish, Jewish, Italian and East European) who contributed greatly to the economy and local community.
- The economic base of the city shifted to heavy industry in the late 19th century with the expansion of shipbuilding and engineering, which, susceptible to economic downturns, resulted in Glasgow being classed as a "depressed area" in the 1930s.
- In the 1970s many city centre buildings were destroyed to make room for motorways yet much of the city escaped intact and Glasgow was awarded the status of European City of Architecture and Design in 1999. It has also been the European City of Culture (1990) and founded a long running community campaign under the slogan 'Glasgow's Miles Better'.
- Glasgow grew in the 19th and 20th centuries through textiles, coal, iron, steel, shipbuilding, engineering, chemical works, brewing, and by making paper, china and glass. Much of the city's heavy engineering and shipbuilding closed in the 1960s and 1970s and today it is primarily a service economy. The largest areas of growth have been in banking, finance and 'business services'; distribution, hotels and restaurants; energy and water; and public administration, education, and health. Other areas of strength predicted for the future include retail, telephone services, software, tourism and media. The city has three universities: the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde, and Glasgow Caledonian University.
Also worth reading are the description from GENUKI taken from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, of 1887, and also the Statistical Accounts for the 1830s and the 1790s (see the reference below). Wikipedia is another modern-day description. For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Glasgow. The first three sub-sections of "History" expand the above article.
The vast expansion of Glasgow in the first half of the 19th century, before civil registration came into being, makes finding births, marriages and deaths in this time frame exceedingly difficult, and the information obtained may be very limited.
Absorbtion of Neighbouring Parishes and Communities
Several times during the 19th and 20th centuries, Glasgow was extended to take in nearby villages, neighbourhoods, and even parishes. Many of these places would continue to be known by their own names long after they became part of the city--some up to the present day. The list below is only a summary. Talking Scot provides a list of all the changes in Registration Districts 1855-1996.
In 1846 the following places were amalgamated into Glasgow (most, but not all, of these places were on the north, east and south of the city):
In 1891 a further area to the west and southwest of the city was absorbed, including
In 1912 another group of parishes and burghs was taken in:
It is wise to check records for Glasgow as well as in the individual parishes because some types of records may have moved over to Glasgow's jurisdiction while others may have stayed with the former parish.
Dates of Glasgow's Old Parish Registers
Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses
- FamilySearch (Indexes only)
- 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.
- The FamilySearch Wiki article on Glasgow provides direct reference to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the parish. It is worth reading through this whole wiki page and the subsidiary ones.
Sources for Cemetery Information
- The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN holds the records of some twenty Glasgow cemeteries 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 unindexed chronological order. Some of these cemeteries have been transcribed and published by The Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society.
Further Sources of Reference
- Glimpses of Glasgow, by Andrew Aird, 1894. An ebook from the Glasgow Digital Library. The first section is an almost street-by-street description of Glasgow discussing its progress from the 1840s to the 1890s. Many suburbs and localities are covered.
Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.
- GENUKI article on Glasgow
- Scottish Places article on Glasgow--more information may be found by following the tabs on the right. The parish maps in this series are very useful. The map for Glasgow is extremely useful. A click on "historical" and a slight magnitude rise from default brings up the names of the streets. This map covers an area south and west to East Kilbride and north to Strathblane in Dunbartonshire (both of which appear quite rural). The date of the historical map was not found, but appears to be before 1900 or perhaps before 1880.
- The Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society website contains a plethora of information about the area both inside and outside Glasgow itself.
- The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN. For those who can get to Glasgow, the Mitchell Library has many facilities for Family History research in its Glasgow Collection and linked Family Search Room on the 5th floor. These include
- old parish registers (generally meaning the Church of Scotland records) and census returns (for Glasgow, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire) on microfilm.
- cemeteries, as described above
- Glasgow Poor Law applications 1851-1915 for Glasgow City and Barony (complete transcription); Govan (ongoing transcription);Lanarkshire Poor Law applications to 1900 (complete transcription); and Dunbartonshire Parishes (ongoing transcription);
- Strathclyde area Police Registers from c1850 to c1930 (complete transcription)
- Glasgow Militia records 1810-1831 (complete transcription)
- Glasgow Burgh Register of Sasines 1694-1809 (ongoing transcription).
Many of the transcriptions available at the Mitchell Library have been prepared by members of the The Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society on a voluntary basis.
- 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.