Place:Douglas, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Coordinates55.55°N 3.85°W
Located inLanarkshire, Scotland     (1691 - 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


Douglas 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 138.7km2 (53.5 sq. miles) and had 5 neighbouring parishes: Carmichael, Crawfordjohn, Lesmahagow, and Wiston & Roberton in Lanarkshire and Muirkirk in Ayrshire.

Douglas is now located in the South Lanarkshire Council Area,some 2 miles (3 km) southwest of Douglas in South Lanarkshire and 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Kirkconnel in Dumfries and Galloway.

There are three settlements of size within the parish: the village of Douglas, Uddington, and New Mains (not to be confused with Newmains in North Lanarkshire). The village of Rigside straddles the eastern border of the parish. The river called the Douglas Water flows through the parish.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The village grew to service the nearby Douglas Castle, the seat of the Lords of Douglas. The first recorded mention of the Parish of Douglas is in a charter of Bricius de Douglas, Bishop of Moray dated between 1203-1222 to the monks of Kelso Abbey which is witnessed by Freskin Parson of Douglas, brother to the bishop. The castle was well established by the time of William the Hardy when he was called upon to imprison Hugh de Abernethy there in 1288 and where Abernethy died at some point before 1293. The castle was occupied for some time by English forces during the Scottish Wars of Independence. However the castle was liberated by Sir James Douglas when in 1307 he and some followers trapped the English garrison inside the Castle chapel whilst they were worshiping and burnt it to the ground, causing some damage to the castle.

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 Some of these may be superseded by more modern material.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 Douglas Parish Registers for the Church of Scotland provide information on baptisms (1691-1854), marriages (1698-1709, 1718-1719 and 1786-1854) and burials (1790-1792 and 1833--1854). See the FamilySearch Wiki article on Douglas 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 Douglas. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparative maps.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Douglas 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.