Re: COMRIE parish or MUTHILL?

Ken Harrison

Anne and Josephine have touched on the original reason why I raised this question.
There is a lot of bad information on line and it can be a lot of work to sort the good out of the bad.
Josephine listed some of the information available on line for my supposed family in the Muthill area; some of it is good, some is bad., but I am trying to prove/disprove each item.

The Muthill records in the late 18th Century are a mixture of clear, ordered listings together with a confused jumble, with gaps. An explanation for the shortage of records was provided on this List in 2007 from "Col in Crieff" [are you still reading this, Col?]: Muthill OPRs were destroyed in the early [19th?] century and the re-written baptisms listed in family groupings which whilst useful is open to error . Finally do not forget Muthill (especially to the north) was a very Episcopalian area and produced a separate baptismal list reproduced by the Rev Hallen covering 1697 to 1847. In 2009 Col posted a more detailed message: "The Muthill OPRs were destroyed by a fire in the Parish Clerk's house! Whether he was sober or not is perhaps a moot point. He seems to have been replaced as a direct outcome. His successor went around gathering details from local residents and posting them in the new register hence the non chronological order that appears with entries in family groupings. There are of course other sources to be followed. Hallen's Episcopal Church (St James) register of baptisms is unique and shows the level of support in the area for the "old kirk". In nearby Crieff a considerable number of entries are not shown on ScotlandsPeople. These are mainly Catholic, Relief and Secession churches whose baptismal records are in Scottish Archives. Some appear as IGIs [on] Family Search web site".

My family's records fall into this group of re-constructed records.

Josephine suggested I list more details and so I will do that now, starting with the most recent first and working backwards in time, indicating records which I have proven (marked "P") by viewing the "original" OPR on microfilm (and have jpg copies filed), together with those which are shown on FamilySearch and Ancestry and not yet proven (marked "NY"), or searched for and found not to be in the original documents (marked "??"). I would appreciate ANY advice on the places or names shown below.

Starting with the marriage of my great-great-grandparents, found in both of their home parishes:
P - Eastwood, Renfrew:
"October 31st, James Murray - cloth lapper - Thornlybank - and Margaret Sinclair in Parish of Muthill were registered for proclamation for 3 days - the above were married at Pollokshaws, 20th November, 1829 by James Pringle, minister"
P - Muthill, OPR, 1829, page 138: "James Murray Par. of Eastwood & Margaret Seymour Masterton Sinclair in this Par. Proclaimed Nov 1, Nov 8th, Nov 15. [all other entries on page say in next column "Married", and most show the date and minister who performed marriage; this entry has this column blank, suggesting that it occurred elsewhere]"

G-G-gmother Margaret Sinclair:
P - In 1851 & 1861 shown born in BRACO; in 1871 and 1881 shown born in MUTHILL.
P - Muthill OPR, page 74, in a section in which family groups were recorded as much as 40 years after the baptism of some children, written at least as late as September 1806 (from one entry on the page):
Sinclair: Margaret Symore [sic] Mafterton Sinclair Daughter of the above Archibald Sinclair and Margaret MENZIE [sic] was born 23d April 1804
[NOTE the phrase "above Archibald"; 2 brothers are listed above, on same page, one born 1802 and the other 1806]:
P - "Sinclair: Archibald Son of Archibald Sinclair and Margaret McKENZIE in DUNDUFF was baptized the fourth of April Eighteen hundred and two.
P - John Sinclair their Son born Ninth bapd 17th Augt. 1806"

Margaret's parents' data has not been proven. The following persons may or may not be connected and may represent one, two or even three different couples (or two generations). The coincidence of names in a relatively small locale lends credence to their connection:

?? - IGI shows the marriage for Archibald and Margaret in 1801 in MUTHILL and a son Archibald born 4th of April in MUTHILL. [I have read Muthill register without finding these]

P - MONZIEVAIRD: (film 1040335): "1799 March 24th Archibald Sinclair and Margaret McKENZIE in CLATHICK their child Malcolm" [this is the standard wording in this book and does not appear to suggest they were not married. This register combines marriages & baptisms and I read back to 1790 w/o finding marriage.]

FamilySearch shows another possible match to 2 other children born before the supposed marriage above, christened in COMRIE in 1793 and 1795 from FHL Film 1040075:
NY - Archibald Sinclair & Margaret McKinzie /McKENZIE Married 25 July 1791 COMRIE
NY - Bettridge Baptism 2 June 1793 COMRIE
P - "COMRIE Janury 1795: 10 Archibald Sinclair in GUALNACARRIE and his spouse Margaret McKENZIE had their Lawful son Baptised named ---- Donald"
[FS incorrectly states this birth as June - this is the page I sent to List yesterday]

NY - Archibald born 21 April 1782 in MUCKHART to Henry SINCLAIR and MARY SHARP.

Film no 1040075:
NY - Archibald Sinclair & Margaret Sinclair Married 1 Aug 1774 COMRIE
NY - Helen born 20 Aug 1774 Baptism 30 Oct 1774 COMRIE

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Anne Burgess via
Sent: April 6, 2020 4:05 AM
Subject: Re: [ScotGen] COMRIE parish or MUTHILL?

I agree.

Bear in mind that the concept of 'correct spelling is largely a 20th century innovation. In the late 18th century there was no such thing as 'correct' spelling.

I looked at that map but didn't go far enough up Glen Artney.

It's one of the exclaves of the parish of Monzievaird and Strowan lying between the parish of Comrie and the parish of Muthill. There were quite a lot of fragmented parishes, but most of them were tidied up in a reorganisation of boundaries in about 1891.

As for the conflicting information in Ancestry, you need to check carefully the origin of each of the details listed. If it's a microfilm of the original parish registers, which are held in Edinburgh and available online at, that is a primary source and reliable, although errors are not unknown. If it's from a submitted family tree, or if the marriage dates are a guess by some transcriber based on a date of birth of a child, they are not to be trusted. [b]Never, ever, believe anything you find online unless it's an image of an original primary source.[/b]

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