Kennedys in the 1851 census of Scotland

Authored by Iain Kennedy 16th March 2006

Copyright © 2007 Iain Kennedy

Recently the official Scottish records web site ScotlandsPeople has made available the entire 1851 census, the earliest full online census (there is an 1841 census which is available on microfilm or, in some cases, index booklets). Below is some meta-data similar to that I show elsewhere for the 1851 England census.

Kennedys by county (showing all entries with 100+ Kennedys)

Lanark 1296
Glasgow City 1031
Inverness 877
Ayr 735
Perth 610
Argyll 523
Midlothian 393
Angus 371
Edinburgh City 360
Renfrew 360
Dumfries 349
Aberdeen 295
Ross and Cromarty 228
Dundee City 188
Wigtown 180
Stirling 160
Fife 122
Roxburgh 109

Note that the web site somewhat confusingly lists a separate 'county' for the big cities, so for example the Lanark count includes Glasgow City etc. If we ignore the industrialised urban centre of Glasgow then the top 3 counties are what we would expect - the ancestral county of Ayrshire along with the Highland branch started by Ulrich and its descendants in Perthshire. On the east coast the name is much rarer.

Continuing to focus especially on Perthshire and the Perthshire-Lochaber/Ulrich connection, I list the top Perthshire counties. More analysis will follow when I have tracked all these parishes on the Perthshire parish map of the time. Generally, again as predicted, we are looking at concentration in the NW corner of the county closest to Lochaber, in line with the alleged migration. Unfortunately the century between the failed uprising in 1745 and this early census saw significant depopulation of some of these parishes. In particular Fortingall had lost most of its Kennedys who either went overseas, moved south in Scotland or down to England. Once more I refer interested readers to the excellent online map section of the National Library of Scotland.

All Perthshire parishes with 10+ Kennedys in 1851

Perth City 77
Logierait 60
Aberfeldy 41
Dull 41
Moulin 41
Blairgowrie 38
Rattray 38
Auchtergaven 25
Fortingall 24
Kilmadock 24
Moneydie 23
Redgorton 23
Muthill 20
Little Dunkeld 18
Comrie 16
Fowlis Wester 15
Kinnoull 14
Monzie 14
Scone 14
Kirkmichael 12
Blair Atholl 11
Dowally 11
Blackford 10
Tibbermore 10