Montrose’s History - Resources For Researchers


Advert for Montrose Races 1822
Advert for Montrose Races 1822

There are many resources available for the study of Montrose's past. Printed books and maps are held in Montrose Library, artefacts and photographs in Montrose Museum, while Angus Archives holds original sources, photographs and printed books

There are also many Montrose sources available in the National Archives of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland.

General sources:

Genealogy sources

Montrose Library holds a good range of genealogical sources for the Montrose area such as Old Parish Registers of pre-1855 births, marriages and deaths and the census (1841-1901) on microfilm plus the International Genealogical Index on microfiche.

Angus Archives holds the full collection of Angus IGI, OPR's and census on microfilm.


Montrose Library holds a variety of newspapers including the Montrose Review from 1811 on microfilm and the Montrose Standard. Montrose's newspapers have been not yet been indexed so you need to assign a sufficient amount of time to complete your search or have a rough date in mind. Newspapers are a real treasure trove of information on businesses, social history and individuals.

Newspapers are an invaluable source of local history - why?


Montrose Library holds a good selection of Montrose area maps, mainly Ordnance Survey.

Local History collection

Angus Archives and Montrose Library both house a large collection of books and pamphlets concerning the history of Montrose in particular. Angus Archives supplements this with an extensive collection of Angus wide material. The library catalogue is available online. Some titles are available for lending while others are strictly reference only. Items marked LH are only for consultation within the library or archive.

Archival sources held within Angus Archives

Montrose Town Council records

Montrose holds the most extensive collection of original sources in Angus, dating from the 14th century charters. The main body of records commences with the first surviving Town Council minute book of 1617, a sequence maintained unbroken until local government re-organisation in 1975. Other records encompass the work of the police commissioner minutes, licensing, housing, charities, legal documents, and a large collection of post 1875 Dean of Guild plans. In addition Montrose boasts a vast collection of burgh papers which include a wealth of information on many subjects such as the building of the Town House, the execution of Margaret Shuttleworth, 15th century trade disputes with Dundee and Forfar, job applications from 18th century Town officers etc The first Montrose Town Council minute book for 1617-1635 has been transcribed and indexed. The transcript is available in the reference collection of Angus Archives. A complete list of the records of Montrose Town Council is available.

These items are kept in an out store and must be ordered in advance of your visit to avoid disappointment.

Montrose in Angus County Council records (ACC)

MS767/1 Marriage Certificate of a Montrose Merchant to a Norweigan Bride
MS767/1 Marriage Certificate of a Montrose Merchant to a Norweigan Bride


School records comprise school logs, admissions registers and school board records from 1872 at the earliest.

Please note that the school records for Montrose Academy are not held by Angus Archives.

NB// School records are kept in the out store and MUST be ordered in advance. More recent volumes are subject to the Data Protection Act. Please consult archive staff for details.

Poor relief

Each parish had a parochial board that was in charge of distributing aid to the poor. Where Poor registers have survived they often offer the researcher extensive information about an individual.

NB// 20th Century poor relief records are subject to the Data Protection Act. Please consult archive staff for details.

Burial records

Burial records are available from

In addition, Angus Archives holds the survey of gravestones in Montrose Parish church carried out by the Montrose Society, and also has the Pre-1855 Gravestones of Angus publication

Angus Archives Miscellaneous Collection (MS) of major Montrose collections.

There are many Montrose items in the Miscellaneous archive collection. Further donations are also welcome.

The larger Montrose collections include:

There are many references to Montrose and Montrose people in other collections. We can search the CALM archive database on your behalf.

New donations of archival material and photographs are always welcome.

Other Montrose resources available in Angus Archives

Indexes available in the Angus Archives search room:

58:366 Montrose Smith's and Hammermen - surname index
58:374.01 Montrose Burgh Court Claims -surname, subject and place name index
58:387.1 Whittaker - Shipping Registered in Montrose in 1821
58:914 Plan of the Town of Montrose index -surname index
58:929.3 Burgesses c. 1690-1900 -surname index
58:929.5 Montrose Old Kirkyard Gravestones
58:941 Montrose Burgh Correspondence, Petitions etc., 1719-1838 -surname and subject index
58:941 Montrose Poor Assessment 1838 - surname index
58:941 Montrose Craftsmen listed in Montrose Yearbooks - surname index
58:941 Montrose Stent Rolls 1797, 1807, 1817 - surname indexes
58:941 Montrose Tollbooth, 1754-1789 - surname index of inmates
58:941 Montrose Tolbooth, 1789-1798 - surname index of inmates
58:941 List of Special Constables, 1839 - surname index
58:941 Index to James G. Low's Highways and Byeways
58:941 Index to Mitchell's History of Montrose, 1866
Card Index Montrose Dean of Guild plans c.1890-1974 - street index
58:941 Montrose newspaper cuttings 1896 - 1917

Montrose Photograph Collection

Paton's Mill on the Mid Links
Paton's Mill on the Mid Links

Angus Archives currently holds an excellent collection of photographs of Montrose and its people, from the late 19th century to the present day. The collection also includes some antiquarian prints and modern postcards. Photographic images comprise street views, industry, Provosts, the harbour, street scenes, historic buildings, aerial views, entertainment and local characters. The photographic collection of the Montrose Society within MS606 provides a complement to the Angus Archives collection and is also available to consult in the search room.

The photographic collections have not yet been indexed. Images of Montrose people included in local history publications are accessible through the Image Index available in the search room.

New additions to the photographic collection are always welcome. If you wish to assist us in identifying, indexing or scanning photographs please contact us on

Reproductions of copyright free photographs are available. Please request a price list.

Montrose Research Files

Angus Archives has a large and growing collection of files on many aspects of Montrose including industry, commerce, recreation, personalities, historic buildings, recreation and many other topics. They are an excellent place to begin your research.

The Angus Archives team is happy to answer any queries relating to Montrose sources by phone or email.

Please contact the Angus Archives team who will be happy to answer any queries relating to Arbroath sources.

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