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Home: Surnames: Renfrew Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Renfrew Family in Neilston
Posted by: Jim Renfrew Date: August 06, 2001 at 00:16:35
In Reply to: Re: Renfrew Family in Neilston by Scott A Renfrew of 145

In response to your efforts to trace your ggggrandfather’s Brother, it is quite difficult given the date of 1804. Compulsory registration of births, deaths and marriages was introduced in the UK in 1853. Before that time your only hope is either a family bible or if you knew the area your ancestors hailed from then examine the parish registers, (if they were God fearing people).
One route is to write to all the churches in the town of Paisley (Where Blackstowne Mains is situated) area asking for a search to be done against a surname or a specific person. The minister usually charges a nominal fee or asks for a donation to the fabric fund. This only works for Protestant Churches, as some other denominations especially Roman Catholic refuse to give out information. This shouldn’t be a problem, as the vast majority of Renfrews that I know in Scotland (and that is hundreds) are Presbyterians. In 1804 this would undoubtedly be the case as the large influx of Roman Catholicism to Scotland (from Ireland) came some 40 years later.
I am an elder of a church in the Presbytery of Paisley, and I will attempt to obtain a list of Church Addresses for you if you can provide me with an e mail address. I will also attempt to shorten this list down to those churches, which existed in 1804, and highlight those close to the particular area. This may shorten your search initially.
Another route is to visit your nearest Mormon Stake. They hold micrifiche copies of church registers (by county) from all over the world.
An even better source is the web site for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (
One last hope is Shipping Lists. All of the major shipping companies held passenger lists (in case the ship went down). The company in question may not now be in business however it is worth a try to check with the major shipping lines still around to see if there is a Renfrew listed around that time.
Sorry I can't offer more.

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