Renfrewshire Family History Society

Coronavirus Update – Click here

Renfrewshire Family History Society was founded in March 1999 and has Charitable status. It exists to promote the study of Family History, based on the County of  Renfrewshire encompassing Abbey Parish, Cathcart, EagleshamErskineEastwood, Greenock, Houston & Killellan, Inchinnan, Inverkip, Kilbarchan, Kilmacolm, Lochwinnoch, Mearns, Neilston, Paisley, Port Glasgow and Renfrew.

Latest 27th March 2021

It is with much sadness that we have to report the death of our good friend, former Chair, co-founder and Honorary President, David Rowand. David died peacefully at home on Sunday 28th Feb 2021.
Please see the tribute to David published in the Paisley Daily Express

Due to the issues surrounding Coronavirus we are changing the way we interact with our members. We intend to communicate with members where possible using Zoom.

Lorraine Murray (Archivist Inverclyde) – “James Watt’s Legacy in Greenock and The Watt Institution”
15th April 2021 at 19:30
All Meeting Details here

Lorraine Murray the archivist for Inverclyde Archives, based at the Watt Institution in Greenock.
“Lorraine’s talk will be about the history of what’s known as the Watt Institution, which comprises of three separate buildings: the Watt Library, the Watt Hall, and the McLean Museum.
“The earliest of these three buildings was originally known as the Watt Library, occasionally referred to as the Watt Monument Library. This was actually the home given to a much earlier subscription library in Greenock, which was started in 1783. And apparently – from what I’ve heard – it’s earlier than Glasgow Library and Stirling Library. So it’s possibly the oldest, if not one of the oldest, subscription libraries in Scotland.”

New – Paisley’s Fallen in the War 1914-1918 (revised and edited)

A PDF copy of this book may be viewed here.

New Research Facilities at Paisley Abbey

Due to the current issues surrounding Coronavirus and the resultant closure of Paisley Abbey we have sadly had to announce the suspension of our facilities at Paisley Abbey.

Updated 27th March 2021

We are now in Paisley Abbey, Cathcart Aisle on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10am – 11.45am. Both days are manned by RFHS volunteers who will help anyone in their search for family.

Our volunteers at our ‘home’ in the Abbey – are a welcoming bunch!



Membership is available to anyone with an interest in family history in, or relating to Renfrewshire, on payment of the annual subscription. Membership entitlements will include Society newsletters and guidance with Family History Research.

Select Membership for details of how to join our Society


The Society publishes a Journal twice in the year, which is issued to its members without charge. Articles of interest are published as well as records of meetings. Contributions and ideas are always welcome.

Members may also include their interests which is published in our Journal free of

Select Journal 11 to view a sample of one of our Journals.