Cabrach, Aberdeenshire, Scotland GenealogyEdit This Page

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Aberdeenshire Gotoarrow.png Cabrach

Parish #177

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Cabrach.  To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.



CABRACH, a parish, partly in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, but chiefly in the county of Banff, 12 miles (W.) from Clatt. The church is a plain edifice, erected about 1786.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at edina.($)  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Cabrach as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year     FHL Film Number Surname Index
1841 1042653


1851 1042113 none
1861 103779 none
1871 103929 none
1881 203453 6086502 (12 fiche)
1891 208673 none

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($)  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.

Church Records

 The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Record Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1711-1854 0991260
Marriages: 1722-1854 0991260
Deaths: 1784-1794 0991260


Condition of Original Registers—

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index available on computersat the Family History Library and family history centers.  Some of these records may be indexed and searchable on
Births: With the exception of one entry for 1717, the record is blank for June 1714–September 1722. With the exception of one entry for 1730, it is also blank for October 1729–December 1738. There are only three entries for June 1741–November 1743 and three entries for December 1744–July 1746. Mothers’ names not recorded in the entries until 1747. After the record for 1819, there is a separate register of the children of Roman Catholics for 1767–1819, the dates in which are irregular.
Marriages: With the exception of one entry, the record is blank for October 1729–December 1738, and also for May 1740–November 1747.
Deaths: Burial records are contained on one page.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of he minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Minutes 1731–1891
Cash Books 1740–1882
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/45.

Nonconformist Church Records

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union List.

Cabrach United Presbyterian Church

A loose congregation was formed here in 1761 after visits from the Secession minister of Elgin. From that time until about 1769, there was occasional preaching in Cabrach. The first minister was ordained in 1771. There was no regular minister here from 1800.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details are given in the source.

There are no known pre-1855 records.

Cabrach Congregational Church

This congregation was formed in 1804 and shared the Cabrach Anti-burgher chapel. There was also a place of worship in Rhynie parish and by 1808 that had become the principal place of worship for the area and Cabrach had been reduced to a preaching station.

See Rhynie parish.

Civil Registration Records

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.

See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records

Cabrach was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Aberdeen until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Aberdeen. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at scotlandspeople.($) You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Aberdeen and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Aberdeen. also has many probate records for Scotland and Scottish people indexed from 1861-1941($)

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Aberdeen. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Aberdeen and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.<


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 12 June 2014.

Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.


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  • This page was last modified on 31 January 2016, at 05:10.
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