Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Nonconformist ChurchesEdit This Page

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United Presbyterian Congregations

Including Associate, General Associate, Burgher, Anti-burgher, Relief, United Secession, and others.

Nether Kirkgate Burgher Church (later Melville Free Church)

History—
This is the original Secession church of Aberdeen. While the minister of St. Nicholas Parish was favorable to the causes of the Secession, he himself did not secede. Those under his ministry who were favorable to seceding were formed into a congregation shortly after the Breach in 1747. In 1795 the congregation was divided over the Old Light Controversy. The majority retained possession of the church and the minister and the minority were put out, which was confirmed by the courts. The minister resigned and the minority dispersed to other churches. The majority adhered to the Original Burgher Synod until 1839 when, with the majority of that denomination, they reconnected themselves with the Established Church. At the Disruption in 1843, they adhered to the Free Church. See also the Melville Free Church.
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.

Records—
Various Minutes 1757–1879, 1896–1920
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/922.

Belmont Street

History—
Seven persons belonging to the Nether Kirkgate Associate congregation acceded to the General Associate, Anti-burgher Synod shortly after the Breach in 1747. They met with the congregation at Craigdam until 1777 when they were formed as a separate congregation with 40 communicants. This congregation was admitted to the United Secession Church in 1827.
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.

Records—
Various Minutes 1841–1921
Other post-1855 records are also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1206.

Charlotte Street, later Blackfriars Church of Scotland

History—
The minister of Belmont Street broke with the United Secession Synod about 1837 and formed this congregation in Gallowgate. After his death in 1840, his adherents were restored to the United Secession Synod and formed as a congregation. This congregation later reunited with the Established Church.
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.

Records—                                    Family History Library Film Number
Baptismal Register 1845–1903         1482994
Duplicate of 1845–1855                    0304670
Managers’ Minutes 1840–1857         1482994
Note: Other post-1855 records are available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record #CH3/3.

George Street United Secession Congregation

History—
When in 1820 the minister of Belmont Street would not accede to the Union of the two branches of the Secession, a large minority of his congregation withdrew from his ministry and formed a United Secession congregation.
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.

Records—
Various Minutes 1821–1878
Other post-1855 records are also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/489.

St. Nicholas Lane

History—
When a new minister was appointed to Nether Kirkgate in 1795, prior to the Old Light Controversy, a large minority of the congregation was opposed to him and upon petition they were recognized as a separate congregation by the Burgher Synod. Their first church was built on Belmont Street and their second built on St. Nicholas Lane in 1802.
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.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.

First Relief Church

History—
When a new minister was appointed to the Gilcomston Chapel of Ease, a difference took place among the members and the dissatisfied party applied to the Relief Presbytery of Perth for supply of sermon, which was granted in 1771. They built a church on Belmont Street in 1778. In 1791, when a second Relief church was formed, the minister and members of the first church applied to the Established Church as a Chapel of Ease and were recognized. After the minister’s death, this congregation became extinct.
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.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.

Second Ship Row Relief Church

History—
This church was formed 1780 as a result of a disagreement over the election of a minister for the First Church. Some members withdrew, obtained the minister of their choice, and were recognized by the Old Relief Presbytery as a separate congregation in 1791. Their place of worship was in Ship Row. After the resignation of their minister in 1806, this congregation dispersed and the place of worship sold.
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.

Records—
Minutes 1780–1798
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/926.

St. Paul Relief Church

History—
About 1805, some members of the Second Relief Church withdrew and applied for supply of sermon from the Relief Presbytery of Perth, which was granted. First church built in 1805 on St. Andrew’s Street; second built on St. Paul’s Street in 1842.
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.

Records—
Various Minutes 1807–1912
Baptismal Register 1807–1892
Proclamations 1807–1858
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/927.

Free Presbyterian Congregations

History—
Banchory-Devenick is a parish on the border of Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire. Preparation had been made beforehand, and when the Disruption took place a congregation was at once organized. The membership in 1844 was over 400, but the opening of daughter churches soon reduced it. In 1850 ground was given to the Free Church for a burying place.
Membership: 1848, 190; 1900, 188
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.

Bon-Accord Free Church

History—
The minister and congregation of this church “came out” at the Disruption. The church building was bought for the Free Church. As a central city charge, the congregation suffered from the movement of the better off classes to suburban districts.
Membership: 1848, 570; 1900, 392.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Baptisms 1843–1855
Post-1855 records also available. See the Union Terrace Kirk Sessions for earlier records.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/874.

Commerce Street, Mariners Free Church

History—
The minister and congregation of this church, formerly Mariner’s Church, “came out” in 1843, and for some months retained the church. A new church was erected on Commerce Street in 1844. The congregation consisted largely of seamen.
Membership: 1848, 324; 1900, 334.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1846–1866
Other post-1855 records are also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/918.

East Free Church

History—
The minister of this parish, and the main body of his congregation, “came out” in 1843. The congregation suffered from its distance from the more eligible residential parts of the town. It was always prominent in Home Mission enterprise.
Membership: 1848, 1060; 1900, 1033.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Minutes 1843–1973
Post-1855 records also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1205.

Gilcomston Free Church

History—
The minister and congregation of this “quoad sacra” parish “came out” in 1843. Through the growth of the city this became one of the central new charges, especially to the west and north.
Membership: 1848, 1088; 1900, 638.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.

Greyfriars Free Church

History—
The minister of this parish, and many of his people, adhered to the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843. A church was erected on Crown Street.
Membership: 1848, 309; 1900, 210.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1853–1932
Other post-1855 records are also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/4.

Holburn Free Church

History—
This congregation represents Gilcomston Church of Scotland Chapel of Ease, the minister and almost the entire congregation of which “came out” at the Disruption. A church was erected in Bon-Accord Terrace.
Membership: 1848, 1000; 1900, 452.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Minutes 1837–1914
Post-1855 records also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/856.

John Knox Free Church

History—
The minister, and most of the congregation of the Church Extension charge, “came out” in 1843. A church and school were forthwith erected
Membership: 1848, 1100; 1900, 978.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Session Minutes 1841–1883
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1497.

Melville Free Church, formerly Original Secession

History—
The congregation, formerly Nether Kirkgate Original Burgher Secession, joined the Church of Scotland in 1839, and adhered to the Free Church in 1843, carrying their property with them. The church in Correction Wynd had been purchased n 1772.
Membership: 1848, 159; 1900, 591.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
See the Nether Kirkgate Burgher Church for records.

North Free Church

History—
The minister of the North Parish, and a large proportion of his congregation, adhered to the Free Church in 1843. A church and school were soon erected.
Membership: 1848, 450; 1900, 545.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Various Minutes 1843–1895
Post-1855 records also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/917.

Rutherford Free Church

History—
From sometime in the 1840s, religious meetings were conducted in the Northfield district of the city. However, the charge was sanctioned in 1868.
Membership: 1870, 203; 1900, 878.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
There are no known pre-1855 records.

St. Clement’s Free Church

History—
The minister, and nearly the entire congregation of St Clements’, “came out” in 1843. A church was built on Prince Regent Street. The congregation, situated in the east end, suffered from the westward movement of better to do people, from the closing of important works, and changes among the industrial population.
Membership: 1848, 1083; 1900, 761.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Extracts from the Kirk Session Records 1843–1859
Sabbath School Minutes
Admissions of Communicants 1844–1848
Roll of Male Communicants January 1857
Discipline Records 1843–1859
Biographies of Elders at the Time of the Disruption
Note: All of the above available in Rosemary Baxter’s Free St. Clement’s Aberdeen, FHL 941.25/A1 K2br; indexed.

St. Columba’s Free Church, Spring Gardens

History—
This Gaelic charge was originally known as Spring Gardens, and then as the Gaelic Church. The minister and congregation “came out” at the Disruption. A church and manse was erected.
Membership: 1848, 140; 1900, 167.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.

South Free Church

History—
The minister and congregation of the South parish “came out” in 1843. They built a church in 1843, in combination with the East and West Churches.
Membership: 1848, 1209; 1900, 1284.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Various Minutes 1843–1955
Post-1855 records also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/488.

Trinity Free Church

History—
The minister and congregation of Trinity Church adhered to the Free Church at the Disruption. A church was built on Crown Street.
Membership: 1848, 803; 1900, 874.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
There are no known surviving pre-1855 records.

Union Free Church

History—
The minister, and the great part of the congregation of this “quoad sacra” church, “came out” in 1843. The church was put up for sale and, with the sanction of the Presbytery, the congregation purchased it. As the character of the district changed, the membership decreased.
Membership: 1848, 890; 1900, 208.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Scroll Minutes 1842–1851
Post-1855 records also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/875.

West Free Church

History—
The minister and a large congregation of the West Church “came out” in 1843. They built a church in combination with the East and South Churches the same year.
Membership: 1848, 1150; 1900, 631.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Various Minutes 1843–1959
Post-1855 records also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/821.

Woodside Free Church

History—
The minister, and most all the congregation of Woodside Chapel of Ease, “came out” in 1843. The church and manse were awarded to the Free Church by the law courts on condition that it should undertake the burdens. The congregation suffered heavily through industrial disaster in 1846, but prospered with the improvement of the district.
Membership: 1848, 813; 1900, 683.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Records—
Various Minutes 1834–1976
Post-1855 records also available.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1259.

Other Denominations

For information on the churches and records of other denominations in Aberdeen, click here.


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