Birse, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Birse. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
- 1 History
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
BIRSE, a parish, in the district of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen, 2½ miles (E. S. E.) from Aboyne. This place was formerly called Press, a word of Gaelic origin, signifying a wood or thicket, and most probably used in reference to the extensive forest and woods in the district. The church, inconveniently situated in the north-western part of the parish, is a neat substantial edifice, erected in 1779, and capable of accommodating between 500 and 600 persons. There is a Roman Catholic chapel near Ballogie.
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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.
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 Birse as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Years||Family History Library Film Number||Surname Indexes|
|1881||0203452||6086502 (12 fiches)|
The 1901 and 1911 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1911, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.
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
|Event Type||Years Covered||Family History Library Number|
|Deaths:||No entries|| |
Condition of Original Registers—
Index: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: The first page contains irregular entries for 1760–1823. There are only two entries dated prior to 1760. Mothers’ names not recorded in the entries until 1814. After 1819 is another record for 1758–1788, containing a number of entries previously omitted.
Marriages: The record was regularly kept from the commencement in 1782.
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 and Accounts 1698–1707, 1726–1744, 1765–1866
List of Inhabitants 1804–1805, 1812–1825
Ramsay Mortification Minutes and Accounts 1800–1838
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/595.
CH2/595 Records of Birse Kirk Session 1698-1942 National Archives of Scotland Online Catalog
CH2/595/17 List of men in parish of Birse from 17 to 66, supposed to be capable of carrying arms Mar 1797
CH2/595/21 Accounts and discharges 1680-1909
CH2/595/22 Correspondence 1721-1935
CH2/595/23 Miscellaneous papers 1692-1926
CH2/595/25 Printed papers 1801-1908
CH2/595/26 Miscellaneous papers 1645-1823
CH2/595/27 2 sermons 1863-1908
CH2/1305 Records of Strachan Kirk Session 1783-1948
The Kirkyard of Birse in Aberdeen has been indexed by the North-East Scotland Family History Society.
Family History Library
Online listing is available through the: Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City also has a copy Family History Library online Catalog
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.
Roman Catholic Church
The church was located at Ballogie. No further History is available.
Note: Now available online for a fee at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. RH 21/12.
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.
Birse 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 www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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. Ancestry.co.uk 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.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 12 June 2014.
Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.