Dunnottar, Kincardineshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Scotland Gotoarrow.png Kincardineshire Gotoarrow.png Dunnottar

Parish #255

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


DUNNOTTAR, a parish, in the county of Kincardine; containing the village of Crawton, and a portion of the town of Stonehaven. This place, of which the Gaelic name is descriptive of the situation of its ancient castle on a peninsular promontory, appears to have been distinguished as the scene of some important events connected with the history of the country. The parish is situated on the road from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. The church, erected on the site of the former building in 1782, is a neat and commodious structure pleasingly situated.[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 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.

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 Dunnottar as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Family History Library Film Number

Surname Indexes
6086598 (2 fiches)

The 1901 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, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate 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
Family History Library Film Number


Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: 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: There are no entries 1677–1688 and April 1696–June 1698, there are ten entries April 1712–March 1721 and four entries April 1733–March 1737. After 1800 there are twelve pages of irregular entries, dated 1799–1807. After 1819 there is a supplementary record on twenty-two pages, dated 1787–1822. Mothers’ names are not recorded until about 1816.
Marriages: Except four entries 1676–1677, one entry 1718, and five transcribed entries of proclamations 1755–1759, there are no entries until February 1761.
Deaths: Except for five entries of deaths and burials 1796–1807, the record prior to 1810 consists only of seven pages of entries of Mortcloth Dues and funeral expenses for the poor. There is record of burials from 1820–1828.
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 1744–1900
Accounts 1713–1745
Poors’ Fund Accounts 1722–1736
Cash Book 1751–1810
Parishioners or Communicants 1834
Incomplete Census of Parish 1811–1821
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/110.

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.

Stonehaven Associate-Burgher, later United Presbyterian

Stonehaven is the county town of Kincardineshire, 15 miles south-west of Aberdeen, and twenty three miles north-east of Montrose. This congregation originated with some members of the congregation of St. Nicholas Lane, Aberdeen, who had gone to reside there. They applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Perth in 1803. The Church was built the same year. A new church was opened 1862.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873 Family History Library Film #477618

The extent of records is unknown.

Stonehaven Free Church

Anticipating the Disruption, an association had been formed here in February 1843. At the Disruption a congregation was at once constituted of the adherents of the Free Church in the parishes of Dunnottar and Fetteresso. A church was erected in 1843–1844 and a manse in 1852. The church was rebuilt in 1868–1869.
Membership: 1848, 300; 1900, 406.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914 Family History Library Film #918572
The extent of records is unknown.

Stonehaven St. James Episcopal Church

In 1792, there were two Episcopalian meetings in the town, one for members of the Church of England and the other for the Scotch Episcopalians, each with about 150 members, out of a total population of 1962. Episcopalians had probably been in the area since the late 1600s. No other history is known.
Source: The Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791–1799, Family History Library Book 941 B4savol. 14.

Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms 1756–1761, 1788–1789 0973063 item 3

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

Dunnottar was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of St. Andrews until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Stonehaven. 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 Kincardine and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of St. Andrews.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Kincardine. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Kindardine 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: 6 June 2014.

Return to Kincardineshire parish list.