Fordoun, Kincardineshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Scotland Gotoarrow.png Kincardineshire Gotoarrow.png Fordoun Gotoarrow.png Parish #259

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


FORDOUN, a parish, in the county of Kincardine, 11 miles (W. S.W.) from Stonehaven; containing the village of Auchinblae This place, which is of remote antiquity, is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language the "front hill," from the situation of the church on the brow of the hill of Fenella, in front of the Grampian range. The church, erected in 1829, is a handsome structure in the later English style of architecture, with a tower at the west end, ninety-three feet in height; the interior is well arranged, and contains 1230 sittings. The burying-ground is inclosed by a wall of masonry, in which is an elegant gateway. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church.[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 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 Fordoun as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086598 (2 fiches)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on 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
FHL 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: Births are intermixed with marriages until 1771, after which a separate record is kept. The portion prior to 1741 is a copy. Entries of births for several years are frequently out of order. Mothers’ names are not recorded until 1812.
Marriages: Marriages are intermixed with births until 1771, after which a separate record is kept. The portion prior to 1741 is a copy.
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 1747–1849, with Heritors’ Minutes, 1788 and 1829
Minute Book of Discipline 1849–1875
Communion Rolls 1848–1903
Accounts 1747–1790
Cash Book 1817–1926
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/491.

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.

Fordoun Free Church

This congregation was organized at the Disruption. The church was built in 1843. The congregation suffered owing to the depopulation of the country districts.
Membership: 1848, 333; 1900, 137.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572.

FHL Film Number
Minutes 1843–1862 1484617 item 3
Session Minutes 1843–1911
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1843–1900
Treasurer’s Account Book 1845–1868
Minutes of the Church Defense and Free Church Associations 1841–1843
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/430.

Scottish Episcopal Church

Some transcriptions exist for one, Robert Sparks, containing baptism and marriage registers for Fordoun.   Spark's baptism and marriage register contain some Baptisms for  Fordoun  (as well as for Arbuthnott, Fettercairn, Fetteresso, Glenbervie, Kineff, Laurencekirk, Montrose, St. Cyrus), from 1800-1825, marriages from 1814-1825. These transcriptions are available at:

Archive Services, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN
tel: +44 (0) 1382 384095
fax: +44 (0) 1382 385523

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

Fordoun 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 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 Kincardine 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.