Kincardine, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
Parish # 71
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Kincardine. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
KINCARDINE, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 14 miles (W. N. W.) from Tain; containing part of the parish which formed the late quoad sacra parish of Croich. This place perhaps derives its name, of Celtic origin, signifying "the termination of the heights," from its situation at the extremity of some ranges of lofty hills. The church is a neat substantial structure, erected in 1799, and containing 650 sittings. In the steeple is a fine-toned bell which was found in a French ship of war of 74 guns, captured in 1775 by Admiral Sir John Lockhart Ross, of Balnagown. A church was erected by parliamentary grant, in 1827, at Croich, a remote pastoral district; and another portion of this extensive parish is under the care of a missionary connected with the Established Church, whose charge also extends over a part of the parish of Criech, in the county of Sutherland. The members of the Free Church have also a place of worship.
The name of this parish is of Celtic origin, being derived from Cinn-na’n-Airdean, signifying the extremities of the heights: several lofty ranges of hills coming to a termination here. The parish of Kincardine is partly in the county of Ross, and partly in the county of Cromarty.
There is no market-town in the parish; the nearest in Tain, which is thirteen miles from the church of Kincardine.
The first era to which reference can be made in the history of this parish, is the fourteenth century, in which the battle of Tuiteam-Tarbhach took place. This was also known as the Battle of Tuttim-Tawach in which a Scottish clan battle fought between the Clan MacLeod of Lewis against the Clan MacKay in the year of 1406.
The clan Ross, as far back as tradition goes, were the proprietors and inhabitants of this district. They still retain three-fourths of the property in the parish, and are by much the most prevalent name in it. The landed proprietors of this parish, who are all non-resident, are: Sir Charles W. A. Ross, Bart. of Balnagown; Hugh A.J. Munro, Esq. of Novar; John Hay Mackenzie, Esq. of Cromartie; George Ross, Esq. of Pitcalnie, the chief of the Rosses; William Robertson, Esq. of Kindeace; His Grace the Duke of Sutherland; Robert Ross, Esq. of Invercarron; and Sir Hugh Munro, Bart. of Foulis.
The earliest census of the population of this parish, so far as is now known was 1755 and the population at that time was 1743 people. In 1790, there were about 1600 persons, and by 1831 there were 1887 people living in the parish.
Sheep-farming was introduced in the parish by Sir John Lockhart Ross of Balnagown, and now there are large numbers grazing the land.
The parish church is situated within a mile of the eastern extremity of the parish; its situation is of inconvenience for the bulk of the population, its distance from the western extremity being no less than thirty-four miles. It was built in 1799, and affords accommodation for 600 persons; but it is too small for the congregation that usually attend. The sittings in the church have been divided by the heritors according to their valued rents, and the tenants on their estates have free access to them. There are no seat-rents.
The register of baptisms and marriages commences about forty-three years ago, the date of the earliest entry being August 21, 1797, since which period it has been regularly kept. It consists of two volumes; the dates of births have not been kept in the first, but commence with the second volume, in May 1804. The minutes of the Kirk-session of Kincardine commence on the 21st of May 1804, previous to this date, no records of the session exist. There is no register of deaths of burials.
This account was written August 1840.
Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland for Kincardine, FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 14.
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 you are interested in. 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 Kincardine as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|| FHL Film Number
|| Surname Indexes|
|| 6037266 (6 fiches)|
|| 941.16/K2 X22r|
|| 6086658 (4 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.
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 Numbers|
|Birth:||1804-1854||0990654 item 1|
|Marriage:||1804-1854||0990654 item 1|
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: Births and marriages are intermixed, otherwise they were regularly kept.
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 the 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 1804–1819, 1825, 1830, 1851
Minutes and Accounts 1845–1855
Heritors Minute’s 1844–1854
Other post-1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1356.
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.
Kincardine Free Church
The minister of the parish, and his congregation adhered to the Free Church at the Disruption. They worshiped in a shed erected near the parish church. About 1849 a church was built at Gledfield and a manse was erected at Lower Gledfield.
Membership: 1859, 420; 2900, 42.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including ministers.
The extent of records is unknown.
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.
Kincardine was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Ross until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Ross & Cromarty. 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 Ross & Cromarty and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Ross.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Ross & Cromarty. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Ross & Cromarty 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: 1 August 2014.
Return to Ross & Cromarty parish list.