New Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Aberdeenshire Gotoarrow.png New Deer

Parish #225

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


DEER, NEW, a parish, in the district of Deer, county of Aberdeen, 6 miles (E. S. E.) from Cuminestown; containing the village of Kirktown of New Deer. This parish originally formed a part of Old Deer, and was separated from it in the early part of the seventeenth century; it was at first termed Auchreddy, from the land on which the church is built, and this name is engraved on the communionplate, with the date 1694. The old church was built in 1622, and an aisle was added to it in 1773. In 1838, however, another church was erected; it is a neat edifice in the later English style, and affords accommodation for 1600 persons. At Savock is a chapel of ease built in 1834, which contains 700 sittings. The parish also contains three meeting-houses belonging to the United Secession, and one in connexion with 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 New Deer, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086502 (12 fiche)

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—

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: Early leaves of the record are very much wasted, and many entries have been partially, some entirely destroyed. The record is blank December 1726–January 1729. Mothers’ names not recorded June 1718–1747.
Marriages: There is no entry for 1722. Record is blank December 1723–May 1744, except a few entries between April and August 1742. Record is also blank October 1753–May 1765, and August 1670 to 1784 except for two entries 1775.
Deaths: Burials are blank from June 1700–1784; after which only the names of deceased persons are recorded. After April 1792 there is only one entry of burial for 1831.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.
Monumental Inscriptions: FHL Book 941.25/N2 V3s.

 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 1705–1727, 1737, one page, 1795–1862
Accounts 1705–1709
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1119.

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.

Whitehill Secession Church

This congregation originated with the secession of “The Four Brethren” in 1732. The minister did not secede but many of his parishioners did, joining with others from Old Deer, Tarves, and Methlick to form the Secession Congregation of Craigdam. With this congregation they remained connected until 1766 when, with the seceders in Old Deer, they were separated and formed into the United Congregations of Clola and Whitehill, with a place of worship at each. After 1777 the minister chose to confine his ministrations solely to Clola, so the congregation split and Whitehill obtained its own minister. First church built in 1770, second in 1823.
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.

No known surviving Records.

New Deer Associate Burgher Presbyterian Church =

This congregation, known as Artamford from its location in a wood of that name, originated in some difference which took place among the members of the congregation of Whitehill, which led a portion of them to apply for supply of sermon to the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Aberdeen, which was granted in 1803. Church built in 1804. This congregation became United Presbyterian in 1847.
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.

Congregational minutes 1850–1898
Other post-1855 Records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/245.

Savoch of Deer United Associate Presbyterian Church

This church was located 6 miles south–east of New Deer. It originated in a system of itineracies by the United Associate Presbytery of Aberdeen soon after the union of the two great branches of the Secession in 1820. Place of worship was two thatched cottages thrown together until a church was built in 1828.
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.

Baptismal Register 1833–1928
Session Minutes 1830–1842
Managers’ Minutes Book 1828–1917
Other pre-1855 Records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1484.

New Deer Free Church

This congregation was begun as a mission immediately after the Disruption. The services were held at first in a booth in the market–place. A wooden church was erected at Culsh in 1843. The charge was sanctioned in August 1844. A church was erected on the site of the wooden building in 1845. A new church was built in 1885, in the village of New Deer. The growth of a large village at New Maud railway station brought an accession to the congregation.
Membership: 1848, 265; 1900, 275.
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.

No known surviving Records.

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

New Deer 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 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.

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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 19 June 2014.

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