Peterculter, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Peterculter. 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
PETERCULTER, a parish, in the district and county of Aberdeen, 7 miles (W. S. W.) from Aberdeen. This place is said to have derived the latter portion of its name, a compound of the Gaelic terms Cul, signifying "a back," and Tir, "a country or district," from its situation on the side of the river Dee; and the former, from the dedication of its old chapels and wells to St. Peter. It lays claim to a very remote antiquity, and is supposed, upon very unquestionable authority, to have been a Roman station. The church, situated on the bank of the Dee, was built in 1779; it is a neat substantial structure, and contains 550 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.
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 Peterculter, 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 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 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: There are no entries March 1660–November 1661. They are blank December 1664–June 1674, and April 1679–September 1682. Records are defective for 1699, also 1727–1731, inclusive. Appendix of irregular entries 1798–1825 occur after the record for 1820. Mothers’ names are recorded after 1784.
Marriages: Transcribed entries of proclamations prior to 1818, when record of marriages commences.
Deaths: Burials until 1650 and no entries May 1648–September 1649. Records are blank September 1650–March 1701. Mortcloth Dues from latter date to 1818. There is only one entry October 1730–January 1733 and no entries for 1748. Records are blank November 1750–January 1785, except one entry. At January 1818, a record of deaths and burials commences.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.
Monumental Inscriptions: FHL Book 941.25/P2 V3j.
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:
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/764.
Roll of Male Heads of Families
1834, 1835, 1836, 1837 and 1838 lists of male heads of families in this parish can be found here.
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.
Peterculter Free Church
The minister of the parish and many of his people “came out” in 1843. A church was erected within three months after the Disruption, and called Coutlaw Kirk. A manse also was provided. The church was vacated in 1895, but services continued to be held in it three times a year. The old manse was sold and a new one built with the proceeds. Peterculter church, manse, hall, and stables were all erected in 1895. The Free churches of Cults, Kingswells, and Drumoak were built for congregations, which formed part of Peterculter congregation at Coutlaw Kirk.
Membership: 1848, 332; 1900, 323.
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.
Deacon’s Court Minutes 1846–1880
Communion Roll 1851–1858
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/610.
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.
Peterculter 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 Aberden.
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: 19 June 2014.
Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.