Portlethen, Kincardineshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Kincardineshire Gotoarrow.png Portlethen

Parish #251/2

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


PORTLETHEN, a village, in the parish of Banchory-Devenick, county of Kincardine, 7 miles (N. E. by N.) from Stonehaven. This is a small village on the eastern coast. The chapel is erected on the site of the ancient edifice, which, notwithstanding the additions made to it from time to time, was inadequate to contain the increasing population of the neighbourhood.[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.


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 Banchory Devenick as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
None none
None none
 6086598 ( 2 fiches)

The 1901 and 1911 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, 1841-1911, 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
No entries


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.


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:

CH2/1569       Records of Portlethen Kirk Session 1840-1988
CH2/1569/1/1 Portlethen Kirk Session: Minutes 1906-1960
CH2/1569/1/2 Portlethen Kirk Session: Minutes 1961-1988 Closed
CH2/1569/2/1 Portlethen Kirk Session: Trustees Board minutes 1901-1954
CH2/1569/2/2 Portlethen Kirk Session: Congregational Board minutes 1955-1978 Check details
CH2/1569/3/1 Portlethen Kirk Session: Churchyard ground rent book 1857-1920
CH2/1569/3/2 Portlethen Kirk Session: Cash book 1880-1913
CH2/1569/3/3 Portlethen Kirk Session: Cash book 1914-1935
CH2/1569/3/4 Portlethen Kirk Session: Cash book 1936-1963
CH2/1569/4/1 Portlethen Kirk Session: Communion roll 1912-1925
CH2/1569/4/2 Portlethen Kirk Session: Communion roll 1926-1936
CH2/1569/4/3 Portlethen Kirk Session: Communion roll 1937-1953
CH2/1569/4/4 Portlethen Kirk Session: Communion roll 1954-1967
CH2/1569/5/1 Portlethen Kirk Session: Baptismal register 1889-1913
CH2/1569/6/1 Portlethen Kirk Session: Proclamation register 1964-1977
CH2/1569/11/1 Portlethen Kirk Session: Photo-copies of Day Book of the Reverend William Law 1857-1920

Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/1569.

Monumental Inscriptions

The Kirkyard of Portlethen in Kincardine has been indexed by the North-East Scotland Family History Society.

Family History Library 

Online listing is available through the: Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society

A booklet of these Monumental Inscriptions is available through The Family History Library, Salt Lake City

The kirkyard of Portlethen : (parish of Banchory-Devenick)
Online listing is available through the: Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society

A booklet of these MI's is available through The Family History Library, Salt Lake City

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.

CH3/414 Bourtreebush Free Church (later United Free and Church of Scotland)

Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/414

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 onScotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records

Portlethen 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 [County]. 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: 12 June 2014.

Return to Kincardineshire parish list.