Towie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Aberdeenshire Gotoarrow.png Towie

Parish #245

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


TOWIE, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 4½ miles (S. W.) from Kildrummy. This place, of which the former name was Kilbartha, from a cell or church dedicated to St. Bertha, and subsequently Kinbattoch, from its situation at the head of a grove, is supposed to have derived its present appellation, signifying in the Gaelic language "the North Country," from its relative position in respect of other localities in the county. The church, situated nearly in the centre of the parish, is a plain substantial structure with a small campanile turret.[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 Towie 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
Births: 1751-1854 0993302 item 2
Marriages: 1759-1814, 1838 0993302 item 2
Deaths: 1784-1787 0993302 item 2


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: Record does not appear to have been very carefully kept. Many blank spaces were originally left, into some of which entries have been subsequently inserted.
Marriages: No entries October 1759–June 1762 and they are blank December 1762–January 1772, and November 1774–July 1778. There is only one entry May 1779–June 1782, and five entries, one imperfect, July 1793–August 1803. After October 1812, there are only three entries recorded, dated 1813, 1814, and 1838 respectively.
Deaths: The whole record consists of fifteen entries of burials, excluding one from 1823.
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:

There are no known pre-1855 Records.

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.

A Free Church here, known as Towie and Cushnie, was not sanctioned until 1856. There are no 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

Towie 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: 20 June 2014.

Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.