Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Turriff. 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
- 3.1 Established Church—Old Parochial Registers
- 3.2 Established Church—Kirk Session Records
- 3.3 Nonconformist Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
TURRIFF, a burgh of barony, a parish, and the seat of a presbytery, in the district of Turriff, county of Aberdeen; 11 miles (S. by E.) from Banff, and 34 (N. N. W.) from Aberdeen. This place derives its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "heights" or "towers," either from the hills surrounding the parish, or from its numerous ancient castles, of which, till towards the close of the last century, the ruins of several were remaining. The church, erected in 1794, and enlarged in 1830 by the addition of an aisle, is a neat plain structure, conveniently situated. There are an Episcopal chapel, a Free church, and a place of worship for Independents.
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 Turriff, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|| Family History Library 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||Family History Library Film Number|
|Births:||1696-1783||0993303 item 3|
|Marriages:||1724-1725||0993303 item 3|
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 1704–October 1707. Irregular entries occasionally occur after 1738 and are more frequent between 1785 and 1806. Mothers’ names not recorded until after 1790, and very often omitted until 1809.
Marriages: The first two leaves of the record are slightly imperfect.
Deaths: Records are burials and were kept by the Sexton.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.
Monumental Inscriptions: Family History Library Book 941.25/T4 V3m.
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 1817–1903, very badly damaged
Accounts 1776 or earlier, 1810 or later, very badly damaged
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/871.
Minutes 1642–1664, 1670–1684, 1686, 1688, 1697–1973
Scroll Minutes 1839–1846
Separate Register 1774–1909
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1120.
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.
Turriff Free Church
This congregation was formed at the Disruption with about 100 members. They worshiped in a small chapel kindly lent by the Congregational church at Millseat, until their own building was ready in 1844. The church was pulled down, and a new church built on the same site in 1898. This was a country congregation, and the membership fluctuated with the changes of farmers and farm servants.
Membership: 1848, 131; 1900, 455.
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 1847–1868
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1072.
Turriff Independent Congregational Church
Independents in the parish purchased the old Episcopal chapel in 1825 and they were designated as a preaching station but were never an organized congregation. In 1842, Membership: Numbered only about 16.
No known Records.
Turriff Episcopal Church
A congregation has existed here since the Revolution. A chapel was built prior to 1745, which in 1797 was being used as a school house. A second chapel may have been built which was later sold to the Independents. A new place of worship was built in 1824. It is not known when the present chapel was built.
Membership: 1797, 320; 1842, 265.
The original church records are still held by the Church Secretary. For more information, write to:
9 Deveron Road
Turriff AB53 4BB, Scotland
Some of the records have been transcribed by Archibald Maxwell Strath and were self published as "The Registers of the Episcopal Congregation, Fraserburgh, 1766-1884 Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney". Copies are held by the Aberdeen County Library, Meldrum Old Meg Way, Meadows Industrial Estate, Old Meldrum, AB51 OGN, Scotland
Turriff Catholic Church
The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Turriff for 1842 states that there were a few families of Roman Catholics who occasionally met together for worship and that they were under the superintendence of a talented priest who resided at Strichen.
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.
Turriff 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 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.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 20 June 2014.
Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.