Urray, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Ross and Cromarty Gotoarrow.png Urray

Parish # 85

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


URRAY, a parish, partly in the county of Inverness, but chiefly in the Mainland district of the county of Ross and Cromarty, 5 miles (S. S. W.) from Dingwall; containing portions of the two late quoad sacra parishes of Carnoch or Strathconon, and Kinloch-Luichart. This place, which consists of the ancient parishes of Urray and Kilchrist, derives its name from the river Orrin, on whose banks its church is situated, near the confluence of that water with the Conon, or Conan. The church is a spacious and handsome structure, well adapted for the accommodation of the parishioners. The members of the Free Church have erected a place of worship.[1]

Urray is composed of the united parishes of Urray and Kilchrist, hence it is probable the name is derived from Ur-a, the new ford. Kilchrist is evidently Cella Christi, a burying ground consecrated to Christ. It is situated chiefly in the county of Ross, a small part of it lies in Inverness-shire.

There are no towns or villages in the parish.

There are eleven land-holders, in the parish, the principle of whom are: A. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth; George Gillanders, Esq. of Highfield; Thomas Mackenzie of Ord; Fowler of Fairburn; Balfour of Strathconnon; and Colonel Baillie of Tarradale.

The population in the parish in 1801 was 2083, and by 1831 it increased to 2768.

All families in the parish belong to the Established Church, with the exception of 25 families, who are attached to the Episcopal Church; and excepting also one Roman Catholic family.

There is a register of births and marriages, the former commencing with the year 1756, and the latter with the year 1815. The register of births previous to the year 1820 was very irregularly kept, a great many names having been left out, and those in many cases entered improperly.

This account was written July 1840.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland for Urray, FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 14.

 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 you are interested in. 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 Urray as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
1042628,  1042629
6037266 (6 fiche)
 6206400 (4 fiche)
6086658 (4 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.

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
Birth: 1756-1854 0990661
Marriage: 1815-1854 0990661
Death: No entries none


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: Irregular entries for 1754–1800 are recorded on five pages after entries for 1819.
Marriages: There is only one entry for 1813.
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:
The extent of records is unknown.

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.

Urray Free Church

The minister of Urray, "came out" in 1843, with a large congregation. A church was erected in 1844. A new church was later built in 1861 which served a very wide district.
Membership: 1848, 102; 1900, 100.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

Highfield Episcopalian Church

The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Urray 1840, states that the Episcopalian congregation at that time consisted of 25 families. There was also a school run by the church there. There is no congregation there currently.

The extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
Moray and Caithness Diocesan Office
11 Kenneth Street
Inverness PA34 5DR

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

Urray was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Ross until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Ross & Cromarty. 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 Ross & Cromarty and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Ross.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Ross & Cromarty. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Ross & Cromarty 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: 1 August 2014.

Return to Ross & Cromarty parish list.