Moray or Elginshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Moray or Elginshire is located in the north-east of Scotland, bounded on the north by the Moray Firth, on the east and south-east by Banffshire, on the south by a detached portion of the county of Inverness, and on the west by Nairnshire.  It is about 40 miles in length and 23 miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 840 square miles or 537,600 acres.

Moray contains 20 parishes and parts of several others, and for civil purposes is joined with the county of Nairn under the jursdiction of one sheriff.  It contains the royal burghs of Elgin (the county town) and Forres, and includes the towns of Garmouth and Lossiemouth and a few villages.  It was anciently part of a province that included the county of Nairn and a large part of the county of Banff, and was for many ages distinguished as the 'granary of Scotland.'

The surface of the county rises gradually from the shores of the Firth to the Grampian range, and is beautifully diversified with parallel ranges of hills intersecting the county from east to west, between which are fertile valleys.  The chief rivers are the Spey, the Lossie, and the Findhorn.  The river Spey, used for floating timber from the forest of Strathspey, abounds with salmon which are fished profitably.  There are several lakes. 

About one-fifth of the land is in cultivation and of the remainder, less than one-half is in pasture, woodlands, and plantations.  Cattle, sheep, and horses are raised.  The minerals are not significant.  There are quarries of excellent freestone, and slate is also wrought.  The chief manufactures are woollen and cotton.  There are bleaching-grounds, spinning of flax, tanneries, and distilleries.  The population of the county in 1851 was 35,012.

(Source:  Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851.  FHL book 941 E5L.) 


Here is a list of the historic parishes in the county of Moray (or Elgin).  Click on the parish name to see information about records.

Parish No. Parish No.
Abernethy & Kincardine -- see Inverness-shire 90a Elgin and Pluscarden 135
Advie -- see Cromdale 128b Essil and Dipple -- see Speymouth 143
Alves 125 Forres 137
Bellie 126 Inverallan -- see Cromdale 128b
Birnie 127 Kinloss 138
Boharm 128a Kinneddar -- see Drainie 130 
Cromdale 128b Knockando  139 
Dallas 129 Lhanbryde -- see St. Andrews 142
Drainie (formerly Kinneddar) 130 New Spynie 136
Duffus 131 Rafford 140
Dundurcas -- see Rothes 141 Rothes 141
Duthil & Rothiemurchus -- see Inverness-shire 96b St. Andrews 142
Dyke 133 Speymouth (formerly Essil and Dipple) 143
Edinkillie 134 Urquhart 144


The Family History Library has county-wide census indexes for Moray for 1881.  

The library also has a collection of census surname indexes for different places within Moray. Click here to see a table listing these other census surname indexes that are available at the library.


Elgin and Nairn, c. 1845.jpg
Click on the map at the right to see a larger version, and click again on the larger map. Next, click on the ‘Expand’ button when it appears in the lower right-hand corner of the map.


Click here for an outline map of the parishes of Moray.


17th and 18th Century Taxation Records.  A list of Hearth Tax, Cart Tax, Horse Tax, Carriage Tax, Window Tax and Inhabited House taxes levied on inhabitants. Some names given and the amount of tax listed.  Covers 1691-1779. Article in The Lands and People of Moray.Family History Library Ref.  941.23 H2b pt. 9. year 2002, pages 71-73.

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