Rothes, Moray, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Rothes. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
The parish of Rothes is beautifully situated on the west bank of the river Spey. It is bounded on the south and south-west, by Aberlour and Knockando; and on the west, by Dallas; on the north-west and north, by Dallas, Birnie, Elgin, St. Andrews-Lhanbryd, and Speymouth; and on the east, by the Spey.
The parish is divided among six proprietors: the Earl of Seafield; Richard Wharton Duff, Esq. of Orton; the Duke of Richmond; William Grant M’Dowall, Esq. of Arndilly; William Robertson, Esq. of auchinroath; and Mrs. Cumming of Logie and Pitcraigie.
The whole population in the village, as computed by the census of 1841 amounts to 946; and the number of houses inhabited, 262; uninhabited, 13; buildings, 2. In the entire parish, there is a population of 1843. This parish is partly in the county of Elgin and partly in the county of Banff.
The present parish church stands in the center of the village, and is a plain, simple, and unadorned edifice, well befitting the unassuming genius and humble character of our Presbyterian form; and, being the only place of worship in the parish, (for there are no dissenters within its bounds), is barely sufficient to accommodate the population of the parish.
The parochial registers are of two kinds, marriage and baptismal; the former commences in the year 1791, the later in 1717. The baptismal registers have been kept regularly throughout; the other has a break from 1815 to 1832.
This account was written March 1842.
Source: The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Rothes, FHL book 941 B4sa, 2nd series, vol. 13.
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 edina.($) Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish you are interested in. Also available at the Family History Library.
Bruce B, Bishop FSA Scotland has made an intensive study of parishes in Moray, and these have been documented in The Lands and People of Moray, which the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Ref. 941.23 H2b Herewith a brief resume of each chapter.
The Parish of Rothes before 1660. A brief history of Rothes before 1660 including a list of some of the inhabitants giving name, date, relationship, or reason for being mentioned, mostly sequence of Ministers. Article covers time period 1160-1662, Sketch Plan of Rothes and its surroundings around 1750, based on Roy's Maps 1747-1755, also a sketch plan of the Parish of Rothes about 1750. The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 33, 2008, pages 1-4, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b.
The Parish of Rothes from 1660 until 1739. A brief history of Rothes 1660-1739 including a list of some of the inhabitants. Illustrated with a facsimile page of Distribution to the Poor, 1726. The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 33, 2008, pages 5-23, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b.
The Parish of Rothes from 1740 until 1759. A history of Rothes including a list of some of the inhabitants, covering years 1740-1778, The Lands and People of Moray pt. 33, 2008, pages 24-36, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b
The Parish of Rothes from 1760 until the Annexation of part of Dundurcas in 1782. A history of Rothes 1760-1782 including a list of some of the inhabitants, illustrated with facsimile of pages of Act Anent Murthering Children 1690, re-enacted 1762, Distribution to the Poor 1765. The Lands and People of Moray, pt 33, 2008. pages 37-61. Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b
The Parish of Rothes from 1782 - 1799. A brief history of Rothes, illustrated with a hand drawn map of The Town of Rothes 1790 and a key to where each renter lived with a list of renters. Also included is a list of some of the inhabitants, giving name, date, residence, occupation relationship or reason for being mentioned. The Lands and People of Moray pt. 34, 2008 pages 1-22, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b.
The Parish of Rothes from 1800-1819. A brief history of Rothes 1800-1819, including a list of some of the inhabitants, from 1800-1855. The Lands and People of Moray pt 34, 2008 pages 23-39, FHL Ref. 941.23 H2b
The Parish of Rothes from 1820 to 1839. A brief history of Rothes 1820-1839 including a list of some of the inhabitants, illustrated with two sketches of buildings during and after the flood 1829. Also facsimiles of signatures of Petitioners for a School master 1832. The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 34, 2008, pages 40-61, FHL Ref. 941.23 H2b
The Parish of Rothes from 1840 to 1850. A brief history of Rothes including a list of some of the inhabitants illustrated with facimile pages of Statement of the Population of the Parish of Rothes 1841 and Distribution to the Poor 1843, 1845. Article covers years 1840-1879. The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 34, 2008, pages 62-76. Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b.
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 Rothes, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|| FHL Film Number
|| Surname Indexes|
|| none |
|| 6086568 (2 fiche)|
The 1841-1911 census of Scotland is indexed and imaged on scotlandspeople.($) To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1911, are indexed on this website. The 1841-1901 census is also indexed on www.findmypast.co.uk and www.ancestry.co.uk. 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||FHL Film Number|
Condition of Original Registers—
Indexed: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index available on computers at the Family History Library and family history centers. Some of these records may be indexed and searchable on familysearch.org. An index to burials is available at familysearch.org from 1724-1845 from the burial and death records in the Old Parochial registers and the Kirk Sessions
Births: No entries for May 1719–Oct 1720, after which the record is kept regularly. Marriages: No entries for 1818–1832
Deaths: The record is of burials for Jan 1736–Aug 1738 and of Mortcloth Dues for 1732–1845. Also Kirk Session burials listed for the years 1724, 1728, 1753-1754, 1805-1810, 1812-1817, 1819-1821, 1823-1826, 1828-1829, 1832, 1835-1844.
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: Kirk Session burials listed for the years 1724, 1728, 1753-1754, 1805-1810, 1812-1817, 1819-1821, 1823-1826, 1828-1829, 1832, 1835-1844. Transcribed in The Lands and People of Moray British 941.23 K2bb
Minutes 1720-1777, 1816-1853
CH2/600 Records of Rothes, Kirk Session 1720-1977
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/600.
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.
Rothes Free Church
The minister, all the elders, and the main body of the congregation adhered to the Free Church in 1843. A church was soon built.Membership: 1848, 182; 1900, 103.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843 1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572. More details are given in the source.
CH3/523 Rothes Free Church, United Free, High Church of Scotland 1843-1939
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/523
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.
Land and Property
Rothes was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Moray until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Moray. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at scotlandspeople.($) 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 Moray and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Moray. Index searches can also be made 1858-1966 in the Principal Probate Registry under Card catalog and searching National Probate on the website www.ancestry.co.uk
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Moray. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Moray and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
Return to Moray parish list.