Alvie, Inverness-shire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #90b

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

History[edit | edit source]

ALVIE, a parish, in the district of Badenoch, county of Inverness, 9 miles (N. E.) from Kingussie; containing part of the quoad sacra parish of Insh in the village of Lynchat. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying the "Isle of swans," from the situation of its ancient church on a peninsula, in the north-west extremity of the parish, formed by Loch Alvie, which, from time immemorial, has been frequented by numbers of that aquatic fowl. The church, situated on the shore of Loch Alvie, is a plain structure, built in 1798, and repaired in 1832, and contains 500 sittings.[1]

This parish derives its name from the small peninsula that constitutes the glebe, and on which the church and manse are built. The name is Gaelic pronounced Ealabhi, sounding bh like v in English; a word compounded of ealabh, swans, and i, an island, which, correctly translated, signifies the island of swans. The lake of Alvie from time immemorial, has been visited by a number of swans in the spring season.  The parish, located in a remote Highland glen, consists of two divisions, separated by the river Spey.

The situation of the parish church is extremely inconvenient to the greater part of the population. It is situated in a corner of the parish, at the distance of eight miles from the one, and only two miles from the other extremity. It was built in the year 1798.  There is a Government church at Inch, within four miles of the church of Alvie, and the district assigned to it includes a portion of this parish called Davoch of Invermarkie, containing a population of nearly 200. 

This account was written April 1835.

Source:  New Statistical Account of Scotland for Alvie, 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 edina.($)  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish you are interested in. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records
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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 Alvie, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6344853 (3 fiche)
0103833 (vault)
6086593 (4 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($) 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
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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[edit | edit source]


Record Type
Years Covered
FHL Film Number
No entries


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: No birth entries August 1721–February 1736. There are irregular entries, 1748–1759, after the record for August 1759. There are only three entries December 1759–May 1763 and a few entries for July 1765–May 1781. Three families, 1802–1845, are on three pages prefixed to duplicate baptismal record, 1781–1787.
Marriages: No marriage entries March 1721–June 1736; July 1760–June 1763; March 1767–December 1783; September 1789–January 1826 and except one entry for 1802 and one for 1834 in the baptismal register 1781, where there are also three entries of deaths 1837–1845.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. FHL British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records[edit | edit source]

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 1713–1721, 1729–1749, 1754–1760, 1763–1767, 1784–1787, 1807–1850
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1172.

Nonconformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Alvie and Rothiemurchus Free Church

The people who left the parish church in 1843 were formed into a congregation under the name of Alvie Free Church. Later they were joined by the people from Rothiemurchus, and took the name of Alvie and Rothiemurchus Free Church. Services were provided under the charge of the minister of Kingussie. For some years the services were held in barns, sheds, etc. The church was built at Milehead, Alvie in 1851. A few years later, a meeting-house was erected for the Rothiemurchus section of the congregation.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843-1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572

No known pre-1855 records.

Civil Registration Records
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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
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Alvie was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Inverness until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Inverness. 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 Inverness-shire and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Inverness.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Inverness-shire. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Inverness-shire and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 3 July 2014.

Return to Inverness-shire parish list.