Crathie and Braemar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #183

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

History[edit | edit source]

CRATHIE and BRAEMAR, a parish, including the villages of Auchandryne and Castletown, in the district of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen, 22 miles (W. by S.) from Kincardine O'Neil. The word Crathie is supposed to be of Gaelic origin, and derived from the words crag and tir or thir, which signify "stony or rocky land," and are descriptive of the general appearance of the surface. The ancient parish of Braemar, a name expressing the highest land of the three districts into which the county was once distributed, was in early times called St. Andrew's, and subsequently Bridgend, in consequence of a bridge having been built over the Cluney at Castletown by Malcum-Ceann-Mor, who had a hunting-seat here. The church of Crathie, which was built on a new site, in 1806, is an elegant structure, containing 1400 sittings. There is a Roman Catholic chapel at the same village; also a place of worship for members of the Free Church in the parish.[1]

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 reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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 Crathie and Braemar, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086502 (12 fiche)

The 1901 and 1911 censuses of Scotland are indexed on scotlandspeople.($) To use it, you must register; you can search for free but must buy credits to view more detailed search results and to view/download images of the pages from the census. If you can identify the correct entry in the free search, it costs 1 credit to see the more detailed search result and a further 5 credits to see and download an image of the census page. 30 credits cost £7 (about $11). All available censuses, 1841-1911, are indexed on the Scotlandspeople website. 

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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
Births: 1717-1854 - Crathie 0993177 item 1

1763-1854 - Braemer 0993177 item 1
Marriages: 1737-1795 - Crathie 0993177 item 1

1739-1854 - Braemer 0993177 item 1
Deaths: 1789-1794 - Crathie 0993177 item 1

No entries for Braemer none

Condition of Original Registers[edit | edit source]

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: Crathie’s records commence in 1720; there are only two entries earlier. Previous to June 1725, births are recorded among the Session Minutes. Between then and May 1762, the record contains, with a few exceptions, only irregular entries – whole families are sometimes recorded in groups.
Braemer has only a few birth entries prior to 1771. The record is defective for 1775–1776. There is only one entry for May 1786–April 1789 and entries are irregular in 1790. After 1820, there are ten pages of irregular entries dated 1743–1808.
Marriages: Previous to 1721, the entries for Crathie are recorded among the births. The record is blank for June 1721–February 1737. There are only two entries for October 1738–January 1745. It is again blank July 1750–June 1764 except for two entries for 1781, October 1773–January 1782, January 1784–August 1789 and April 1795–1825.
Braemer has only three marriage entries for January 1743–January 1751. The record is defective about 1754–1758. There are no entries for 1769. The record is blank for January 1771–June 1774. There are only two entries for April 1781–January 1784, one entry for 1812, none for 1817, and one for 1818.
Deaths: There are a few entries of Mortcloth Dues for Crathie prior to 1739. Burials are recorded in October 1789–September 1794.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. 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. Some Kirk Session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:


The Kirk Session records for Crathie can be viewed on FHL Film 0993177 (see Established Church - Old Parish Registers above).

Braemer, Kindrochet

The Kirk Session records have been digitised but are not currently available online. They can be viewed at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/217.

CH2/217/1 Minutes and Accounts 1716–1729, 1737–1738, 1767–1771
CH2/217/2 Minutes 1771-1863, Collections and Disbursements 1771–1817
CH2/217/3 Collections and Disbursements 1798-1879
CH2/217/4 Collections and Disbursements 1830-1858
CH2/217/5 Minutes 1863-1937
CH2/217/6 Managers' Minutes 1890-1937
CH2/217/7 Cash Book 1858-1937
CH2/217/8 Baptismal Register 1879-1935
CH2/217/9 Communion Roll 1875-1914

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.

Braemar Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister of the parish and about 180 people adhered to the Free Church at the Disruption.
Membership: 1848, 78; 1900, 121.
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.

Minutes 1843–1894
Other post-1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/360.

Crathie Free Church[edit | edit source]

In 1849, a preaching station was established here. Great difficulty was found in obtaining a site for a place of worship. In 1853, a church was erected on a corner of land on the Abergeldie Estate granted by the Prince Consort.
Membership: 1871, 47; 1900, 36.
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.

The extent of records is unknown.

Roman Catholic Church[edit | edit source]

The chapel, dedicated to St. Andrew in 1703, was at Ardearg to 1795 and then at Auchindryne to 1839. After that it was at Castletown. In 1706 there were said to be 400 Catholics in the area and between 700 and 800 in 1763. In 1772, 62 people were confirmed but names were not recorded.
Source: Catholic Missions and Registers, 1700–1880, by Michael Gandy, pub. 1993. FHL Book Ref 942 K24gm vol. 6.

'RecordsFHL Call Number
Register of Baptisms 1703–1757 - indexed 941.25/C1 K29c, 2 vols. 0873821 item 7–8
Register of Baptisms for Braemar and Glengairn, 941.25 K29m 1781–1845 0873821 item 6

Other: Births to 1919, Marriages 1736–1968, Deaths 1844–1913.
Miscellanous records from 1608.
Note:  Now available online for a fee at scotlandspeople,($) record RH21/15. In addition, Confirmations from 1845 are in the hands of the parish priest. There are gaps in records.

Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

In Scotland, the term 'probate' is not used - the equivalent term is 'confirmation'. Testaments for residents of Crathie & Braemar were recorded in the Commissary Court of Aberdeen until 1822, and from then onwards in the Sheriff's Court of Aberdeen. You may also find a testament recorded in the Edinburgh Commissary Court where the person had movable property in more than one commissariot in Scotland or died outside Scotland.

Wills and testaments for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at scotlandspeople.($) You must register on the website but a search of the index is free. No payment is required to view the results of the search, which will usually give the name, place of residence and/or death, and sometimes the date of death. You may then pay a fee (currently £5 or around $8) to view and download a copy of the document. If the document is dated before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Aberdeen and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Aberdeen. also has many probate records for Scotland and Scottish people indexed from 1861-1941($)

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.<

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 12 June 2014.

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