Cromdale, Moray, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #128b

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

History[edit | edit source]

CROMDALE, a parish, partly in the county of Elgin, but chiefly in that of Inverness, 18 miles (S. W.) from Rothes; containing the village of Grantown. It is supposed to have derived its name from the Gaelic words crom, signifying crooked or curved, and dail, a plain or meadow, a portion of land being made semicircular, by the winding of the river Spey. The church, situated on the southern bank of the Spey, was built in 1809, and will accommodate 900 persons.[1]

The name of the parish is evidently derived from two Gaelic words, crom, signifying curved or crooked; and dail, signifying a plain or meadow. Close by the place where the church and manse are situated, the rive Spey forms nearly a semicircle; and hence Cromdale, or the crooked dale.

The parishes of Inverallan, and Advie are united into Cromdale; but what time the union took place is not ascertainable. It is situated in the counties of Inverness and Moray, but the greater part lies in the former county. It is bounded on the east, by the parishes of Inveravon and Knockando; on the west, by Abernethy and Duthill; on the south, by Kirkmichael; and on the north, by parts of the parishes of Edinkillie, and Ardclach.

This parish was the scene of many sanguinary feudal conflicts; but the battle which took place on the “Haughs of Cromdale,” on the 1st of May 1690, was the most memorable. The cause of James II having become desperate by the death of John Graham, of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, at Killiecrankie, in 1689, he made a bold effort to renew the war in the Highlands.

Grantown is the only market-town in the parish. It was founded in the year 1776, by the late Sir James Grant of Grant, Bart.

The names and biography of the family of Grant of Grant are honorably interwoven in the history of the British Empire. Historians do not exactly agree about the origin of the Grants, the precise time of their settlement in Scotland, or whether they were of the aborigines of the country. It is, however, most fully ascertained, from the best authenticated sources, that they were a very powerful family, and made a considerable figure in Scotland upwards of 600 years ago. The first of this family found on records is Gregorius, or Gregory de Grant, sheriff principal of Inverness, Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness-shires, in the reign of King Alexander II., who succeeded the crown of Scotland in 1214, and died in 1249. Sir John Grant, great-grandson of Gregory, was the first of his family, it is believed, got possession of part of the lands of Strathspey, by a royal gift from King David II., about the year 1346.

Alexander Grant of Grant was one of the most distinguished men of his day in Scotland. He rose to the rank of Brigadier-General; and, during the war in the reign of Queen Anne, he served witgh great applause, and performed many brilliant exploits. Brigadier Grant was the inseparable companion and bosom friend of that great man John, Duke of Argyle. Brigadier Grant died at Edinburg in 1719 and was interred in the Abbey church of Holyrood House.

The Right Honorable the Earl of Seafield is sole proprietor of the parish.

The population of the parish in 1755 was numbered at 3068 and in 1831, there were 3284 inhabitants. The only village in the united parish is Grantown, containing a population of 954.

The situation of the parish church of Cromdale, on the south back of the Spey, which intersects the parish, is by no means convenient to the great bulk of the population. The church was built in 1809, and is in good repair. It affords accommodation for about 900 sitters, and the sittings are free. There are no Dissenting chapels of any kind, except a Baptist meeting-house in Grantown.

There are three volumes of parish registers, the oldest commencing in 1726; but all have been imperfectly kept, until about 178. No register of deaths has been kept.

This account was written April 1841.

Source: The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Cromdale, Family History Library 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 County Moray, and Parishes which are written up in The Lands and People of Moray, which are all held at the Family history Library in Salt Lake City, Ref. 941.23 H2b. I have tried to do a brief resume of each chapter.

The Parish of Cromdale, Advie and Inverallan Prior to 1700. The three churches were united into one during this time.  A brief history is given, along with a list of some of the inhabitants, giving name, date, residence, relationship or reason for being mentioned, covering 1230-1700. The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 37, 2009, pages 1-5. Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt. 37.

The Parish of Cromdale, Advie and Inverallan 1700-1749. A brief history including a list of some of the inhabitants of the parishes 1700-1749, illustrated with a copy of a page from the Kirk Session Minutes 1726. The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 37. 2009. pages 6-25, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt. 37,

The Parish of Cromdale, Advie and Inverallen 1750-1774. A brief discussion of the area including improvements for the tentants.  There is a list of some of the inhabitants, 1751-1774, and an an illustration of a hand drawn map with the list of Feu-holders in the New Town of Grantown, 1770 showing their exact place of residence, and the number of the street.  There is also a Plan of the New Town of Grantown 1768. The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 37, 2009. pages 26-38, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b. pt. 37.

The Parish of Cromdale, Alvie and Inverallan 1775-1799.  A brief discussion of the history of the parish including a list of some of the inhabitants from 1778-1829, illustrated with a facsimile of a page from Distribution to the Poor, of the Parish 31 Jan. 1783.  The Lands and People of Moray. pt. 37, 2009, pages 39-44. Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt. 37.

The Parish of Cromdale, Alvie and Inverallan 1800 -1824.  A brief discussion and history of the parish including a list of some of the inhabitants 1800-1824.  There is also The Poor List for Cromdale and Inverallan in 1817 giving a good indication of how much aid each person on the list would expect to receive. Article covers years 1800-1829. The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 37, 2009. pages 45-47. Family History Ref. 941.23 H2b pt. 37.

The Parish of Cromdale, Alvie and Inverallan 1825-1850. A brief history of the parish with a listing of Elders of the Kirk in 1825, also included is a list of some of the inhabitants 1825-1851, giving name, date, residnece, relationship or reason for being mentioned.  The Lands and People of Moray pt. 37, 2009 pages 48-62. Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt. 37.

The parish of Cromdale, Alvie, and Inverallan.  Miscellaneous Death and Baptism Records not included in the Old Parish Registers.  It gives date, name of dead, also the amount for burying them years 1588-1826. The baptisms give date, name and who parents are. These are taken from the Kirk Session Minutes, Fasti Ecclesaiae Scotianne and Testaments. The Land and People of Moray, pt. 37, 2009, pages 63-65. 941.23 H2b pt. 37

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 Cromdale, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086568 (2 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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1729-1854 0990727
Marriages: 1798-1854 0990727
Deaths: No entries none


Condition of Original Register[edit | edit source]

Indexed: 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: There are no entries for April 1736–June 1740; only one for April 1749–December 1765; and none for January 1776–December 1780, where five pages of irregular entries, 1753–1795, are inserted. Irregular entries for 1826–1854 are found at the end of the record for 1854.
Marriages: There is only one entry for November 1811–February 1813.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. Family History Library 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 1702–1706, 1825–1845 (mostly discipline), 1857–1906
Minutes and Accounts 1726–1734, 1757–1758, 1803–1807, 1815–1825
Accounts 1765–1772, 1818–1845, 1856–1865
Distributions of Poor Funds 1781, 1783–1784, 1788
Baptisms 1768, 1774, 1790–1791 (one entry each year), 1874–1886
Copy of Trust Deed for Charity School, 1795
Allocation of Seats in Church 1814, 1816
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/983.

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.

Cromdale and Advie Free Church[edit | edit source]

This district was at first connected with the church at Grantown, then known as Cromdale Free Church. In 1889 a group left the parish church and applied to the Free Church Presbytery for services. The congregation was first organized as a station. The charge was sanctioned in 1893. The congregation built a church and manse in 1896.
1894, 60; 1900, 69.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843 1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572. More details are given in the source
The extent of records is unknown.

Grantown Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was organized in Grantown in 1843 and met at first in a wooden church. After the charge was sanctioned in 1845, the members built a church and manse in 1849. This congregation was at first known as Cromdale Free Church, but when a church was formed in Cromdale, they took the name of Grantown Free Church.
Membership: 1848, 425; 1900, 184.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843 1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Minutes 1871–1938
The earlier records were burned in a fire at the manse in 1869.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1059.

Grantown Baptist Church[edit | edit source]

In the early 1800s an Independent Church was formed at Rothiemurchus. Some time later, the minister, Mr. Macintosh, and his congregation accepted the Baptist faith. Then the minister began to preach in Grantown and formed the Grantown Baptist Church in 1808 with about seven members. The congregation met in various homes until they were able to build a chapel on donated ground in 1851. It grew to be one of the largest Baptist congregations in Scotland with a membership of about 300. .As they continued to grow, they enlarged the church in 1901. Although the congregation still exists, membership has dropped considerably.
Source: History of the Baptists in Scotland, by Rev. George Yuille, pub. 1926. Family History Library book 941 K2hi.

The extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
Baptist Union of Scotland
12 Aytoun Road
Glasgow G41 5RT

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.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Probate Records
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Cromdale was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Moray until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Elgin. 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.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Moray. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Moray 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: 27 June 2014.

Return to Moray parish list.