Kingussie & Insh, Inverness-shire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #102

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

History[edit | edit source]

KINGUSSIE, a parish, in the Mainland district of the county of Inverness, ½ a mile (E. by N.) from Pitmain; containing part of the late quoad sacra parish of INSH, the villages of Kingussie and Newtonmore, and the hamlet of Ralia. This place, which is of remote antiquity, derives its name, in the Celtic language Ceannghiubhsaiche, from the situation of its ancient church at the head of a wood of firs, of which that term is significant. The church, which is situated on a wooded eminence in the village, was built in 1792, and contains 900 sittings: being in a state of dilapidation, it was very fully repaired. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

Kingussie is derived from a Celtic term meaning, “Head of the Fir Wood” which in turn was descriptive of the site of the parish church. The parish is among the highest in elevation and most inland parish in Scotland. Kingussie is the central parish in the district of Badenoch.

The nearest market town for the parish is Inverness, at a distance of 46 miles. There are two villages in the parish, Kingussie and Ruthven.

The author and a celebrated translator, James Macpherson was a native of this parish. Lt/General John MacIntyre and Sir John McLean distinguished themselves in the service of their country are also of this parish.

The original landowners of the whole Badenoch District was the Comyns, an influential family that came from England.

The parish has very limited agricultural activity and is mostly pastoral with sheep being the prominent livestock venture.

The earliest census referenced in the volume notes that in 1811 the populations count was 1,981. The census in 1833 resulted in a count of 1,633 individuals. It should be noted that the District of Insh was separated from Kingussie for the 1833 census and resulted in a drop in the count.

The parochial registers prior to 1724 were burnt, but the existing records are noted as voluminous and regularly preserved. No other records for the parish were noted in the details for this parish.

The parish church was built in 1792 and accommodates 600 to 700 persons with an average attendance upwards of 200. There were no dissenting chapels in the parish, except for a Baptist Meeting House. A few Baptists live in the parish and one Roman Catholic family.

This account was written February 1835.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland for Kingussie & Insh, Family Histoy Library 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  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 Kingussie & Insh, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
6344852 (3 fiche)
6086593 (4 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on 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: 1724-1854 0990711
Marriages: 1724-1854 0990711
Deaths: 1783-1784 0990711


Condition of Original Registers—
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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: There are no entries September 1728–March 1730, October 1737–June 1746, February 1756–April 1757, and December 1769–May 1771. Three pages of irregular entries for 1798–1807 are entered after October 1807. The next regular entry is dated January 1808, after which the record is kept with more care.
Marriages: There are no entries December 1737–August 1746; one entry for 1757 and from December 1769–March 1776 there are four entries. There are only two entries September 1799–July 1802.
Deaths: There are no entries June 1784–February 1808 and May 1809–October 1846. Total number of entries for 1783–1854 is 25.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.
Note:The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Kingussie for 1835 states that the earlier parochial registers prior to 1724 were burnt.

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 and Accounts 1782–1810
Minutes 1838–1844
Accounts 1812–1845
Discipline Matters 1825–1842
Male Heads of Families 1834–1836
Poors Rolls 1811–1844
Poors Fund Donations and Minutes 1834–1839
Ordination of Elders 1829–1836
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1419.

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.

Kingussie and Newtonmore Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister of Kingussie, and a considerable congregation "came out" in 1843. A church was built in 1844. A manse was purchased in 1850. A new church was erected in 1877. In 1884 a new manse was gifted. The influx of summer visitors in later years to Kingussie and Newtonmore greatly helped the congregation.
Membership: 1848, 108; 1900, 89.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 Vols. pub. 1914 Film #918572Source may contain additional information including a list of ministers.

Extent of records is unknown.

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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Kingussie & Insh 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 . 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.