Laggan, Inverness-shire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #104

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

History[edit | edit source]

LAGGAN, a parish, in the county of Inverness, 10½ miles (W. S. W.) from Kingussie. This parish, the name of which is derived from the Gaelic word Lag, signifying "a small round hollow or plain," is situated on the river Spey. The church was built in 1843, and contains about 600 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship; and there is a chapel for Roman Catholics.[1]

The name is supposed to be derived from the Gaelic word lag, signifying a small round hollow plain or dimple. Laggain or Laggun is the plural of the word Lag; Laggan is also the diminutive of the same term.

A stranger entering the parish from the south or east, would be apt to conclude that he is approaching a wild region of barren and heath-covered mountains, unfitted by nature for the habitation of man. The eye sees nothing, but “Hills peep o’er hills, and Alps o’er Alps arise”.

There are four heritors in the parish namely, James Evan Baillie, Esq. of Kingussie; Ewen Macpherson, Esq. of Cluny Macpherson; Major Macpherson of Glentruim; and John Walker, Esq. of Crawfordtown and Lochtreig. Mr. Baillie is the principle heritor.

There is a tradition that, in ancient times, the Kings of Scotland would often come, upon hunting excursions, to the side of Lochlaggan, and that one, if not more, of the Kings Fergus was buried there. The place is still called Ardveirge, or the Aird (height) of Fergus.

The common breed of sheep in this parish is the black-faced. This kind is supposed to be more hardy, and to stand the winter better, than the Cheviot stock. Black cattle are also reared.  

The first entry of baptism in the register is dated 1775; and the first marriage, five years later. The register has not been always very regularly kept; and the burials have not been recorded.

The church is situated in the centre of the population. It is seven miles east from the old church, and about the same distance from the eastern extremity of the parish. It was built in 1785, and is now very much out of repair. The church may hold about 600 sitters, and all the seats are free.

This account was written February 1839.

Source:  New Statistical Account of Scotland, for Laggan Family History 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 Laggan, 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: 1775-1854 0990713
Marriages: 1780-1854 0990713
Deaths: No entries none


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.  The records may be indexed in FamilySearch Records.
Note: Prefixed to the regular record, which begins in 1775, are five pages containing entries of families recorded together, generally preceded by the entry of the parents' marriage. The dates of these entries range between 1778 and 1854.
Marriages: One entry each for 1779 and 1786. There are only four entries December 1808–April 1813.
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. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

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

Poor's Accounts 1775–1827
Minutes 1816–1819, 1834 - one entry
Collections 1779–1793, 1836–1840
Uvie Mortification 1783–1797, 1820–1828, 24 July, 1731
Census of Parish Population 1821
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/394.

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.

Laggan Free Church[edit | edit source]

Almost all the people at Laggan adhered to the Free Church in 1843. They were organised as a congregation under the minister of Kingussie–a former minister of Laggan. Church and manse were forthwith erected. The charge was sanctioned in 1845. The school erected was the gift, which also helped considerably in the church and manse scheme. It suffered from the decline of the population.
Membership: 1848, 51; 1900, 34.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843-1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 Vols. pub. 1914 Film #918572 Source also contains a list of ministers.
Extent of records is unknown.

Laggan Catholic Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was also known as Badenoch. Until the late 18th century, the area was served from Lochaber and it is thought that most of the Catholics of Badenoch came from that area. For at least the years 1816–1824, the priest here was also responsible for Glengarry, Glenmoriston, and Stratherrick. This congregation was combined with Kingussie from 1932 and the Laggan church was closed in 1950.
Source: Catholic Missions and Registers, 1700–1880 Scotland, by Michael Gandy, pub. 1993. Family History Library book 942 K24gm, vol. 6.

Baptisms from 1828
Marriages from 1845
Confirmations from 1846
Deaths from 1845
Note: Records are in the hands of the Kingussie parish priest. For more information, contact:
Catholic Church
Diocese of Argyll and the Isles
Kingussie PH21
Tel: 011-44-1540-661322

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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Laggan 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: 30 July 2014.

Return to Inverness-shire parish list.