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Leochel-Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #214

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

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LEOCHEL and CUSHNIE, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 3½ miles (S. S. W.) from Alford. These two ancient parishes, the etymology of the names of which is altogether uncertain, were united in 1618, by a decree of the lords of Plat; but this union was dissolved about three years subsequently, by the influence of Bishop Patrick Forbes, a central church for the two districts not having been built according to the conditions of the annexation. In 1793, however, a process of annexation was commenced again. The parishes of Leochel and Cushnie united in 1795. The church, containing 500 sittings, is, though built as late as 1797, in a dilapidated state. The old churches are unroofed and ruinous; but the grounds attached are still used as burial-places. A small place of worship belonging to the United Associate Synod is situated near the eastern boundary.[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 Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. 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 Leochel-Cushnie, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086502 (12 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
FHL Film Number
1669-1703 - Leochel

1715-1819 - Leochel

1730-1797 - Cushnie

1820-1854 Cushnie, Leochel
1658-1706 - Leochel

1769-1822 - Leochel

1769-1793 - Cushnie

1813-1840 - Cushnie, Leochel
1820-1850 - proclamations
1657-1673 - Leochel

1737-1823 - Leochel

1840-1848 - Leochel

1737-1784 - Cushnie

1820-1848 - Cushnie


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 recored may be indexed in theInternational Genealogical Index.
Births: Births for Leochel are defective for 1687. They are blank February 1697–May 1699 and there is only one entry July 1700–July 1701. Records are blank October 1703–June 1715 and May 1728–May 1733. From October 1797, the record is applicable to the united parish of Leochel and Cushnie. Mothers’ names are not recorded until 1801.
Cushnie births recorded prior to 1770 are very much wasted by dampness and want of care. The record terminates in 1797. Mothers’ names not recorded.
Marriages: Records are blank December 1665–October1672, and October 1681–May 1683, at least the intervening entries are illegible through the effects of dampness. There are only five entries December 1686–March 1699. Records are blank November 1699–April 1706, and except two entries, July 1813. There are only proclamations after 1840.
There are only three pages of marriage entries for Cushnie, 1769–1771 and 1792–1793, transcribed from the Session Minutes.
Deaths: Burials until 1673. Records are blank December 1673–May 1737, after which there are only a few pages of entries of Mortcloth Dues, funeral expenses of the Poor, etc. There is only one entry June 1795–January 1823 and they are blank August 1823–1840.
Deaths for Cushnie are Mortcloth Dues and are not continuous.
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:

Leochel: Minutes 1708–1739, 1740–1768, 1841–1914
Cushnie: Minutes with Collections and Distributions, 1782–1796
Minutes with Accounts 1800–1801
Cash Book 1768–1925
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/238.

Nonconformist Churches[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.

A Free Church, known as Towie and Cushnie, was not sanctioned until 1856, there are no 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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Leochel-Cushnie was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Aberdeen until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Aberdeen. 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 Aberdeen and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Aberdeen.

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.

Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.