Moray (formerly Elginshire), Scotland Genealogy

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Guide to Moray (or Elginshire) County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Moray (or Elginshire) County

History[edit | edit source]

Moray or Elginshire is located in the north-east of Scotland, bounded on the north by the Moray Firth, on the east and south-east by Banffshire, on the south by a detached portion of the county of Inverness, and on the west by Nairnshire. It is about 40 miles in length and 23 miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 840 square miles or 537,600 acres.

Moray contains 20 parishes and parts of several others, and for civil purposes is joined with the county of Nairn under the jursdiction of one sheriff. It contains the royal burghs of Elgin (the county town) and Forres, and includes the towns of Garmouth and Lossiemouth and a few villages. It was anciently part of a province that included the county of Nairn and a large part of the county of Banff, and was for many ages distinguished as the 'granary of Scotland.'

The population of the county in 1851 was 35,012.[1][2]

ScotlandsPeople: An Important Online Source[edit | edit source]

ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.

The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:

  • Statutory Registers
  • Old Parish Registers
  • Catholic Parish Registers
  • CPR Others
  • Census
  • Valuation Rolls
  • Soldiers’ Wills
  • Wills & Testaments
  • Coats of Arms

For more detail on record availability, see Guides. For the content guide to what records are on the site, see Guides A-Z. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a pay per view fee to see the digitized record.

Census[edit | edit source]

Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for Moray for 1881.  Click here for other census indexes available at the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration or Statutory Registers[edit | edit source]

For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Civil Registration.

Refer to the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article.
Images and Indexes Available at ScotlandsPeople Website ($)
Births 1855-1910 ◊ScotlandsPeople Website has indexes to 2012.
Marriages 1855-1935
Deaths 1855-1960

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Some of the Moray or (Elginshire) parish records are indexed in Moray or Elginshire , Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.

This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Moray or Elginshire in the country of Scotland. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. Also included are some records from non-conformist churches. You will find interesting phonetic spelling. Some of the records may be in Latin or even a Welsh or Scottish dialect. Due to the nature of the records and because the records were originally compiled by a third party, it is difficult to absolutely verify the completeness and validity of the data.

Here is a list of the historic parishes in the county of Moray (or Elgin).  Click on the parish name to see information about records. Click on this link for an outline map of the parishes of Moray.

Parish No. Parish No.
Abernethy & Kincardine -- see Inverness-shire 90a Elgin and Pluscarden 135
Advie -- see Cromdale 128b Essil and Dipple -- see Speymouth 143
Alves 125 Forres 137
Bellie 126 Inverallan -- see Cromdale 128b
Birnie 127 Kinloss 138
Boharm 128a Kinneddar -- see Drainie 130 
Cromdale 128b Knockando  139 
Dallas 129 Lhanbryde -- see St. Andrews 142
Drainie (formerly Kinneddar) 130 New Spynie 136
Duffus 131 Rafford 140
Dundurcas (also known as Rothes 141 Rothes 141
Duthil & Rothiemurchus -- see Inverness-shire 96b St. Andrews 142
Dyke 133 Speymouth (formerly Essil and Dipple) 143
Edinkillie 134 Urquhart 144

Maps[edit | edit source]

Poorhouse Records[edit | edit source]

NOTE: Workhouses in Scotland were commonly known as poorhouses. For more information on Scottish poorhouses, go to the Scotland Poor Law page.

There was one workhouse in this county:

A description with drawings and photos of the workhouse today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the link above located on the site entitled The Workhouse: The story of an institution... which is owned and operated by Peter Higginbotham.

Societies[edit | edit source]

Aberdeen & NE Scotland FHS
164 King St
AB24 5BD
Tel No: +44 (0)1224 646323

Moray & Nairn Family History Society
3 Dunbar Lane
IV30 5QN

The Moray Burial Ground Research Group
127 Morriston Road
IV30 4NB

Scottish Genealogy Society
15 Victoria Terrace
Phone-0131 220 3677

Taxation[edit | edit source]

17th and 18th Century Taxation Records.  A list of Hearth Tax, Cart Tax, Horse Tax, Carriage Tax, Window Tax and Inhabited House taxes levied on inhabitants. Some names given and the amount of tax listed.  Covers 1691-1779. Article in The Lands and People of Moray.Family History Library Ref.  941.23 H2b pt. 9. year 2002, pages 71-73.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 1846), 3 v.: 651, [FHL book 941 E5]. Digitized by FamilySearch International,, (accessed June 20, 2016).
  2. Samuel Lewis. "Edinkillie - Eyemouth," in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846), 392-411. British History Online, (accessed June 4, 2020).