Dallas, Moray, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #129

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

History[edit | edit source]

DALLAS, a parish, in the county of Elgin; including the hamlet of Edinville, 8 miles (S. E.) from Forres. This place takes its name from the two Gaelic words dale, a vale or plain, and uis, contracted from uisge, water. It was formerly the seat of the sub-dean, and comprehended the parish of Altyre; but that district was disjoined and annexed to the parish of Rafford, in 1657, and Easter-Kelles, a part of the parish of Elgin, was joined to Dallas, an arrangement which was ratified by act of parliament in 1661. The church, situated in about the centre of the parish, will accommodate 400 persons, but, never having been properly finished, is found inconvenient and uncomfortable.[1]

The name of this parish is derived from two Gaelic words, dale, a vale or plain, and uis, contracted from uisge, water. The parish was formerly a parsonage, dedicated to St. Michael, and the sear of the sub-dean.

It is bounded on the south-east and east, by Rothes and Birnie; on the north-east and north, by Elgin; on the north-west, and west, by Rafford and Edenkillie and on the south-west and south, by Knockando.

Upon the annexation of Altyre part of this parish to the parish of Rafford, Easter Kelles, was annexed to this parish in 1657; and the disjunction and annexation were ratified in Parliament in 1661.

There are no market-towns within the parish; the nearest are Forres and Elgin, the former nine miles from the center of the parish, and the latter twelve miles. There is only one small village in the parish; it is situated on the north bank of the Lossie, distant from the church about two furlongs. It was founded about forty-three years ago by Sir Alexander Penrose Dumming, and it contains thirty-two houses.

There are three heritors, all having lands in other parishes, viz. Sir William G. Gordon Cummings of Altyre, Bart., the Earl of Fife, and James William Grant, Esq., of Wester Elches. Sir William Gordon Gordon Cumming of Altyre and Gordonston, Baronet, is patron.

A castle, of which the ruins remain, and which is named the Castle of Dallas, or Torcastle, was built by Sir Thomas Cumming of Altyre, around 1400. It was formerly the stronghold of the Cummings, the ancestors of the present proprietor.

As for the population of this parish, in 1770 there were 700 people, and by the 1841 count, there were 1179. The greater part of the population are employed as farmers, crofters, labourers, and farm-servants. There are also masons, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, grain-millers, carding-millers, tailors, shoemakers, cartwrights, sawyers, fleshers, merchants, etc.

The church of Dallas, the only place of worship in the parish, is situated very near the center of the parish. It was built in 1794, but was never finished nor taken off the workman’s hands. The walls are neither plastered, nor the rood ceiled, and it is therefore in a very uncomfortable condition. It accommodates only 400 sitters, and a loft is required for 200 more. The sittings in the church are all free, and divided among the tenants; but, as the villagers are not included, a loft was fitted up for their accommodation by Sir William G. G. Cumming; but it is not sufficient to hold one-third of them.

The whole of the population, with very few exceptions, is connected with the Established Church. No mention is made of parish registers.

This account was written February 1842.

Source: The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Dallas, FHL 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.

A Brief History of the parish of Dalls.  A general history of Dallas, including a list of men in an election of Elders in the free church in 1844, and list of children considered for schooling 1849, illustrated with a hand drawn map of the Parish of Dallas about 1750 and a copy of the list of the Poor of Dallas, 17 June 1793, a facsimile page of a list of fornicators and their fines, which paid for the bridge over the River Lossie in 1802, and a list of male heads of families 1838. Article to be found in The Lands and People of Moray. pt. 25, 2006, pages 1-17. Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt. 25

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 Dallas as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Book or  Film Number
Surname Indexes
British 941.23/D3 K2b Yes
British 941.23/D3 K2b Yes
6086568 (2 fiche)
None Yes


The 1841-1911 census of Scotland is indexed and imaged on scotlandspeople.$ To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1911, are indexed and imaged on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the Family History Library. For pay websites of www.findmypast.co.uk and www.ancestry.co.uk have indexed the census records 1841-1901.

The Northwest of the Parish.  A history of the north western part of the parish of Dallas.  Kirk Session Record minutes of many people being censured. Plus a list is given of some pre-census inhabitants, illustrated with a hand drawn map of Craigmill, Branchill and Edinvale about 1750.  Article covers years 1545-1850, to be found in The Lands and People of Moray, pt. 25. 2006. pages 18-28, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt 25.

Dallas Village, and Neighbouring Settlements:  Dallas Village, Hatton, Torchastle, Tombreck, Rhinagoup, Leonach, Ardoch, Craigroy, Hillochead, Milltown of Dallas, Tomdougart and Auchness. A brief history of the area, including names of indivuduals of the area and their employ, some  from the Kirk Session Minutes, and Kirk Session Minutes Censures. There is also a pre census list of inhabitants, illustrated with hand drawn maps of Kirktoun of Dallas 1750 and the Village of Dallas 1825 and sketches of the old church and new church of Dallas about 1792. Article covers years 1232-1851, and is found in The Lands and People of Moray pt. 25, 2006, pages 29-59, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt. 25.

Kellas:  Kellas Village, Clashconnachie, Easter kellas, Newton of Kellas, Milltown of Kellas, Buinach, Brokentore, Badiemichael, Bauds, Bodnastalker, Blackhills, Carnicol and Aultderg. This article has a history of the area, Kirk Session Minutes Censures, giving names, and dates, a list of some of the pre-census inhabitants, illustrated with a hand drawn map of the lands of Kellas about 1750. Article covers years 1237-1850 and is to be found in The Lands and People of Moray, pt 25, 2006, pages 60-71, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt.25.

The Road South. Scottackleys, Tomcork, Coldburn, Whiterashes, Altnahuish, Aultahurn, Yellowbog, Cairnagouroch, Auchness, Ballachragan, Soccach, Torwinny, Coldwells, Souldow, Goatcraig and Anargate.  A brief history of the area, including a list of some of the pre-census inhabitants of the area, giving name, date, residence, relationship, illustrated with a hand drawn map of the southern part of the parish about 1750. Article covers years 1553-1848, and is found in The Lands and People of Moray pt. 25, 2006 pages 73-80, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt 25.

The Hill Lands. Very brief history of the area, with a short list of pre-census inhabitants, starting 1756-1850, giving name, date, residence, and relationship. The Lands and People of Moray pt. 25. 2006, pages 81-82, Family History Library Ref. 941.23 H2b pt. 25.

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
Births: 1742-1854 0990725
Marriages: 1749-1854 0990725
Deaths: 1775-1818 0990725


Condition of Original Registers[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 only three entries before March 1749, five entries for December 1752–March 1754, and no entries for December 1769–October 1771 or November 1773–December 1774. There is a duplicate copy of the record for 1763–1817.
Marriages: There are no entries for November 1752–December 1774 or August 1782–December 1784, only one for 1797, for December 1785 October 1816, and none for January 1818–July 1826.
Deaths: There are no entries for January 1784–October 1816. The records end with February 1818.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. FHL 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 1749–1761, 1766, 1775–1782, 1786, 1798, 1805–1815, and 1845–1854
Accounts 1774–1782
Mortcloth Dues 1803–1804
Poors’ Fund 1789–1802, 1827–1846 - includes lists of male heads of families who were communicants
List of Population of the Parish for June 1811
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1129.

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.

Dallas Free Church[edit | edit source]

Although the minister of the parish did not leave the Established Church at the Disruption, his wife and family and many of his congregation joined the Free Church, and one of his sons later became a minister of the Free Church. In August 1844 a minister was settled, and a church was built in 1845 and a manse in 1849. Population of the congregation decreased through the years
Membership: 1848, 102; in 1900, 55.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843 1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Minutes 1845–1950
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1845 1922
Miscellaneous Papers, including a Communion Roll for 1876
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1131.

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]

Monumental Inscriptions [edit | edit source]

Probate Records
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Dallas 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- 1925 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' 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' 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.