Boyndie, Banffshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #149

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


History[edit | edit source]

BOINDIE, a parish, in the county of Banff, 3 miles (W.) from Banff; containing the village of Whitehills. This place, from which Banff was disjoined about the year 1635, was anciently called Inverboindie, signifying "the mouth of the Boindie," in consequence of the situation of the old church, now in ruins, near the spot where the small stream of the Boindie falls into the sea. The word Boindie is supposed to be a diminutive of Boyn, the name of a larger stream bounding the parish on the west. The church, accommodating 600 persons, was erected in 1773: the ruin of the old edifice still remains, with its burial-ground, and stands on a site near the sea, where a battle with the Danes is supposed to have taken place, in the reign of Malcolm II. The members of the Free Church and the Wesleyans have places of worship.[1]

The ancient names of the parish was Inverboindies, i.e. the mouth of the Boyndie; the old church, now in ruins, being situated near the point at which the small stream of that name falls into the sea.  Boindie seems to be merely a diminutive from Boyn, the name of a larger stream forming the western boundary of the parish.  The word Boyn, besides, ancientlly gave name to two feudal territories, one named the thandedom, the other the forest of Boyn,  The thanedom included the chief part of this parish with certain parts of Fordyce and Banff.  The forest of Boyn lay both to the east and west of the Forester's seat at Tarbriech, on the shank of the Binnhill near Cullen, comprehending a large district on the south and east of the parish of Fordyce, marching with the thanedom, besides Blairmand in this parish.  The word Bouin in Gaelic is understood to signify a stream, and thus with aa, a ford, gives name to the parish of Boyne, at which there is a stream and a ford.  Probably our name Boyn, which, in the reign of Robert Bruce, was spelt Bouyn, has the same origin.

The parish is bounded by the parishes of Marnoch, Banff, and the sea; on the north, from 2 to 3 miles, and bounded by the sea; on the west from 4 to 5 miles, and is bounded by the civil parish of Fordyce and by Ordiquhill.  The burn of Boindie forms the march towards the south and east, except in reference to the lands of Baldavie, which cross the said water, southward; (the hills of Boindie are here supposed to be in Banff, which is doubtful) the burn of Boyn, towards Fordyce; and a streamlet falling into the latter, towards Ordiquhill  By survey, the parish contains about 5000 acres, Scots measure. 

Tradition says that the grey rat was first imported into this part of the county from a vessel wrecked on the reef.  Three or four of these ferocious creatures were found in the act of killing the sixth of a litter of young pigs; the former five had been killed and devoured.  They were considered very dangerous to young children.

The Parochial Register of baptisms appears to have been kept with considerable regularity from 1700, the date of the first entry, until about 1770.  From this period until 1827 there appears greater or less irregularity and incompleteness of the registers.  Until 1827 the marriage register consists of only a few fragments, having reference to the beginning of last century.  There is no proper register of burials.  Some interesting minutes of session are preserved for the period intervening between 1698 and 1706.

There is no chapel of ease, or other additional place of religious worship, within the boundaries of the parish.  The Methodists had recently erected a small chapel in Whitehills.  The whole adult population rather regularly tend the Established Church, except attending the chapels of Dissenters of different denonimations:  Methodists, 20; Episcopalians, 12; Roman Catholics, 2; comprising about 20 families.

The main industry seems to have been fishing with the Herring fishery affording them opportunities of improving their circumstances.  Many attaining a degree of comfort in their dress and in the style of their houses and furniture, quite superior to what their forefathers enjoyed.

The above is an extract of the account written in December 1839 and revised March 1842.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland (FHL book 941.B4sa, series 2) 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  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Boyndie. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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

Years FHL Film Number Surname Index            
1841 1042646
1851 1042105 941.24 X22s v. 3
1861 103808
1871 103967
1881 203438 6086520 (set of 3 Fiche)
1891 208653

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 indexes through the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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: 1700-1854 0990820
Marriages: 1700-1786 0990820

1827-1854 0990820
Deaths: No entries none


Condition of Original Registers=[edit | edit source]

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:The record was regularly kept, except 1785–1787 where numerous imperfect entries occur.

Marriages: No entries November 1725–May 1734 and July 1736–July 1827, except seven entries for the years 1777, 1778, and 1786.

Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by 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:

Minutes 1698–1706

Accounts 1842–1917

Note:Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, records CH2/1507.

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.


Boyndie Free Church[edit | edit source]


The minister and many of his parish left the Established Church in 1843. A year later they built a church in Whitehills, far from the center of the parish. Because of the inconvenient location, some parishioners joined Ordiquhill and Ord, and some the Portsoy congregation.

Membership:1848, 130; 1900, 138.

Source:  Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.


No pre-1855 records of value are known to exist.

Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

 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[edit | edit source]

Boyndie was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Aberdeen until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Banff. 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 Banff  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 Banff.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Banff 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: 20 June 2014.

Return to the Banffshire parish list.