Cruden, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #185

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

History[edit | edit source]

CRUDEN, or Invercruden, a parish, in the district of Ellon, county of Aberdeen, 7 miles (S. S. W.) from Peterhead; containing the villages of Finnyfold or Whinnie-Fauld, Bullers-Buchan, and the Ward. The church was built in 1776, and then enlarged. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church, and there is also an episcopal chapel.[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[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 Cruden as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library 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[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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1707-1854 0993178
Marriages: 1707-1854 0993178
Deaths: 1707-1811, 1828-1854 0993178

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: Irregular entries for 1717–1726 are recorded on three pages at April 1718. A record of the family of the Earl of Errol for 1793–1804 is recorded in 1805. Mothers’ names not recorded in the entries until 1801. There are only three entries for 1807–1828.
Marriages: Registers are blank August 1718–March1721
Deaths: Burials are blank December 1713–May 1794, only.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book941 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:

Session Minutes 1587–1688 (fragments), 1720–1792, 1801–1867
Accounts 1773–1837
Proclamations 1844–1867
Copies of Baptism and Marriage Registers 1851–1891
Collections and Distributions 1717–1772
Cash Book 1851–1913
Communion Roll 1844–1845, with a list of heads of families, 1839
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/447.

Roll of Male Heads of Families[edit | edit source]

An 1839 list of male heads of families in this parish can be found here.

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.

Cruden Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister of the parish and many of his congregation “came out” of the Established Church in 1843. A wooden church was erected in almost a single day. A stone church and manse were erected by October 1843. A school was erected in 1850, and maintained until 1873, when the building was converted into a church hall. Decline in Membership was due in some measure to the opening of five new churches in the neighborhood, and also to emigration. A Free Church congregation at Slains parish was under the charge of the minister of the Cruden congregation until 1874.
Membership: 1848, 550; 1900, 275.
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.

Various Minutes 1843–1931
Other post-1855 records.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/375.

Cruden Episcopal Church[edit | edit source]

In the 1790's there were both English Episcopal and Scotch Episcopal congregations and clergymen in this parish. Membership of the two at that time was about 360. In 1840 there was only the Scotch Episcopal chapel and it was said to be well attended.

Christenings, Marriages, and Burials, 1807–1854.
For information, write to:
The Rectory of Ellon
Aberdeen AB41 9NP

Transcribed Records—
Some of the sub-chapel church records have been transcribed by Archibald Maxwell Strath and were self published as "The Registers of Baptisms by Rev. John Cruickshank of Macterry & Sub Chapels of Hall & Tillydesk, Diocese of Aberdeen & Okney, 1772-1790".

Copies are held by the Aberdeen County Library, Meldrum Old Meg Way, Meadows Industrial Estate, Old Meldrum, AB51 OGN, Scotland

Further copies at held at the Aberdeen & North East Scotland Family History Society, 4 King St. Aberdeen, AB24 5BD Scotland.

The rector of Ellon has stewardship over several congregations including Cruden.

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]

Cruden 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. also has many probate records for Scotland and Scottish people indexed from 1861-1941

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.