Fetteresso, Kincardineshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #258

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

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FETTERESSO, a parish, in the county of Kincardine; containing about two-thirds of the town of Stonehaven. This place, of which the name, in the Celtic language, is perhaps descriptive of the marshy nature of its lands, is of very remote antiquity, and is distinguished as the site of a station occupied either by the Caledonians or the Romans. The parish is bounded on the east by the German Ocean. The present church, erected in 1813, on a site near Stonehaven, is a handsome structure containing 1400 sittings: some remains exist of the ancient church, to which is attached an extensive cemetery, still used. There is a chapel of ease at Cookney, on the lands of Muchalls, a neat building with 700 sittings, and on the same lands is 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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. 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 Fetteresso as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086598 (2 fiches)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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
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Record Type
Years Covered
Family History Library Film Number



1716-1717, 1819



Condition of Original Registers—
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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 no entries December 1638–January 1641, March 1643–April 1716 and August 1718–1722. There are twelve irregular entries for 1720–1736 on two pages at 1728. After the record for 1819, there occur twelve pages containing irregular entries 1795–1819. Mothers’ names occasionally recorded after 1811, but not regularly until 1814.
Marriages: Marriage records are intermixed with births until March 1643. No entries December 1638–January 1641, March 1643–March 1716, and July 1717–January 1819.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues
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:

Minutes 1640–1672, 1716–1722, includes accounts to 1754, 1736–1910
Scroll Minutes 1755–1760
Cash Books 1767–1818
Baptisms 1848–1899
Marriages 1848–1855
Deaths 1848–1854 - with gaps
Catechumens 1846–1897
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/153.

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.

Muchalls Episcopal Church
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The congregation in this fishing village was formed soon after the Revolution, 1690. With few exceptions the members were all poor people and the greater part of them fishermen and their families. The chapel was built in 1831.
Source: History of the Scottish Episcopal Church, by John Parker Lawson, pub. 1843. A copy of this book is not available in the FHL.

Note: The registers of baptisms, marriages and burials commence from (see their online catalogue) 1724 and may be located by writing to:

Archive Services

University of Dundee

Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN

Email:  archives@dundee.ac.uk

Here some additional considerations for registers of this place, available also at the University of Dundee Achives:

1. In addition, some transcriptions exist for one, Robert Sparks, containing baptism and marriage registers for Fetterresso ( as well as for Arbuthnott, Fettercairn, Fordoun, Glenbervie, Kineff, Laurencekirk, Montrose, St. Cyrus). 1800-1825. Marriages 1814-1825. These transcriptions are also available at:
Archive Services, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN
tel: +44 (0) 1382 384095
fax: +44 (0) 1382 385523
web: www.dundee.ac.uk/archives

2. Register of children baptised in the Chapel of Muchals (Kincardineshire) 1729-1739, 1788-1815. Other parishes mentioned are Auchinblae, Dunure, Lonmay, Portlethen, Strathcathro.

Urie Society of Friends, Quakers[edit | edit source]

David Barclay of Urie, father of the apologist Robert, built a meeting house in the grounds of his house at Urie in 1669, the first in Scotland. He also provided the first burial ground for Friends at Howff, a mile from the house. By 1844, the meeting house had been out of use for a number of years.
Source: The Quaker Meeting Houses of Britain, vol. 2, by David M. Butler of the Friends Historical Society. Family History Library Book 942 K24bd, vol. 2

For records see Aberdeen parish.

See also Dunnottar parish.

Civil Registration
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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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Fetteresso was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of St. Andrews until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Stonehaven. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 Kincardine and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of St. Andrew.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Kincardine. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Kincardine 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: 6 June 2014.

Return to Kincardineshire parish list.