Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #196

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

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FRASERBURGH, a burgh of regality and a parish, in the district of Buchan, county of Aberdeen, 42 miles (N. by E.) from Aberdeen, and 149 (N. N. E.) from Edinburgh; containing the village of Broadsea. This place, anciently called Faithly, was once the property of Sir Alexander Fraser, on whose lands a town was built, for which he obtained a charter from James VI. The parish is bounded on the north by the Moray Frith, and on the east by the bay of Fraserburgh. The church, in the centre of the town, is a substantial structure built in 1802, and contains 1000 seats; a tower and spire were afterwards added. There are places of worship for Independents, the Free Church, and Episcopalians.[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
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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 Fraserburgh, 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
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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
Births: 1733-1854 0993185
Marriages: 1750-1817 0993185

1820-1854 0993185
Deaths: 1764-1817 0993185


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: Birth records are defective for 1749. There is a duplicate of a portion February 1750–January 1757. Interpolated entries are not un-frequent after 1750, and irregular entries dated 1789–1810 occur after 1812. Mothers’ names are seldom recorded before 1818.
Marriages: Marriage records are blank December 1755–December 1783. After February 1794, except for three entries 1804–1811, the record is merely one of proclamation fees, etc., and is defective.
Deaths: Prior to 1779, only a record of Mortcloth Dues exists. The records are blank from the latter date until December 1783, when a register of burials commences, which is continued to November 1791. There are only Mortcloth Dues from 1791–1817.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.
Monumental Inscriptions: for Peathill Old Churchyard Family History Library Book 941.25/3 V3s

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 1612–1616, 1618–1631, 1661, 1718–1730, 1732–1746, 1780–1816, 1833–1895
Minutes and Accounts 1666–1692
Accounts 1717–1728
Registers of Discipline 1816–1833
Cash Book 1762–81, 1794–1817
Seabox of Fraserburgh Minutes 1714–1833, with gaps
Note: Available at the New Register House, Edingburgh, records CH2/1142

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.

Fraserburgh Free Church[edit | edit source]

The congregation here was formed immediately after the Disruption, and regular services provided. Steps were taken at once for the erection of a church. Some years elapsed before a schoolhouse and manse were built.
Membership: 1848, 390; 1900, 294.
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.

Minutes 1792–1871
Deacon’s Court Minutes 1844–1899
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1051.

Fraserburgh Congregational Churches[edit | edit source]

A church was formed in 1803 as a result of the preaching of James Haldane in the area. A pastor was acquired the same year. The church was located on Mid Street. Another church was formed in 1845 by three deacons and fifty six members of the Mid Street church who were sympathetic with the Evangelical Unionists. A small chapel was erected on Manse Street. The congregation joined the Evangelical Union in 1865. The church was closed in 1916.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960. Family History Library Book 941 K2es, pages 254–7. This book includes further details on each congregation plus a list of ministers. See also 941 K2mwd.

The extent of records is unknown. For information, write to:
United Reformed Church Synod of Scotland
340 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BQ

Fraserburgh Baptist Churches[edit | edit source]

In 1840 the town was visited by a Baptist disciple who held meetings and baptized a number of persons. That same year four well–known members of the Congregational church seceded and became practically the founders of the Baptist congregation here. For a time the congregation met in rented rooms before they took over the old, disused Episcopalian Chapel on Mid Street. In spite of lacking a settled minister, the congregation grew. A church was opened on Victoria Street in 1878.
Source: History of the Baptists in Scotland, by Rev. George Yuille, pub. 1926. Family History Library Book 941 K2hi, pp. 89–92. This book includes a detailed History of the Crown Terrace church.

The extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
Baptist Union of Scotland
12 Aytown Road
Glasgow G41 5RT

Fraserburgh Episcopal Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation has existed since the Reformation. The chapel was erected in 1793 and has since been enlarged and improved. A Sunday school meeting in the Town Hall was attached to the congregation. Many members were of the poor and working classes. Between 200 and 300 members resided in neighboring parishes.
Source: History of the Scottish Episcopal Church, by John P. Lawson, pub. 1843. A copy of this book is not available in the Family History Library.

Christenings, Marriages, and Burials, 1788–1854.
For more information write to:
Fraserburgh Episcopal Church
c/o 7 Whitefield Court
Buckie AB56 1EY

Transcribed Records—
Some of the church records have been transcribed by Archibald Maxwell Strath and were self published in 1985 as "The registers of the Episcopal congregation, Fraserburgh, Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, Scotland, 1766-1884".

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.

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.

Probate Records
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Fraserburgh 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.
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.