Gartly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #198

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

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GARTLY, a parish, partly in the county of Banff, and partly in the district of Strathbogie, county of Aberdeen, 4 miles (S.) from Huntly. This parish is divided nearly in the centre, by the river Bogie, into two portions, of which the one, called the Barony, is within the county of Banff, and is said to have been separated from Aberdeenshire by its proprietor, Barclay, one of the feudal barons of the ancient earls of Huntly, who, being at that time sheriff of Banff, was desirous of having his property under his own immediate jurisdiction. The other portion of the parish, called the Braes, is in the county, and within the controul of the sheriff, of Aberdeen. The church, an ancient building, was erected in 1621; but, with the exception of the steeple, little of the original edifice is remaining: it has undergone many alterations, and now affords accommodation to nearly 600 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[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 Gartly 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

Condition of Original Registers—
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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: After the record for 1766, at the beginning of Vol. 2, there are 14 pages of irregular entries dated 1718–1782.
Marriages: Marriage records are blank December 1766–February 1777 and there are no entries for 1796.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues 1775–1819 and burials November 1783–1787.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. 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 1770–1775, 1725–1766, with accounts; 1796–1797 a few only and 1847–1919
Minutes 1808–1882
Accounts 1619–1667, 1757–1819
Ordination of Elders 1809, 1815
List of those Entitled to Dr. Milne’s Bequest 1846–1848
Annual returns of contributors to schoolmasters’ fund and of widows and orphans receiving benefit in presbytery of Strathbogie 1808–1838, later notes to 1875.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1060.

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.

Gartly Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister of Gartly, and many of his congregation, “came out” in 1843. A church and manse were forthwith erected.
Membership: 1848, 212; 1900, 155.
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 1843–1860;
Communion Roll 1851–1854
Baptisms 1843–1853
Collection Book 1845–1884
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1063.

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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Gartly was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Moray 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 Moray.

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.