Insch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #203

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

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INSCH, a parish, in the district of Garioch, county of Aberdeen, 3¾ miles (W.) from Old Rain. The word Insch, or Inch, is of Celtic derivation, and signifies "an island," its application to this place having probably been occasioned by the site of the village being formerly surrounded by water. The church, a plain building, standing in the village, is supposed, from the date of 1613 on its fine old belfry, to have been built in that year; it was well-roofed in 1789, and new-seated in 1793, and contains 460 sittings. 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 Insch, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086502 (12 fiche)
1891*%2C0%2C0&filmno=0208679 sp?display=filmhitlist&columns=*%2C0%2C0&filmno=0208679 0208679

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[edit | edit source]

Record Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1683-1854 0993191
Marriages: 1683-1854 0993191
Deaths: 1783-1791 0993191


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: Records are blank April 1707–June 1710, November 1713–April 1720, August 1720–December 1721. There are no entries January 1772–March 1773. Early leaves of the record are much injured by dampness. Mothers’ names not recorded in the entries 1710–1776.
Marriages: Records are blank October 1687–June1692, June 1707–July 1710, May 1712–April 1720, and April 1729–November 1732. From July 1737–July 1783, the marriages are recorded among the baptisms. From January 1784, a separate record is kept. There is only one entry for 1789; one entry June 1795–July 1797; and two entries December 1807–January 1809.
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 1683–1705, 1720–1792, 1844–1855, includes 2 leaves 1814–1815
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/189

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.

Insch Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was organized immediately after the Disruption, and put under the care of a probationer. A manse and temporary church were built in 1843, and a minister was settled in October of that year. A new church was erected in 1852. Later it was renovated, vestry and church hall being added. The manse was enlarged. The population of the rural district diminished, but that of the village increased.
Membership: 1848, 212; 1900, 260.
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.

Session minutes 1843–1923
Deacon’s Court Minutes 1843–1893
Register of Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths 1843–1879
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/175.

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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Insch 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.