Inveravon, Banffshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish  #157

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


History[edit | edit source]

INVERAVEN, a parish, partly in the county of Eligin, but chiefly in the county of Banff, 11 miles (N. E. by E.) from Grantown. This place derives its name from its situation at the mouth of the river Aven, which has its source in a lake of that name at the base of the mountains Benmacdui, Bein-na-main, and Cairngorum, and after receiving various streams in its course, enters the parish, and falls into the Spey about a mile above the church. The church, which was erected in 1806, is in good repair, and affords accommodation to about 550 persons. In Glenlivet is a missionary station, supported by the Royal Bounty: the chapel was erected, or rather rebuilt, in 1825. There are also in the vale two Roman Catholic chapels.[1]

This parish takes its name from the situation of its church, which stands on the south bank of the Spey. 

The parish stretches back into the Grampians towards the sources of the Don for about 20 miles, with a breadth varying from 3 1/2 to 8 or 9 miles, and lying partly in the county of Moray, but chiefly in the county of Banff,--it is bounded on the north by the parish of Knockando; on the west by Cromdale and Kirkmichael; on the south by Strathdon, and that part of Tarland which is attached thereto quoad sacra; and on the the east by Glenbucket, Cabrach, Mortlach, and Aberlour,--with masses of lofty mountains intervening between it and all these parishes except Knockando, in the direction of which the Spey forms the boundary.

The battle of Altachoylachan or Glenlivet, the most important historical event connected with this parish.  This battle, in which the Earl of Huntly defeated the Marquis of Argyle, was fought on the 4th of October 1594, upon an inclined plain near the Glenrinnes border of the parish.  Here, on ground equally adapted for withstanding his opponent, and for affording a safe retreat in the event of defeat,"Argyle, who, it is allowed on all hands, had numbers on his side, awaited the attack.  His right, commanded by Sir John McClean, occupied the shoulder of the mountain--but treachery in the centre and left powerfully aided his opponent, who had also the advantage of some pieces of artillery.  Besides McNeil of Barra, Campbell of Lochnell, Argyle's nearest heir, and his brother, to whom some also add Sir John McLean, about 500 were slain on the side of Argyle.  On Huntly's, Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindown, Gordon of Gight, and twelve others were killed, and a much greater number wounded, among whom was the Earl of Errol.  About three-quarters of a mile from the scene of action, a small knoll on the east bank of the stream Coulalt, commonly called Lord Auchindown's cairn, two-thirds of it swept away by the flood of 1829, marks the place where Sir. P. Gordon of Auchindown is supposed to have died.

Another very noteworthy historical event happend a little more than a century subsequent to the above battle.  "This and the adjoining parishes found a troublesome neighbour in James Grant, commonly called James an Tuim, as referenced in the History of the Troubles and Memorable Transactions in Scotland in the Reign of Charles I., published by John Spalding, commissary clerk of Aberdeen, who, among other particulars, gives an account of the treacherous abduction by this barbarian , of the young laird of Ballindalloch, during what he expected to be a friendly meeting, -- whom he confined at Bauds, in the parish of Speymouth, exposed to the greatest hardships, for the space of 21 days; whence he at length escaped, in the absence of James an Tuim, by having gained over Leonard Leslie, one of his guards, with whom he conversed in Latin.  The effects of James' treachery and cruelty, it would appear, were not confined to the lower district of the parish and its inhabitants.  Tradition relates, that while in confinement in Edinburgh Castle, observing Grant of Tomnavoulen pass one day, he called out, 'what news from Speyside?  None very particular, rejoined his acquaintance, the best is, that the country is rid of you.'  . . . James was left for the time to his meditations in jail, but in the end made his word good.  Having escaped by means of ropes, conveyed to him by his wife, in a cask supposed to contain butter, he called on his return to Speyside, at the house of Tomnavoulen in an evening, where he was invited to pass the night.  The invitation being declined. Tomnavoulen and his son were asked in return to accompany him a little on his way.  All three set out in company apparently on the most friendly terms; but they had not gone far, when the barbarian drew his sword, slew both the father and son, and having cut off their heads, wrapped them in a corner of his plaid, returned to Tomnavoulen, threw them reeking with blood into the lap of Mrs. Grant, and then bade her good night."

The Spey was celebrated for the value of its salmon fisheries and the quality of the fish, and also for the quantity of fir timber annually bloated on it from the forest of Abernethy and Rothiemurchus.

The parish abounds in game; Partridges, moorfowl, and common hares are very numerous.  Roe are numerous about Ballindalloch and in the lower part of the parish, while to the upper districts, red deer occasionally stray from the forest of Glenfiddich.  Foxes, weasels, and polecats are also common.

The population in 1755 was 2,464 and in 1836 2,707.

There are three volumes of parish registers, the oldest commencing 1630; but all have been imperfectly kept.  Few of the Roman Catholics seem to have inserted their children's births at any time, and now, scarcely any;  until of late (1836 is the date of this record) the Protestants were too negligent in recording theirs.  Since 1640, no notice appears to be taken of burials.

In Glenlivet about three-fifths of the people are Roman Catholics, there are two Roman Catholic chapels, one at Tombia, pretty far up the glen, the other at Chapelton, in the Braes of Glenlivet.  The parish church was built in 1806 and at the time of this writing was in good repair, "but very inconveniently situated on the Spey boundaries of the parish".  It was intended for the accomodation of the Protestants in Glenlivet, as well as the ordinary congregation and seated about 550 people.  There was no chapel of ease in the parish but there was a mission on the Royal bounty that had been in operation in Glenlivet for upwards of 100 years.

SourceThe New Statistical Account of Scotland for Banff.  FHL book 941 B4sa, 2nd series, Vol. 13.



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 Inveravon. 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 Inveravon as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years FHL Film Number Surname Index                 
1841 FHL 1042647
1851 FHL 1042106 941.24 X22s v. 8
1861 FHL 103809
1871 FHL 103969
1881 FHL 203440 6086520 (set of 3 Fiche)
1891 FHL 208655

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 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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1630-1854 FHL 0990997
Marriages: 1630-1854 FHL 0990997
Deaths: 1636-1783 FHL 0990997
1844-1854 FHL 0990997


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. From 1630–1649 the baptisms, marriages, and burials are intermixed in one record.
Births:  There are no entries July 1649–June 1704, August 1714–May 1717, and December 1720–May 1734, except 23 entries November 1724–May 1725. There is a duplicate of the record for January 1787–November 1798.
Marriages:  There are no entries July 1649–February 1742, except a few entries relating to irregular marriages 1729–1736, December 1749–July 1751, and January 1755–August 1761. There is a duplicate of the portion February 1794–December 1798.
Deaths:  Burials are recorded until 1647. There are no entries August 1647–June 1766. From June 1766 until 1783 there is merely a record of Mortcloth Dues. There are no entries 1783–1844.
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 1630–1649, 1703–1838
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, records CH2/191.

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.


Inveravon Free Church[edit | edit source]


This congregation was formed at the Disruption. They met at temporary sites until they finally built a church and manse in 1854
Membership: 1848, 121; 1900, 102.
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 1845–1904
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1846–1926
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, records CH3/949.

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]

Inveravon was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Aberdeen until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Banff.  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 Banff 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 Banff. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Banff 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: 20 June 2014.

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