Maryculter, Kincardineshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #264

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

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MARYCULTER, a parish, in the county of Kincardine, 7½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Aberdeen. The name of this place has generally been derived from the Latin words Mariæ Cultura, on account of the dedication of the church to the Virgin Mary; but some Gaelic scholars are of opinion that the latter part of the name may be traced more correctly to the compound word cul-tira, in the Gaelic signifying "the back of the land." The church was built in 1787, and is in good repair; it accommodates about 460 persons with sittings, and is conveniently situated. There is a Roman Catholic 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 Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. 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 Maryculter, 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 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



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: The birth records appear to have been regularly kept until 1788, after which irregular entries occasionally occur.
Marriages: Marriages are intermixed with baptisms from 1783–1817. There are no entries June 1788–December 1804; and only one entry June 1815–February 1818, when a separate record begins. There are no entries December 1819–February 1822.
Deaths: Burials are intermixed with baptisms and marriages 1783–January 1787, then there are no entries until February 1818.
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 he 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 1719–1907
List of Members 1834–1841
Cash Book 1825–1881
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/498.

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.

Maryculter Free, later United Free Church[edit | edit source]

The congregation here was formed at the Disruption; the charge was sanctioned in March 1844. The congregation worshiped in a barn at Whitestone until the church was opened in August 1844. In 1852, Maryculter and Bourtreebush were united under the minister of Maryculter. In 1876, however, they were disjoined.
Membership: 1848, 140; 1900, 69.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572.

Family History Library Film Number
Baptismal Register 1853–1854 0559523 item 6
Marriage Register 1854 0559523 item 6
Session Minutes 1844–1936
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1844–1936
Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/225.

Blairs St. Mary’s College Catholic Church[edit | edit source]

A congregation has existed here from 1786, though Catholics were certainly in the area earlier. The church was consecrated as St. Mary’s College in 1829, which succeeded a congregation called Aquhorties, location unknown.

Baptisms 1786–1805, 1830–1911
Marriages 1848–1953
Confirmations 1842–1852
Seat Rent and Collections Lists 1845–1855
Note: Note: Available online for a fee, at , Edinburgh, record MP/14.
Earlier confirmations for 1820, 1825 Aquhorties, and 1830 were published in the “Innes Review - Scottish Catholic historical studies,” vol. 14 no. 2, which is not available at the Family History Library.

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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Maryculter 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 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' of Kincardine and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of St.Andrews.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Kincardine. Look in the librarycatalog for the 'Place' 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.