Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #237a  (with Essie)

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

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RHYNIE and ESSIE, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 3½ miles (W. by N.) from Clatt. This place occupies the south-western portion of the ancient lordship of Strathbogie, granted by King Robert Bruce to the family of the Gordons. The present parochial church, at Rhynie, was built in 1823, and enlarged in 1838 by the addition of an aisle; it is a plain substantial structure, and in good repair. There are also places of worship for Independents and members of the Free Church.[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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. 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 Rhynie 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 www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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—[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: Only eight entries August 1752–February 1765, and only three entries November 1766–January 1772.
Marriages: Records are blank February 1752–May 1772. There is only one entry for 1790.
Deaths: Burials, after September 1794 there are four entries, dated 1803, 1821, 1822, and 1826.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b
Monumental Inscriptions: Family History Library Book 941.25/R1 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 1837–1840, 1845–1908
Cash Book 1752–1835
Scroll Cash Book with a Few Minutes 1822–1832
Marriage Register 1855–1867
Other post-1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/972.

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.

Rhynie Free Church[edit | edit source]

A congregation was formed here at the Disruption. In November 1843, it was put under the superintendence of a neighboring minister. Services were held in a wooden church, hastily erected at the Disruption, outside the parish. At length in 1851, a site was obtained in the village, and the church erected. When the first minister retired, the charge was reduced to a station. Sanction was restored in 1871. The congregation suffered seriously through depopulation of the district.
Membership: 1848, 168; 1900, 97.
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 1844–1894
Deacon’s Court Minutes 1844–1856
Communion Roll 1842–1845, Church of Scotland 1842
Baptisms 1844–1846, 1 page
Marriages 1844–1846, 3 entries
General Sustentation Fund Register 1846–1862
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/935.

Rhynie Congregational Church[edit | edit source]

This church was formed in 1804 as a result of the visit of missionary preachers to Cabrach at the end of the 1700's. A congregation formed from some members of the Secession church there and they applied to the Congregationalists for supply of sermon. A church was built in 1808 on a brae east of Mains of Lesmoir. A new church was opened in Rhynie in 1829. This church closed in 1974.

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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Rhynie was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Morya until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Aberdeen. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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: 20 June 2014.

Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.