St. Fergus, Banffshire, Scotland Genealogy

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St. Fergus (#166)

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

History[edit | edit source]

FERGUS, ST., a parish, in the county of Banff, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Peterhead. This parish, which is locally situated in Aberdeenshire, though annexed to Banffshire, was formerly called Langley; it took its present name, in honour of its patron saint, in the year 1616, when the church was removed from its ancient site, the downs called the Links of St. Fergus, where it had been erected as a vicarage by the abbot of Aberbrothock. The church, erected in 1763, is a convenient structure, tastefully decorated in the interior, and having three galleries; it contains 610 sittings. There is a small meeting-house belonging to the Baptists.[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 St. Fergus as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index                 
1841 1042649
1851 1042108
1861 103810
1871 103970
1881 203442 6086502 (set of 12 Fiche)
1891 208658

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]


Event Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1688-1819 0991196
1819-1843 0991132
Marriages: 1783-1819 0991196
1820-1854 0991132
Deaths: 1783-1819 0991196
1820-1854 0991132
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: No entries exist for July 1708–July 1712, February 1714–June 1720 and June 1722–July 1723 except three entries 1717–1718. After the entries for 1819 there are 38 pages of irregular entries dated 1763–1842. The record prior to 1768 is a copy made from the original about 1776. There is also a modern copy of the whole register 1688–1819.
Marriages: No entries exist for June 1795–July 1796; except three entries 1796–1797, the record is one of proclamation fees copied from the session minutes. No entries exist December 1812–February 1816.
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 and Accounts 1729–1784
Minutes 1790–1964
Accounts 1785–1835, 1835–1873 - includes Proclamations and Mortcloths
Cash Book 1826–1839, 1843–1869
Treasurer’s Book 1845–1851, 1854–1868
Communion Roll 1846, 1856–1880
Disjunctions and Admissions 1844–1854
Fragments or Scrolls of Minutes 1794–1802
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, records CH2/639.

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.

St. Fergus Baptist Church
[edit | edit source]

Following the preaching of James Watt through Aberdeenshire and Banffshire, small Baptist Churches began to emerge. One of these was St. Fergus which began in 1809 and ceased about 1890. It is now extinct.
Source: History of the Baptists in Scotland, by Geo. Yuille, pub. 1926. Contains list of ministers. Family History Library British Book 941 K2hi.

Extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
The Baptist Union of Scotland
12 Aytoun Road
Glasgow G41 5RT

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]

St. Fergus 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: 26 June 2014.

Return to the Banffshire parish list.