Urquhart and Logie-Wester, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

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Urquhart and Logie-Wester

Parish # 84

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

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URQUHART and LOGIE WESTER, a parish, partly in the county of Nairn, but chiefly in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 2 miles (S. E.) from Dingwall; containing the villages of Conanbridge and Newton, and the hamlet of Culbokie. This place comprehends the ancient parish of Urquhart. The church, situated on the shore of the Frith, and nearly in the centre of the parish, is a very plain structure, erected in 1795, and containing 1500 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

Urquart derives its origin, according to tradition, of having been built by a lady of eminent piety, by the name of Sophia Urquart, in Gaelic, Sitheag, Urachdun. The lady was of the family of Cromarty, and the lands of Urquart, had been allotted as her dowry. Loggie, the name of the other parish, is a Gaelic word, Laggie, from lag, signifying a hollow, and it is called Loggie Wester, to distinguish it from another parish by the name of Loggie, within the bounds of the synod. This parish, now known by the name Urquart, is in all church records designated the united parishes of Urquart and Loggie Wester; the former, comprehending the eastern district, and the latter, the western district of the parish as now constituted. On the east, it is bounded by the parish of Resolis; on the south and south-west, by the parishes of Knockbain and Killearnan; on the west, by the parish of Urray; on the north, the boundary is formed by the Cromarty Firth and the River Conan, which separate it from the parishes of Kiltearn, Dingwall, Fodderty, and part of Urray.

There is no market-town in the parish, but the nearest one is Dindwall which is about five miles away. There are two villages, Conan Bridge, on the line of the great northern road, and a thriving place, with a population of upwards of 300 souls, and Culbokie, the only other village.

It is believed that there exists no account of the parish either in print or manuscript. Neither are there any traditional sketches that are deserving of notice, with the exception of one relating to President Forbes, and which forms an interesting episode in the history of the Rebellion.

The most distinguished character ever connected with this parish, so far is known, is President Forbes. Another person of interest is General John Mackenzie, who is of the family of Gairloch, and was born at Conan House.

The landowners are, Mr. Forbes of Culloden; Sir James Wemyss Mackenzie of Scatwell; and Sir Francis A. Mackenzie of Gairloch.

The population in 1792 was 2901 people, and in the census of 1831, there is total of 2864 persons counted.

The great majority of the inhabitants of the parish are employed in agriculture; either as occupiers, feed-servants, or day-labourers. The principal crops raised are; oats, barley, and wheat. The soil is well adapted to peas, beans, potatoes and turnips.

The parish church is a plain capacious house, situated near the sea-shore, as nearly as possible in the middle of the parish. The number of sitters intended to be accommodated is 1200; but from 1500 to 1800 persons have often been crammed within the walls. There is scarcely a Dissenter in the parish. A considerable number of the inhabitants of the western districts of the parish were, thirty or forty years ago, Episcopalians, but, of that persuasion, there are now very few, almost all the young people having become attached to the Established Church.

The oldest register now in existence is dated 1715. For the first thirty or forty years the entries seem to have been made very irregularly, there being intervals of years, during which neither baptism no marriage was inserted; and in the case of baptism, when recorded, the name of the father alone was registered, and of deaths, no record is kept.

This account was written February 1840.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland for Urqhart & Logie-Wester, FHL book B4sa, series 2, vol. 14.

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 you are interested in. 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 Urquhart & Logie-Wester, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6037266 (6 fiche)
 6206400 (4 fiche)
6086658 (4 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 FHL Film Numbers
Birth: 1715-1854 0990660
Marriage: 1715-1854 0990660
Death: No entries none


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: The greater portion of the first page, which contained entries July 1715–April 1716, has been torn off and lost. No entries September 1719–May 1724, January 1728–June 1736, and December 1740–October 1746. There are only three entries January 1752–June 1756.
Marriages: There are no entries July 1719–December 1736, March 1737–November 1745, March 1753–January 1759, and July 1759–January 1761.
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 1729–1773, 1870–1940
Poor Fund Accounts 1816–1843
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/787.

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.

Urquhart Ferintosh Free Church[edit | edit source]

Dr. MacDonald, "the Apostle of the North," minister of Urquhart, "came out" in 1843 and carried with him a large congregation. For a time Dr. MacDonald and his people worshiped in the open air at a spot near the Ferintosh Burn. A satisfactory site having been secured, a new church and manse were erected without delay.
Membership: 1855, 1200; 1900, 83.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including ministers.

The extent of records is unknown.

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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Urquhart & Logie-Wester was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Ross until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Ross & Cromarty. 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 Ross & Cromarty and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Ross.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Ross & Cromarty. Look in the library catalog  for the 'Place-names' of Ross & Cromarty 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: 1 August 2014.

Return to Ross & Cromarty parish list.