Inverness-shire, Scotland Genealogy

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Guide to Inverness-shire County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Inverness-shire County

History[edit | edit source]

Inverness is an extensive county in the north of Scotland, bounded on the north by Ross-shire and the Moray Firth, on the east by the counties of Nairn, Elgin, Banff, and Aberdeen, on the south by Perthshire and the county of Argyll, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 90 miles in length and nearly 80 in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 7200 square miles or 4,608,000 acres, exclusive of the several islands attached to it.

The county was orginally the western portion of the ancient province of Moray and was inhabited by the Picts. The city of Inverness (the county town) may have been the residence of the Pictish kings.

The county contains 45 parishes and four districts/sub-sheriff courts of Inverness, Fort William, Skye, and Long Island. It also contains several villages. The population in 1851 was 97,799. [1][2]

Scotlands People: An Important Online Source[edit | edit source]

ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.

The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:

  • Statutory Registers
  • Old Parish Registers
  • Catholic Parish Registers
  • CPR Others
  • Census
  • Valuation Rolls
  • Soldiers’ Wills
  • Wills & Testaments
  • Coats of Arms

For more detail on record availability, see Guides. For the content guide to what records are on the site, see Guides A-Z. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a pay per view fee to see the digitized record.

Census[edit | edit source]

Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for Inverness-shires- for 1881.  Click here for other census indexes available at the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration or Statutory Registers[edit | edit source]

For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Civil Registration.

Refer to the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article.
Images and Indexes Available at ScotlandsPeople Website ($)
Births 1855-1910 ◊ScotlandsPeople Website has indexes to 2012.
Marriages 1855-1935
Deaths 1855-1960

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Some of the Inverness-shire parish records are indexed in Inverness, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.

This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Inverness in the country of Scotland. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. Also included are some records from non-conformist churches. You will find interesting phonetic spelling. Some of the records may be in Latin or even a Welsh or Scottish dialect. Due to the nature of the records and because the records were originally compiled by a third party, it is difficult to absolutely verify the completeness and validity of the data.

Here is a list of the historic parishes for the county of Inverness.  Click on the parish name to see information about records.

Parish No.   Parish No.
Abernethy & Kincardine (formerly in Morayshire) 90a Kilmonivaig 99
Abertarff -- see Boleskine 92 Kilmorack 100
Alvie 90b Kilmuir (Insular) 112
Ardersier 91 Kiltarlity 101
Barra (Insular) 108 Kingussie & Insh 102
Boleskine (including Abertarff and Ft. Augustus) 92 Kirkhill 103
Bracadale (Insular) 109 Laggan 104
Canna -- see Small Isles 116 Moy & Dalarossie 105
Cromdale, Inverallan & Advie -- see Morayshire 128b Muck -- see Small Isles 116
Croy & Dalcross 94 North Uist (Insular) 113
Dalarossie -- see Moy 105 Petty 106
Daviot and Dunlichty 95 Portree (Insular) 114
Dores 96a Rothiemurchus -- see Duthil 96b
Duirinish (Insular) 110 Rum -- see Small Isles 116
Duthil & Rothiemurcas (formerly in Morayshire) 96b St. Kilda -- see Harris 111
Eigg -- see Small Isles 116 Sleat (Insular) 115
Fort Augustus -- see Boleskine 92 Small Isles (Insular) 116
Glenelg 97 Snizort (Insular) 117
Glenmoriston -- see Urquhart 107 South Uist (Insular) 118
Harris (Insular) 111 Strath (Insular) 119
Insh -- see Kingussie 102 Urquhart & Glenmoriston 107
Inverallan -- see Cromdale 128b
Inverness 98
Kilmallie -- see Argyllshire 520

Directories[edit | edit source]

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are avilable online. The directories available for Inverness are:

1873-1912: These are available in either PDF format or viewable online. (Some years are missing)

Maps[edit | edit source]

Click here to see an outline map of the parishes of Inverness-shire.

Poorhouse Records[edit | edit source]

NOTE: Workhouses in Scotland were commonly known as poorhouses. For more information on Scottish poorhouses, go to the Scotland Poor Law page.

There were three workhouses in this county:

A description with drawings and photos of the workhouses today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the links above located on the site entitled The Workhouse: The story of an institution... which is owned and operated by Peter Higginbotham.

Societies[edit | edit source]

The Highland Archive Centre]
Bught Road
Tel: +44 (0)1463 256444

Lochaber Archive Centre
West Highland College
Carmichael Way, Fort William PH33 6FF
Tel: 01397 701942

Scottish Genealogy Society
15 Victoria Terrace
Phone-0131 220 3677

Lochaber & North Argyll Family History Group
c/o Alisdair Campbell
9 Victoria Road
PH33 6BP

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 1846), 3 v.: 651, [FHL book 941 E5]. Digitized by FamilySearch International,, (accessed September 24, 2008).
  2. Samuel Lewis. "Ibris - Issay," in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846), 555-584. British History Online, (accessed August 17, 2020).