Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Alford. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
- 1 History
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
ALFORD, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 26 miles (W. N. W.) from Aberdeen. This place, of which the name is of uncertain derivation, is situated in the south-western portion of a district nearly in the centre of the county, called the How of Alford, a valley comprising also the parishes of Keig, Tough, and Tullynessle and Forbes, and entirely surrounded with mountains and hills. The church, erected in 1804, and enlarged in 1826, is a neat structure, containing 550 sittings.
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.
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 Alford as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Years||FHL Film Number||Surname Index|
|1881||203452||6086502 (12 fiche)|
The 1901 and 1911 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, 1841-1911, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.
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
|Record Type||Years Covered||FHL Film Number|
Condition of Original Registers
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 record is blank for April 1729–April 1733. Prior to 1784, the mother’s name is not recorded in the entries. The record is defective for 1811–1815.
Marriages: The record is blank for September 1728–June 1733, April 1745–February 1746, and December 1798–January 1845, but there is a record of Proclamations 1836–1854.
Deaths: The record is incomplete in the years given.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.
Established Church—Kirk Session Records
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:
Poor Fund 1842–1855
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/9.
Nonconformist Church Records
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.
Alford Free Church
In November 1843, supply of sermon was provided for the parishes of Alford and Tullynessle under the supervision of a neighboring minister. Due to much hostility from the local proprietor, the charge was not sanctioned until 1866. A church was built the next year.
Membership: 1868, 106; 1900, 191.
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.
There are no known pre-1855 records.
Civil Registration Records
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.
The Kirkyard of Alford in Aberdeen has been indexed by the North-East Scotland Family History Society.
Family History Library
Online listing is available through the: Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society
Alford was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Aberdeen 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 Aberdeen. Ancestry.co.uk also has many probate records for Scotland and Scottish people indexed from 1861-1941
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.<
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 12 June 2014.
Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.