Auldearn, Nairnshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
(Redirected from Auldearn, Nairn, Scotland)
Jump to: navigation, search

Parish #121

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


AULDEARN, a parish, in the county of Nairn, 2¾ miles (E. S. E.) from Nairn. This place is said by some to have derived its name, in the Gaelic Alt-Ern, from a brook flowing through it into the river Nairn, and of which the banks are thickly planted with aldertrees; it was originally the head of the deanery of Moray, and of much greater extent till the year 1650, when parts of it were annexed to the parishes of Nairn, Cawdor, and Ardclach. The church, built in 1751, and improved in 1816, is a neat structure, situated close to the village, and contains 635 sittings. There are places of worship for Free Church and United Secession congregations.[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 Auldearn. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

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 Auldearn as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Number Surname Index
1841     1042643 None
1851 1042100 None
1861 0103887 None
1871 0104066 None
1881 0203429 6086628 (1 fiche)
1891 0208646 None

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 an index through the library.

Church Records

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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1687-1740 0990675
     " 1740-1775 0990981
     " 1820-1854 0990982
Marriages: 1687-1820 0990675
     " 1820-1854 0990981
Deaths: 1819-1854 0990982
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 be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
Births: There are no entries December 1687–February 1689, but there are two small leaves containing entries dated March 1688–1693. No entries exist for April 1697–April 1698. Several irregular entries are recorded in 1770, dated 1758–1774; and at the end of the record for 1775, vol. 2, there are three pages of irregular entries dated 1753–1762, followed by a duplicate of the regular register for 1758–1762.
Marriages: No entries exist for June1688–July 1690 or January 1709–May 1710. The record is defective 1722–1723. No entries exist for October 1725–November 1734 and May 1738–May 1742. The entries for 1743–1747 contain signatures of witnesses. There is only one entry for January 1750–July 1751. There are no entries December 1752–December 1755 and December 1803–August 1808, except one entry in 1806.
Deaths: There are about 12 entries which are Mortcloth Dues; they are without dates after the marriages of January 1750. There are no entries for 1740–1748. No dates are attached to the entries of 1750–1754. After 1754 there are no records until December 1816, except for one leaf containing entries of Mortcloth Dues, 1787–September 1790.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. Family History Library book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The Kirk 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 are the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Minutes 1805–1819, 1837–1928
Accounts 1767–1784, 1805–1824, 1830–1879
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/932.

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.

Boghole, later Moyness United Associate Session

This congregation began in 1747 when parishioners of Auldearn, unhappy over a new minister, left the Established Church. They allied with the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod. They were joined by seceders from Nairn parish and went by the name of the United Congregations of Boghole and Nairn. The church was in Boghole. In 1763, the Nairn parishioners built a church for themselves but remained linked with Boghole, sharing the same minister. In 1769, the Nairn parishioners were recognized as a separate congregation.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details are given in the source.

Managers' Minutes 1821–1841
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/536.

Auldearn Free Church

The minister of Auldearn and most of his parishioners left the Established Church in 1843. They built a church the same year.
Membership: 1848, 138; 1900, 100.
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.

Session Minutes 1843–1878 - lists of members incorporated
Deacons' Court Minutes 1843–1929
Minute Book of the Innes Memorial School Management Committee 1840–1874
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/32.

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.

Poorhouse Records

Nairn Combination

Probate Records

Auldearn was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Moray until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Nairn. 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' of Nairn (the county) and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariot of Moray.

Read more about Scotland Probate Records


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 3 July 2014.

[Return to the Nairn parish list.]