Banffshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Guide to Banffshire ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.



Banffshire is a maritime county in the north-east part of Scotland.  It is bounded on the north by the Moray Firth, on the east and south-east by Aberdeenshrie, and on the west by the counties of Moray and Inverness.  It is about fifty miles in length, and varies from twenty to only three miles in breadth.  It comprises an area of about 647 square miles or 414,080 acres.  It has twenty-four parishes and six civil districts.  The county contains the royal burghs of Banff (the county town) and Cullen and several thriving and populous villages. The population in 1851 was 49,679.

(Source:  Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851.  Family History Library book 941 E5L.)

Scotlands People: An Important Online 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 exact record availability, see Availability. For examples of the records available, see Record Types and Examples. 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 small pay per view fee to see the actual digitized record.


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 Banffshire for 1881.  Click on here for other census indexes available at the library.

Church Records

Civil Registration or Statutory Registers

For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Statutory Registers - Vital Records.

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


Some of the Banffshire parish records are indexed in *Banffshire, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.

This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Banffshire 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 historic parishes for Banffshire with their parish number. Click on a parish name to see information on records. Click on this link for an outline map of Banffshire parishes.

Parish No. Parish No.
Aberlour 145 Grange 156
Alvah 146 Inveravon 157
Banff 147 Interkeithny 158
Botriphnie 148 Keith 159
Boyndie 149 Kirkmichael 160
Cullen 150 MacDuff (see Gamrie) 155a
Deskford 151 Marnoch 161
Down (see Gamrie) 155a Mortlach 162
Enzie 152 Ordiquhill 163
Fordyce 153 Rathven 164
Forglen 154 Rothiemay 165
Gamrie 155a St. Fergus 166
Glenrinnes 155b Seafield 167



There is 1 workhouse in this county:

A description with drawings and photos of them 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.


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

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

Family History Society of Buchan

22 Harbour Street
AB42 1D
Tel: 01779 238 416

The Scottish Genealogy Society
15 Victoria Terrace
EH1 2J