Fettercairn, Kincardineshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Kincardineshire Gotoarrow.png Fettercairn Gotoarrow.png Parish #257

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


FETTERCAIRN, a burgh of barony and a parish, in the county of Kincardine, 15½ miles (W. S. W.) from Stonehaven. This place is supposed to have derived its name from several cairns on the ascent of one of the mountains by which it is bounded on the north, raised over the remains of the warriors who fell in battles which, according to tradition, were fought in this pass of the Grampians. The church, erected in 1804, and enlarged in 1839, is a handsome structure, with a tower, and spire rising to the height of 104 feet; it is beautifully situated, and contains 1000 sittings, of which the number may be easily augmented. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[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 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.

 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 Fettercairn, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086598 (2 fiches)

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

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


Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index availabel on computers at the Family History Library and family history centers.  Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: There are no entries for May 1737–April 1741 and January 1744–September 1747.
Marriages: There are no entries December 1675–February 1721; April 1737–April 1741 and January 1744–1746, except scroll entries 1825–1830. Entries 1721–1744 are recorded among the births for the same period of time.
Deaths: There are no entries June 1746–May 1784. Mortcloth Dues
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:

Minutes 1676–1682, 1723–1756, 1773–1930
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/152.

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.

Petercairn Free Church, later United Free

This congregation was organized in June 1843. The church was built in 1843–1844. The charge was sanctioned in 1844. The manse was erected in 1846. The church suffered through decline of the population, owing to emigration, and the disappearance of crofts and small holdings.
Membership: 1848, 300; 1900, 122.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572.

FHL Film Number
Session Minutes 1843–1891 1484616 items 4–5
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1843–1854 1484616 items 4–5
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1849–1855, with Accounts 1484617 item 1

Fettercairn Episcopal Church

Fasque Scottish Episcopal Church (Kincardineshire) has baptisms and communicants, 1849-1919. The manuscripts of these registers are held at:

Archive Services, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN
tel: +44 (0) 1382 384095 email:archives@dundee.ac.uk
fax: +44 (0) 1382 385523 web: www.dundee.ac.uk/archives

These include some records of the chapel in Laurencekirk as well.

In addition, some transcriptions exist for one, Robert Sparks, containing baptism and marriage registers for Fettercairn. Robert Spark's baptism and marriage register contain some Baptisms for  Fettercairn (as well as for Arbuthnott, Fetteresso, Fordoun, Glenbervie, Kineff, Laurencekirk, Montrose, St. Cyrus). 1800-1825. Marriages 1814-1825. These transcriptions are available at:
Archive Services, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN
tel: +44 (0) 1382 384095
fax: +44 (0) 1382 385523
web: www.dundee.ac.uk/archives

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.

Probate Records

Fettercairn was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of St. Andrews until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Stonehaven. 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 Kincardine and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of St. Andrews.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Kincardine. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Kincardine and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 6 June 2014.

Return to Kincardineshire parish list.