Kilmorack, Inverness, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Inverness-shire Gotoarrow.png Kilmorack

Parish #100 

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


KILMORACK, a parish, in the county of Inverness, 11 miles (W. by S.) from Inverness; containing the village of Beauly. The term Kill-Mhorac signifies "the burial-ground of young Marion;" but it is uncertain what person is referred to in the appellation. The church is conveniently situated a few miles from the eastern boundary; it was enlarged in 1786, and new-seated, and now contains 506 sittings. In the same locality, the inhabitants of the higher district being chiefly Roman Catholics, are two Roman Catholic chapels, the one situated at Wester Eskadale, and the other not far from the house of Fasnakyle, and together accommodating about 500 persons.[1]

The parish of Kilmorack, like many other parishes in the Highlands of Scotland, derives its name from its having afforded burial ground to some reputed saint or person of distinction, Kill Mhorace, signifying the burying-ground of young Marion. It seems most likely she was a descendant of one of the lairds of Chisholm, who long before the Reformation, was the principal resident heritor in the parish, and to whose family a large proportion of it still belongs.

This parish is bounded on the south, by the River Beauly, the parishes of Kirkhill and Kiltarlity; on the north and east, by the    parishes of Urray and Killearnan; and on the west, by the parish of Kintail.

The first individual worthy of notice is the Reverend John Farquharson, well known as the first collector of Gaelic poetry. He resided, for upwards of thirty years, in the Strathglass district of the parish, in the capacity of Jesuit missionary.

Formerly, the sheep in the parish were the few possessed by the farmers for their own consumption; the rearing for the use of others was little attended to; while now, the rich pasture of our country is occupied by thousands of the different breeds. Those most common are the Cheviot and black-faced.

The population of the parish at the time of the last Statistical Account was 2318, by the census in 1831, 2709; the village of Beauly, 508, the total of the country population is 2201. The increase of population during the last thirty years has been principally owing to the influx of people from other quarter into the village of Beauly.

 The parochial registers of this parish extend as far back as the sixteenth century; but, from the irregular manner in which they   have been kept till within the last thirty or forty years, no information of importance can be derived from them.

This account was written January 1841.
Source: The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Kilmorack, Family History Library book 941 B4sa, series 2 vol 14.

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 you are interested in. 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 Kilmorack, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library Film Number
Surname Indexes
6344852(3 fiche)
6086593 (4 fiche)

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 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
Births: 1674-1854 0990709 item 2
Marriages: 1674-1854 0990709 item 2
Deaths: 1674-1708 0990709 item 2


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:  There are no entries July 1705–June 1707. After April 1710, another record is written by the same hand, but containing different entries July 1680–1689, November 1696–October 1699, and March 1704–April 1710. There are two pages of births for 1674–1695 with three entries 1803–1806 and marriages 1680–1695. There are no entries April 1710–July 1717, March 1763–June 1765; April 1768–February 1773, which up to 1789, the record is a copy. There are no entries April 1768–February 1773 and August 1783–January 1785. The records are irregular and very defective February 1789–July 1806.
Marriages:  There are no entries May 1703–1717, but immediately after July 1717 a page of marriages 1692–1698 and also two deaths in 1700. There are only three entries December 1744–March 1747 and except for two entries for 1768, there are no entries October 1766–1806.
Source:  Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. BritishBook 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the 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 1808, 1819–1932
Note:  Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/680.

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.

Strathglass Free Church, Kilmorack and Kiltarlity

Patrick Tulloch, minister of Strathglass, "came out" in 1843. Those adhering to the Free Church were few, and when Mr. Tulloch was translated in 1844 a missionary was put in charge. In 1853 a church and manse were built at Fasnakyle. A mission church was built at Mauld Bridge, near Struy, in 1854. The Assembly sanctioned the charge in 1878, and a minister was settled in 1880. Membership: 1880, 110; 1900, 44.
Source:  Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843-1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572.

No known pre-1855 records.

Kilmorack Free Church, Beauly

The people as a body came out at the Disruption, leaving the minister behind them. A preaching station was constituted in September 1843. A church was built at Balblain. The manse was erected in 1849 on the Chisholm estate, every site in the parish being refused. The church at Beauly was built in 1879. Because of the Declaratory Act, about a hundred adherents left the congregation to form the Free Presbyterian Church.
Membership: 1848, 45; 1900, 119.
Source:  Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1943–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 Vols. Pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

No known pre-1855 records.

Beauly Catholic Church

Congregation formed in 1843, church consecrated to St. Mary in 1851. Earlier records are at Fasnakyle, Marydale.

Baptisms 1851–1885
Note: Available online for a fee, at, Edinburgh, record MP/13.

See also Kiltarlity parish.

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

Kilmorack was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Inverness until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Inverness. 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-names' of Inverness-shire and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Inverness.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Inverness-shire. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Inverness-shire 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: 3 July 2014.

Return to Inverness-shire parish list.