Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Laurencekirk. 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
LAURENCEKIRK, a burgh of barony, and also a parish, in the southern part of the county of Kincardine, 9 miles (N. by W.) from Montrose, and 10 (N. E. by N.) from Brechin. This place, anciently called Conveth, derived its present name from the dedication of its original parish church to St. Laurence. The church, erected in 1804, and enlarged in 1819, is a very plain structure containing 766 sittings, a number inadequate to the increased population. An episcopal chapel was erected, and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and Independents, in the town.
The Statistical Accounts of Scotland and The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offer twi 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/. To view the scanned pages pick the desired time period from the two following links (will need to select 'Browse scanned images' from near the bottom of the page which results from clicking on the link below):
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 Laurencekirk as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|| FHL Film Number
|| Surname Indexes|
|| 6086598 (2 fiche)|
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.
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—
Indexed: 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.
Births: Births records appear to have been carefully kept.
Marriages: Prior to 1740, marriage entries are recorded on alternate pages with the births. From February 1740, there is a separate record.
Deaths: There are three entries of burials, and four of funeral expenses, 1703–1759.
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 and Accounts 1702–1954
Communion Roll 1835–1902
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/939.
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.
Laurencekirk Free, later United Free Church
This congregation was formed at the Disruption of those who "came out" of the Established Church. At first the congregation had a very hard struggle, owing to the great influence of Dr. Cook, minister of the parish, which was cast against them. Division in the congregation also delayed the settlement of a minister for a year. A church, manse, and school were soon erected.
Membership: 1848, 145; 1900, 180.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572.
FHL Film Number
Baptisms and Marriages 1844–1861 1485176 item 7
Baptismal Register 1873–1953 1485177 item 1
Baptisms and Marriages are mixed with Session Minutes.
Laurencekirk Episcopal Chapel
The congregation was established in 1793 and a chapel was built. In 1843, the members of the congregation resided in the parishes of Fettercairn, Fordoun, Arbuthnot, Bervie, Benholme, St. Cyrus, Garvock, and Marykirk.
Source: History of the Scottish Episcopal Church, by John Parker Lawson, pub. 1843. A copy of this Book is not available in the FHL.
Some transcriptions of church registers exist for one, Robert Sparks, containing baptism and marriage registers for Laurencekirk. Spark's baptism and marriage register contain some entries for not only Laurencekirk, but also for Arbuthnott, Fettercairn, Fetteresso, Fordoun, Glenbervie, Kinneff, Montrose, St. Cyrus), from 1800-1825, marriages from 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
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.
Laurencekirk 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' 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' of Kincardine 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 Kindcardineshire parish list.