Skene, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Parish #238

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


SKENE, a parish, in the district and county of Aberdeen, 9 miles (W. by. N.) from the city of Aberdeen. This place, which is of some antiquity, was originally part of the royal forests of the kings of Scotland, and was granted to the ancestor of the ancient family of Skene by Malcolm Canmore, as an acknowledgment of his having saved the life of that monarch by killing with his dirk a wild boar by which the king was attacked while hunting in the forest. The church, which is situated nearly in the centre of the parish, was built in 1801, and has been recently repaired; it is a neat substantial structure, and contains 700 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and Independents.[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 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 Skene as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

FHL Film Number
Surname Indexes
6086502 (12 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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1726-1854 0993360
Marriages: 1681-1793 0993360

1812-1854 0993360
Deaths: 1721-1756 0993360

1767-1787 0993360

1819-1850 0993360

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: Entries July 1729–February 1734 are somewhat irregular. Mothers’ names are recorded after 1744.
Marriages: Except for twenty one transcribed entries relating to proclamations 1681–1683, and one entry for 1685, there is no record previous to January 1756. Records are blank except four entries 1812–1813, March 1793–June 1819.
Deaths: Record 1721–1756 transcribed only entries of Mortcloth Dues. They are blank November 1756–January 1767, when a record of burials commences. These records are blank October 1787–July 1819.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.
Monumental Inscriptions: FHL Book 941.25/S2 V3s.

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 and Accounts 1720–1744, 1785–1832
Minutes 1744–1785, 1833–1886
List of Male Heads of Families in Communion 1834–1841
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1021.

Roll of Male Heads of Families

1834-1841 lists of male heads of families in this parish can be found here.

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.

Skene Free Church

The minister of the parish professed sympathy with the Evangelicals, but after some vacillation stayed in the Establishment at the Disruption. Many of his people, however, “came out” and formed the Free Church congregation. Church and manse were built. The manse was afterwards enlarged, and a church hall was erected. The congregation suffered through the closing of a local wool factory, and the depopulation of the district.
Membership: 1848, 313; 1900, 156.
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.

Minutes, 1843–1901
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1006.

Blackhills Westhill Congregational Church

This church began in 1805. In 1845 the church ceased to be connected with the Congregational Union and ultimately in 1862 joined the Evangelical Union with which it remained connected until the union of 1896. Church was known as Westhill from 1867 and closed in 1960.
Source: The Scottish Congregational Ministry, by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton, pub. 1993. FHL Book 941 K2mwd. Additional details in the source include list of ministers.

The extent of Records is unknown. For information, write to:
The United Reformed Church Synod of Scotland
340 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BQ

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

Skene was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Ab erdeen until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Aberdeen. 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 Aberdeen and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Aberdeen.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Aberdeen. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Aberdeen 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: 20 June 2014.

Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.