Cluny, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #181
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of  Cluny. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.


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 edina.($) 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.

Click here to go to the Family History Library Catalog entry for the census records of Cluny. 

The 1881 census for the county of Aberdeen has been surname indexed.  Click here to go to the library catalog entry for the index.

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($) 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 census or indexes through the Family History 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: 1751-1854 0993176
Marriages: 1772-1854 0993176
Deaths; 1772-1819, 1836-1853 0993176

Condition of Original Registers—

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index available on computers at the Family History Library and family history centers. Some of these records may be indexed and searchable on 
Births: The record is defective for October 1765–March 1772. In the original record, previous to 1795, many out-of-order entries occur, but from about that date a copy, in which the entries are chronologically arranged, was made, and continued afterwards as the principal record.
Marriages: The record is very defective for 1787–1794.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues, the record is blank for July 1793–December 1811 and October 1819–1836, after which date burials are recorded.
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 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 1773–1913
Poor Accounts 1793–1818
Collections and Disbursements 1771–1793, 1818–1832, 1845–1911
Communion Roll 1851–1900
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/441.

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.

Cluny Free Church

A congregation was formed here at the Disruption in 1843 and a probationary minister was placed in charge. The church stood in a rural district, with a United Presbyterian church less than a mile distant.
Membership: 1848, 160; 1900, 141
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.

Various Minutes 1844–1933
Seat Rent Books 1853–1883
Other post–1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/369.

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

Cluny was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Aberdeen until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Aberdeen. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at scotlandspeople.($) You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Aberdeen and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Aberdeen. also has many probate records for Scotland and Scottish people indexed from 1861-1941($)

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.<

Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.