Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #207

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Kemnay. 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 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 Kemnay as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Family History Library 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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1660-1854 0993195
Marriages: 1660-1854 0993195
Deaths: 1660-1708 0993195


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.  The records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
Births: Records are defective 1695–99 inclusive. There are only two entries September 1747–September 1748 and a duplicate of 1780–1794 inclusive. Mothers’ names recorded 1700–1717, and after 1758.
Marriages: Record prior to 1780 is mixed up with that of baptisms and there are no entries for 1781. There is only one entry November 1807–January 1811, and one for year 1817.
Deaths: These records are of burials, and are blank January 1687–November 1688.
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 and Accounts 1599–1707, 1709–1752, 1758–1868
Discharge of Penalties 1668–1688
List of Male Heads of Families 1834–1837
Seat Rents 1761–1802
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/542

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.

Kemnay Free Church

Religious gatherings had been held for some time in Kemnay by members of the Free Church, when in 1864, it was recognized as a preaching station. The charge was sanctioned in 1866. For some years services were held in a hall for which a nominal rent was paid. A cottage was bought for a manse in 1871. Church and hall were erected in 1873. The granite quarries were opened about the sixties and as they developed, the population increased. The clock in the church tower was the gift of John Fyfe, owner of the quarries.
Membership: 1848, 141; 1900, 160.
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.

No known surviving records.

Kenmay Episcopal

See Monymusk parish.

Civil Registration Reords

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

Kemnay 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 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.

Return to Aberdeenshire parish list.