Nairnshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Nairn is a county in the north-east of Scotland, bounded on the north by the Moray Firth, on the east by Elginshire (Moray) and a detached portion of the county of Inverness, on the south by Elginshire, and on the west and south-west by Inverness-shire. It is about 22 miles in length and 15 miles in breadth, comprising an area of 200 square miles or 128,000 acres.

It includes four parishes and small detached portions of ones from other counties. In civil matters, it and Elginshire are under the jurisdiction of one sheriff with a sub-sheriff over each. It contains the royal burgh of Nairn (the county town) and a few villages.

In the northern part of the county the surface is tolerably level, but in the southern part it is hilly and mountainous.  Rather more than half the land is arable.  Of the remainder, the greater portion is meadow and pasture and the rest is unprofitable moss.  There is a considerable quantity of natural wood remaining, and extensive plantations have been formed.   Limestone, marl, and freestone of a beautiful coulour are found in the county.  The chief commerce is the export of timber, corn, sheep, cattle, and salmon.

The population of the county in 1851 was 9217.

(Source:  Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851.  Family History Library 941 E5L, 2 vols. 


Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Nairn.  Click on a parish name to see information about records.\

Parish No.
Ardclach 120
Auldearn 121
Cawdor 122
Nairn 123


The Family History Library has county-wide census indexes for Nairnshire for 1851 and 1881.  

The library also has a collection of census surname indexes for different places within Nairnshire. Click here to see a table listing these other census surname indexes that are available at the library.


Click on the map at the right to see a larger version, and click again on the larger map. Next, click on the ‘Expand’ button when it appears in the lower right-hand corner of the map.
Elgin and Nairn, c. 1845.jpg

Click here for an outline map of the parishes of Nairn.

 Helpful Websites

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