Ross and Cromarty, Scotland Genealogy

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Ross and Cromarty are two counties in the north of Scotland, under the jurisdiction of one sheriff [which are now considered one county].  They are bounded on the north by Sutherlandshire, on the east by the German Ocean, on the south and south-east by Inverness-shire, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.  They extend about 67 miles in length and 58 miles in breadth, comprising an area of 3799 square miles or 2,431,360 acres, of which 223,560 are Cromarty.  Cromarty is a peninsula, called the Black Isle, which lies between the Cromarty and Moray Firths.

The combined counties consist of 31 parishes.  They are under three sub-sheriffs who hold their courts at Cromarty and Tain, Dingwall and Fortrose, and Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.  The royal burghs are Dingwall, Tain, and Fortrose, the market-towns are Cromarty and Stornoway, which are burghs of barony, and there are numerous smaller places. 

Ross and Cromarty include the districts of Ardross, Easter Ross, Ardmeanach or the Black Isles, Kintail, Strathcarron, and the greater part of the island of Lewis.  The general surface is wild and mountainous, diversified with numerous glens and some pleasant and fertile valleys, enlivened with several rivers and lakes. The streams abound with salmon.  The western coast is indented by many lochs and bays.  Ardmeanach, or the Black Isle, is so called due to its bleak moorland character.  The Isle of Lewis is less mountainous but is equally dreary and barren.

A very small proportion of the land is in cultivation.  The soil on the eastern coast and on the low lands is rich and fertile.  Excellent crops of wheat are raised.  There are good tracts of meadow-land, and the mountainous parts afford pasturage for sheep and cattle.  Copper is wrought.  Ironstone, limestone, and coal are present but are not wrought.  There are chalybeate springs of great repute.  The principal manufactures are thoses of biscuit and cotton bagging.  The herring-fishery is extensively pursued, and a considerable number of fish are taken in the lochs.  Black cattle, sheep, and great quantities of wool are shipped from the several ports.

The population is 1851 was 78,685.

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


Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Ross & Cromarty with their parish numbers. Click on a parish name to see information about records.

Parish No. Parish No.
Alness 57 Lochalsh 74
Applecross 58 Lochbroom 75
Avoch 59 Lochcarron 76
Contin 60 Logie-Easter 77
Cromarty 61 Logie-Wester -- see Urquhart 84
Cullicudden -- see Resolis 79 Nigg 78
Edderton 63 Resolis (formerly Kirkmichael & Cullicudden) 79
Fearn 64 Rosemarkie 80
Fodderty 65 Rosskeen 81
Gairloch 66 Shieldaig -- see Applecross 58
Glenshiel 67 Suddy -- see Knockbain 73
Killearnan 68 Tain 82
Kilmuir-Easter 69 Tarbat 83
Kilmuir-Wester -- see Knockbain 73 Urquhart & Logie-Wester 84
Kiltearn 70 Urray 85
Kincardine 71 Barvas(Insular) 86
Kirkmichael -- see Resolis 79 Lochs(Insular) 87
Kishorn -- see Applecross 58 Stornoway (Insular) 88
Kintail 72 Uig (Insular) 89
Knockbain (formerly Kilmuir-Wester & Suddy) 73


The Family History Library has county-wide census indexes for Ross & Cromarty for 1841, 1881

The library also has a collection of census surname indexes for different places within Ross & Cromarty. 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.
Ross&Crom, c. 1845.jpg

Click here to see an outline map of the parishes of Ross & Cromarty. 

[Return to county list.]