Forglen, Banffshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #154

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


History[edit | edit source]

FORGLEN, a parish, in the county of Banff, 1 mile (W. by N.) from Turriff, on the road to Banff. This place is called also Teunan, from St. Eunon, to whom a chapel, of which there are still some vestiges remaining, is said to have been dedicated. The church, erected in 1806, and situated on the south-eastern boundary of the parish, is in good repair, and will accommodate a congregation of from 400 to 500 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

This parish is sometimes called Teunan or St. Eunon, from a saint of that name to whom a chapel, the ruins of which still remain, is said to have been dedicated.  Forglen and the neighbouring parish of Alvah were at one time joined; but, before the middle of the seventeenth century, Forglen was erected into a separate parish, and an annexation from the adjoining parish of Marnoch was made to it both quoad sacra et civilia

The boundaries of this parish are, on the south and east, the river Deveron; on the west the parish of Marnoch; on the north the parish of Alvah. 

Banff, at the distance of seven miles from the northern extremity of the parish, is the nearest market-town.  The post-town is Turriff, and a mile distant from the south-eastern boundary.  There is no village in the parish. 

There are several very ancient charters in the hands of the Forglen family, connected with the transference of property to and from the family of the Ogylvies of Banff, of which the present Lady Abercromby is a descendant.  From these, it appears that the lands of Forglen at one time belonged to the abbey of Aberbrothick, as well as the patronage of the church.  The writer of this article has inspected a deed conveying the lands of Forglen, and power of presenting to the living, from Irvine of Drum to the Abbey, and another re-conveying them to the family of Irvine.  These deeds are dated as far back as the beginning of the fifteenth century.

The population in 1755 was 607 and by 1831 was 820.

The records of church discipline begin in 1659, and have been regularly kept till the present time, with the exception of five years after 1754.  Baptisms and marriages are very spotty at best.

The parish church accommodates between 400 and 500 persons.  There are 4 Episcopalians who worship at Turriff, where there is a minister of that faith; 2 Roman Catholics with all the rest of the inhabitants attending the parish church.

The above is an extract of the account written in July 1836.

Source:  The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Banff.  Family History Library book 941 B4sa, 2nd series, Vol. 13.


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 Forglen. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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 Forglen as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years Fmily History Library Film Number Surname Index            
1841 1042647
1851 1042105 941.24 X22s v. 1
1861 103809
1871 103968
1881 203439 6086520 (set of 3 Fiche)
1891 208654

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 indexes through the library

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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 Records[edit | edit source]

Record Type Years Covered FamilyHistory Library Film Number
Births: 1647-1854 0990993
Marriages: 1685-1854 0990993
Deaths: 1784-1789 0990993

Condition of Original Registers[edit | edit source]

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:  There are no entries July 1666–March 1668 or September 1675–October 1676 and June 1726–September 1738. Mothers’ names are not recorded in the entries until 1745.
Marriages: There are no entries September 1723–March 1725, September 1726–June 1738, August 1742–August 1744, July 1758–August 1759, and December 1789–September 1791.
Deaths:  Burials
Source:  Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records[edit | edit source]

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 1659–1755, 1759–1849
Abstract of Census of Parish 1811
List of Communicants 1834–1837
Accounts 1828–1844, 1849–1902
Minutes 1837–1855
Poor Fund Minutes and Accounts 1751–1753
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, records CH2/869.

Nonconformist Church Records'[edit | edit source]

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.

Forglen Free Church[edit | edit source]

In 1843, the minister of the parish with many of his congregation left the Established Church. The congregation steadily decreased in population. This congregation remained with the United Free Church of Scotland although the majority of Free Church congregations reunited with the Established Church of Scotland in 1929.
Membership: 1848, 220; 1900, 98; 2000, 9.
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.

Extent of the records is unknown. For information write to:
The Session Clerk
Forglen United Free Church
Little Whitefield
Forglen by Banff, AB45 3YD
Tel: 011–44–1466–780275

Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Forglen was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Aberdeen until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Banff. 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 Banff 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 Banff.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Banff and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 20 June 2014.

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