Grange, Banffshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #156

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


History[edit | edit source]

GRANGE, a parish, in the county of Banff, 3 miles (E. by N.) from Keith. This place originally formed a part of the parish of Keith, from which it was separated in the year 1618; it took its name from the circumstance of its being a country residence belonging to the abbots of Kinloss. The church was built in 1795, and contains 616 sittings; it is situated within a mile of the border of the parish, on the site of the old castle occupied by the abbots of Kinloss. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church, and another for the United Associate Synod.[1]

In the old Statistical Account of this parish, it is said that Grange takes its name from Grangia, a middle-age term for a farm or country residence.  It is certain that this parish was the Grange or farm of the Abbots of Kinloss, to whom the greater part of it, if not all, was given by William, King of Scots, as may be learned by a charter of Strathisla to Kinloss, published in Shaw's History of Moray, without date, but with the names of witnesses attached.  It is likely that this charter was granted by the King about the end of the twelfth centry, or beginning of the thirteenth.

The parish is six miles long by five broad.  It is bounded on the east, west, and south, by the parishes of Marnock, Rothiemay, Cairney, and Keith; on the north, by that of Deskford and part of Fordyce.


On the Mickle Balloch, there are several graves of some unhappy suicides, marked by a cairn, not sacred to their memory, but to tell of their unchristian burial and untimely end.  Here is the Gallow-hill, too, of which tradition speaks with fear and trembling.  On this memorable mount the criminals of the district met their ignominious fate.  The abbots, as well as the feudal barons of those days, had the power to condemn without appeal, and, it is likely, to execute without justice.

There was an extensive manufactory of lime in the parish, limestone being inexhaustible.  A geat portion of the small farms have their lime kilns, and in this way the lands have been mostly limed.

The population in 1811 was 1510 people by 1841 it was 1661.

No record of any registers for baptism, marriage or burial were given.

The above is an extract of the account written in March 1842.

Source:  The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Banff.  FHL 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 Grange. 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 Grange as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years FHL Film Number Surname Index                  
1841 1042647
1851 1042106 941.24 X22s v. 6
1861 103809
1871 103968
1881 203439 6086520 (set of 3 Fiche)
1891 208655

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 Registers[edit | edit source]

Record Type
Years Covered
FHL Film Number


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 of records are indexed and searchable on
Births:  There are no entries July 1686–August 1687, March 1690–June 1691, and August 1694–September 1701. Most of the page commencing at March 17th 1751 has been destroyed. Irregular entries occur about 1778–1781 and 1805–1806.
Marriages:  No entries occur May 1686–October 1694 and November 1706–May 1709.
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 1652–1658, 1660–1672, 1677–1689, 1691–1694.
Notes Containing some Proclamations and Baptisms 1826–1833
Minutes 1694–1858
Scroll Minutes 1824, 1834–1838
Money Register 1746–1842
Sacrament Book 1798–1818
Baptisms and Proclamations 1841–1853
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, records CH2/541.

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.


Grange Secession Church[edit | edit source]

About 1770 this congregation broke away from Craigdam to form a new church, meeting first in Shiel and later at Whitehill. This congregation was originally joined with Huntly and Cabrach, but on July 25th 1775, Huntly, Grange, and Cabrach were made into separate congregations. In 1785, the Keith congregation separated from Grange.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details are given in the source.

Extent of records is unknown.

Grange Free Church[edit | edit source]


This congregation was organized at the Disruption and soon after a church and manse was built. They lost members when other Free Churches opened in the district. They were also affected by the depopulation of the area.
Membership: 1848, 260; 1900, 129.
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.

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]

Grange was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Moray 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 Moray.

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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