Banchory Devenick (Kincardineshire)

Records, sources & information about the Parish of Banchory Devenick (or Nether Banchory)

Parish number 251

map of Banchory Devenick

Map of all Kincardineshire parishes
More maps of Banchory Devenick

Births & baptisms
Books & articles
Census records
Church Session
Clock & watch tax
Deaths & burials
Estate records
Farm horse tax
Heritors' records
Land owners
Ministers of the parish
Monumental inscriptions
Old parish registers
Parish Church
Photographs of places
Population statistics
School records
Statistical Accounts
Testaments & wills
War memorial


The parish of Banchory Devenick was formerly partly in Aberdeenshire.

Please also visit the page of general information applicable to all of Angus & Kincardineshire.


NLSNational Library of Scotland
NRSNational Records of Scotland, formerly called the National Archives of Scotland [NAS] and, before that, the Scottish Record Office [SRO]
HM General Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YY (Tel: +44-131-535-1314)
OPROld Parish Registers of Births/baptisms, Banns/marriages & Deaths/burials (pre-1855)


Books & articles


Statistical accounts of Banchory Devenick


Maps of Banchory Devenick

For the full range of maps of Banchory Devenick, see National Library's Maps.


Photographs of places Banchory Devenick - recent photographs of Banchory Devenick. National Grid ref. NJ9002. Portlethen Village - recent photographs of Portlethen Village. National Grid ref. NO9396.


Local societies


Parish church

Located at National Grid ref. NJ907024. Built in 1822. Photograph

Other churches

Portlethen Kirk is at NO924966. It became a quoad sacra parish church in 1856. Photograph

The Free Kirk of St Devenick on the Hill was built in 1844 at NJ913017.


Parish ministers 1560-1931

adm.: admitted, ass.: assistant, bapt.: baptised, contr.: contract, dem.: demitted, dep.: deposed, ind.: inducted, lic.: licensed, mar.: married, min.: minister, ord.: ordained, pres.: presented, rel.: related, res.: resigned, suc.: successor, test.: testament, tr.: translated

Patrick Dunbar1560had been vicar in 1550; still here 1560, probably having conformed
David Menzies1567min. in 1567; also had Nigg in his charge
Robert Mercer (primus)1567-1578of family of Innerpeffry; matric. St Andrews 1531; exhort and parson 1567; adm. bef. 1574; d. bef. 25 Feb 1578; mar.; issue: Malcolm, rector of Crieff; Robert, min. here; Thomas
Robert Mercer (secundus)1578-1618son of above; regent Kings Aberdeen; pres. 25 Feb 1578; still min. 24 Mar 1618; mar. Isobell Collison; probable issue: John, Robt
Andrew Melvill1622-1645son of David M., litster; probably tr. from Eccles; pres. 14 Nov 1622; still min. 27 Dec 1645; mar.; issue: Andrew
William Robertson of Peterstoun1651-1656M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1630; adm. bef. 21 Oct 1651; d. 16 Jun 1656 aged ca. 46; mar. 1630 Isobel Gordon who survived him; issue: Wm, of Peterstoun; Patrick, tutor, Marischal Coll.; Chas; Isobel; Margaret; Jane
David Lyell1658-1666ord. bef. 18 Oct 1658; tr. to 3rd charge Aberdeen 1666
James Gordon of Ardoe1673-1714b. ca. 1640, son of Wm G., prof. of medicine, Kings Aberdeen; M.A. Kings 1661; adm. bef. 28 Oct 1673; dep. bef. 21 Jan 1680 for publishing attack on corruption; re-inst. 14 Mar 1680; d. 24 Dec 1714; mar. Eliz., dau. of William Forbes of Corsindae; issue: James, intruding min. at Foveran and later episcopal min., Montrose; George, M.D.
John Maitland1716-1727b. ca. 1678, son of Peter M., advocate in Aberdeen; M.A. Marischal 1693; ord. Skene 19 Sep 1700; tr. & adm. 1 Mar 1716; d. Mar 1727; mar. (1) 1700 Eliz., dau. of Thos Innes, factor to Panmure; mar. (2) Agnes, dau. of James Thomson, advoc. in Abd; issue: James, min. of Sorbie; Helen; May; Agnes
John Lumsden1728-1735tr. from Keithhall; adm. 28 Feb 1728; tr. to chair of Divinity, Kings, 14 Oct 1735
James Nicolson1737-1772ord. 13 Sep 1737; d. 4 Jun 1772 (3 weeks after 2nd mar.); mar. (1) 1741 Janet, dau. of George Haliburton, lord provost of Edr; issue: Cadogana [!]; Geo. Haliburton; Charles, min. in Amsterdam; mar. (2) 15 May 1772 Helen Thom
George Ogilvy1773-1785b. 1720, eldest son of James O., Kirriemuir; schoolmaster Auchterhouse; ord. Cortachy 22 Sep 1748; tr. & adm. 8 Jul 1773; d. 17 Apr 1785; mar. (1) 1742 Eliz., dau. of Matthew Crawford, prof. of Divinity, Edr; mar. (2) 1754 Kath., dau. of John Anderson, prof. of Philosophy, Marischal; issue: Skene, D.D., min. of Old Machar; David
George Morison of Elsick & Disblair1785-1845b. 1758, 5th son of James Morison of Elsick, provost of Abd; M.A. Marischal 1776; ord. Oyne 7 May 1783; tr. & adm. 10 Nov 1785; D.D. Kings 1824; d. 13 Jul 1845, "father of the church"; mar. 1786 Margaret, dau. of Gilbert Jaffray of Kingswells; no issue
William Paul1834-1884b. 1804 Maryculter, son of Wm P., min. of Maryculter; grand-nephew of above; M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1822; teacher Colchester; ord. ass. 19 Oct 1826; adm. (ass. & suc.) 21 Aug 1834; D.D. Kings 1853; d. 27 Apr 1884; mar. (1) 1829 Jessy, dau. of Alexr Stewart, bailie, Abd; issue: Wm, advoc. in Abd; Jessy; Isobel; Margaret Morison (mar. James Brodie, merchant, Mauritius); Alexr; Geo.; sir George Morison; John Thurburn; Eliz. (mar. Capt. Sylvester Reid); James Stewart; David, min. of Robertson Memorial, Edr; Alexr; Edward Burness; Kath. Loyd; mar. (2) 1867 Margaret, 2nd dau. of Wm Smith, min. of Bower
William Fyfe Lawrence1882-1919b. 1857 Carmyllie, only son of Wm L., farmer, Kirkbuddo; nephew of John Fyfe, professor, Aberdeen; M.A. Aberdeen 1880; ass. to above; ord. (ass. & suc.) 21 Jan 1882; d. 14 Feb 1919; mar. 1885 Eliz. Milne, yr dau. of Wm Duncan, quarrymaster, Carmyllie; issue: Mary Fyfe (mar. Albert George Watson); Helen Catherine Gerard; Wm; Charles Christie; Joan Felice (mar. Ronald Kirkham Grant)
Alexander Mackenzie1919-1931b. 1869 Cromdale, son of Alexr M.; ass. Kilmorack, Dunnottar and St Machars; ord. Cookney 24 Apr 1901; tr. & adm. 11 Jul 1919; d. 14 Jul 1931; mar. 1903 Mary Young, dau. of James Henderson, Aberdeen; had issue

Ministers of Portlethen quoad sacra, 1827-1938
The church stands on the site of a chapel built in 1633 by Robert Buchan. The quoad sacra parish of Portlethen was disjoined from Banchory-Devenick on 25 Jun 1856.

William Law1827-1870b. 1797, son of Arthur L., farmer, Kincardine O'Neil; M.A. Marischal 1816; schoolmaster at Maryculter; missionary here from 1827; ord. 30 Jul 1840, when he dem. as Maryculter schoolmaster; d. 11 Jan 1870; mar. Isobel Mathewson; issue: Agnes (mar. Geo. Lamb, accountant, Aberdeen), Sarah Christina Bower (mar. James Stewart)
William Bruce1868-1882b. 1834 Sauchentree, New Aberdour, son of Wm B., ironfounder & farmer; M.A. Kings 1851; schoolmaster at Bankhead, Birse ABD; missionary at Finzean; ord. (ass. & suc.) 28 Sep 1868; d. 28 Nov 1882; mar. 1853 Euphemia Black Allan; no issue
Alexander Robertson Grant1883-1938b. 20 Nov 1857 Abernethy INV, son of John G., hotel-keeper; M.A. Aberdeen 1878; ass. at Elchies; ord. 14 May 1883; dem. 31 Dec. 1938, d. 24 Apr 1942; mar. 1888 Annie Elizabeth, dau. of Alexr Robertson; issue: Alister Robertson, M.C., M.B., Ch.B., M.D.; Ian Cameron Robertson, C.E.; Ronald Kirkham, M.B., C.M.

Ministers of Banchory Devenick Free Church

David Findlay Arthur?-1851-1891-?b. 3 Aug 1813 New Cumnock AYR, son of David A.; d. 24 Aug 1893 Cults ABD; mar. 1849 Mary Ann Brown; issue: John F.; David M.; Alexr T.; Margt Jane


Monumental inscriptions

Monuments in Banchory Devenick Kirkyard (ca. 250 stones), the burial ground of St Devenick on the Hill (5 stones), and in Portlethen (quoad sacra) Kirkyard (ca. 40 stones) bearing pre-1855 information are listed in Alison Mitchell (ed.), "Pre-1855 Monumental Inscriptions in Kincardineshire" (Edinburgh: Scottish Genealogy Soc., 1999), which can be bought from the Scottish Genealogy Society. (It's listed as "Kincardineshire MI - The Mearns" in their online shop.)

Full texts of all extant inscriptions in Banchory Devenick Kirkyard, for Portlethen and for St Devenick on the Hill have been published, as three booklets, by the Aberdeen & North-East Scotland FHS. They have an online search facility for names of people on the monuments they have recorded. Their list of publications is here.

Andrew Jervise recorded some monuments at Banchory Devenick in his "Epitaphs & Inscriptions", vol. 2, pp. 277-85.

See also Banchory-Devenick Graveyard, Portlethen Churchyard and St Devenick Churchyard.


Banchory Devenick war memorial

Scottish War Memorials Project: Banchory Devenick


Births, Marriages & Deaths, 1855 to present

Indexes and actual records for Statutory Registers of Births, Marriages & Deaths, beginning 1 Jan 1855, are available online, following registration and the purchase of credits, at the official web-site, ScotlandsPeople.

Burial records for Banchory Devenick and for Portlethen are held by the Registrar in Stonehaven. See Kincardine and Mearns Burial Grounds.

Births, Marriages & Deaths, before 1855

Indexes and actual records for all extant Old Parish Registers (OPRs) (pre-1855) of the Established Church of Scotland are available online, following registration and the purchase of credits, at the official web-site, ScotlandsPeople.


Church Session Records of Banchory Devenick Parish Church

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH2/1219/...
Minutes & accounts1708-17421


Banchory Devenick Heritors' records

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. HR488/...
Minute book1786-18641
Minutes (Bundle)1893-19284
Minutes (File)1927-19285
Seat-Rent and Account Book (Kirk Session)1711-18216
Papers re ecclesiastical buildings, etc. (church, manse, churchyard)1893-19238
Papers re transference of property to Church of Scotland General Trustees19289
Miscellaneous papers1866-191511


Land owners

There were 17 proprietors of land in the parish in 1838, including


Estate records

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives hold:

Papers of Menzies of Pitfodels, relating to Lands of Pitfodels and Kaimhill, 1749-1865 - ref. DD8/A/2



Following records are held by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives:

Nature of recordDatesRef.
Banchory Devenick Parochial Board: Minute Book1845 - 1864AS/KPbdv/1
do1864 - 1875AS/KPbdv/2
do1875 - 1893AS/KPbdv/3
Banchory Devenick Parochial Board / Parish Council: Minute Book1893 - 1908AS/KPbdv/4
Banchory Devenick Parish Council: Minute Book1909 - 1922AS/KPbdv/5
do1922 - 1935AS/KPbdv/6
Banchory Devenick Parochial Board: General Register of the Poor1869 - 1893AS/KPbdv/7
Banchory Devenick Parochial Board / Parish Council: General Register of the Poor1886 - 1936AS/KPbdv/9
Banchory Devenick Parish Council: Record of Applications for Poor Relief1901 - 1930AS/KPbdv/9


School records

The following records are some of those held by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives:

Nature of recordDatesRef.
Banchory Devenick School: Log Book1879 - 1915ED/GR6S/K7/1/1
do1915 - 1945ED/GR6S/K7/1/2
do1945 - 1994ED/GR6S/K7/1/3
Banchory Devenick School: Admission Register1887 - 1920ED/GR6S/K7/2/1
do 1920 - 1941ED/GR6S/K7/2/2
do1941 - 1991ED/GR6S/K7/2/3
Portlethen School: Log Books1874 - 1975ED/GR6S/K37/1
Portlethen School: Admission Registers1914 - 195ED/GR6S/K37/2
Findon School: Log Books1877 - 1895ED/KC5/108/1


Census records

Records of the official censuses of the parish in 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 and 1921 are held in Register House, Edinburgh and are open to the public on payment of a fee.

Indexes to all the original census records, and the records themselves, can be accessed online at modest charge at ScotlandsPeople.

Microfilm copies are also widely available in libraries. The 1881 census is available on CD-ROM.

The early censuses of 1801-31 do not name individuals.


Population statistics
For 1821, 1831, 1871 and 1881, the numbers in the Kincardineshire (KCD) and Aberdeenshire (KCD) parts of the parish are given separately.

17551495Dr Alexander Webster
17927449561700Old Statistical Account
1821 (KCD)1682
1821 (ABD)550
1831 (KCD)9409651905
1831 (ABD)378305683
1871 (KCD)113211872319
1871 (ABD)341392733
1881 (KCD)104710542101
1881 (ABD)5336831216

After confinement of parish to Kincardineshire:



Testaments & wills

Banchory Devenick was in the Commissariot of Aberdeen [NRS CC1].

Indexes to all extant pre-1926 testamentary records (wills & inventories of moveable property) can be searched free of charge at ScotlandsPeople. Digital (and paper) copies of the documents can be purchased at that site. See further the introduction to Angus & Kincardineshire at Testaments.

Testaments of Banchory Devenick people from the Register of Testaments of the Commissariot of Aberdeen, 1715-1823

Anne Cormackin hardgate of Aberdeen, sister of Robert Cormack, schoolmaster at Banchory Devenick10 Oct 1822
Alexander Gerardat Cookston22 Oct 1806
Mr John Maitlandlate minister at Banchory Devnick31 Jul 1727
William Michiein Easter Ardoe of Nether Banchory20 Mar 1810
William Milnein Mains of Banchory-Devinick2 Aug 1739
Mr James Nicolsonminister at Nether Banchory19 Dec 1774 and 22 Feb 1776

Testaments of Banchory Devenick people from the Register of Testaments of the Commissariot of Brechin, 1576-1800

James Hunterin Buchanan, par. of Nether Banchrie, and Agnes Mill, his spouse24 Jun 1657
John Hunterin Claisfarquhar, par. of Nether Banchrie, and Catherine Malson, his spouse17 Jun 1657
Robert Millin Jackstone, par. of Nether Banchrie, and Agnes Robertson, his spouse17 Jun 1657
Mr William Robertsonsometime minister of Banchrie, and Isobel Gordon, his spouse10 Jun 1657


Clock & watch tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Banchory Devenick:

NRS ref. E326/12/2/79 - listed under the heading "Banchory Parish"


Farm horse tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Banchory Devenick:


This page updated 13 Mar 2015