Benholm (Kincardineshire)

Records, sources & information about the Parish of Benholm

Parish number 253

map of Benholm

Map of all Kincardineshire parishes
More maps of Benholm

Births & baptisms
Books & articles
Census records
Church Session
Clock & watch tax
Deaths & burials
Estate & family records
Farm horse tax
Jacobites, 1745
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


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 Benholm

Images of the original printing of the Old and New Statistical Accounts, with articles on each parish written in most cases by the parish minister:


Maps of Benholm

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


Photographs of places

See Johnshaven - recent photographs of Johnshaven. National Grid ref. NO7967.


Benholm parish church

Located at National Grid ref. NO805693. Built early 19th C. No longer in use, but open to visitors.

Photograph of Benholm Kirk

Another photo of Benholm Kirk

Above: Benholm Kirk

St John's Chapel of Ease, Johnshaven

A gift of Hercules Scott of Brotherton in 1851. Destroyed by fire on 18 Mar 2011. See St John's Chapel of Ease, Johnshaven and also Johnshaven "Chaplie" destroyed and a photo taken in 2009. The chapel is now [Aug 2013] being re-roofed.


Parish ministers 1560-1947

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

William Elder1563reader; called vicar 15 Apr 1568 and reader 1573
John Gudefallo (John Goodfellow)1563-1572?canon, St Andrews Priory; min. in 1563; also had St Cyrus in his charge; d. bef. May 1572
James Thornton [John?]1566parson
Alexander Allardice1572-1572adm. May 1572; moved to St Cyrus 1572
William Douglas of Glenbervie1577pres. to parsonage and vicarage 27 Dec 1577 on death of John Thornton
William Morrison1577-1587M.A.; pres. 24 Feb 1577-8 on death of John Thornton; d. 19 Nov 1587; mar. a dau. of James Melvill of Dysart; issue: Isobel
John Erskine1587M.A.; pres. to vicarage 20 Nov 1587 on death of Morrison
Alexander Keith1588-1594min. of Garvock 1568; also min. of Kinneff, Catterline, Bervie, Arbuthnott; tr. to Dunnottar 1579; tr. & adm. 1588; slain 5 Jun 1594; mar. (1) Agnes Wishart, (2) Isabel Lundy who survived him; issue: Geo., Robt, Alexr, Wm, Isabel, Christian
James Sibbald of Kair & Mondynes1595-16492nd son of David Sibbald of Kair; regent Kings Aberdeen; d. bef. 16 Mar 1649; mar. Isabel Gordon; issue: Donald; James, probably min. of Torryburn; Robt; John; dau. (mar. Robt Douglas); Jean (mar. James Melvill, min. here); dau. (mar. James Pedie)
James Melvill1648-1684M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1636; licentiate 1641 Brechin; adm. bef. 26 Apr 1648; d. Apr 1684 aged ca. 68; mar. (1) Jean Sibbald, dau. of above James S., (2) Isobel, dau. of Alexander Straton of that ilk, widow of Arthur Straton of Snadoun
Alexander Mylne1684-1709b. ca. 1646 Montrose; M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1667; min. of 2nd charge Montrose 1672; adm. 23 Jul 1684; d. Dec 1709; mar. Janet Miln; issue: Robt, John, Alexr, Janet
William Trail1710-1743b. 13 Oct 1683 nr Lifford, Ireland, 2nd son of Wm Trail, min. of Borthwick MLN; M.A. Edinburgh 1701; ord. (to be min. of this parish) 6 Dec 1710 in old tower of Brechin; d. early 1743; mar. (1) Isobel, dau. of John Haldane of Myrton, (2) Marion, dau. of Alexander Hamilton of Kinkell; issue: William, min. of St Monans FIF; Robert, D.D., professor, Glasgow
Andrew Skene1715intruded here, conducted episcopal services at Brotherston
William Bell1744-1748ord. Jan 1744; tr. to Arbroath 1 Dec 1748
Robert Young1749-1788b. ca. 1716, 2nd son of Robert Young, min of Inverarity; ord. 23 Feb 1749; d. 27 Sep 1788; mar. 1750 Christina Campbell; issue: Robt, David, John
James Scott1788-1825M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1781; ord. (ass. & suc.) 3 Dec 1788; d. 7 Aug 1825; mar. 1790 Isobel, dau. of Henry Ogilvie, min. of Lunan; issue: Margaret; Amelia (mar. Andrew Brown); Hercaules, LL.D., professor, Kings Aberdeen; Robert Ogilvy; John, physician; Ann (mar. John Glegg, min. of Bervie); Helen (mar. Prof. Dr Samuel Trail, Kings Aberdeen)
James Glen1826-1843b. 21 Jan 1792, son of Wm G., farmer, Lochwinnoch; bro. of Andrew Glen, Free Kirk min, Glenbervie; M.A. 1809 Edinburgh; ord. 23 Mar 1826; joined Free Kirk 1843; min. of Free Kirk, Benholm 1843-66; d. 11 Dec 1866; mar. 1833 Janet, dau. of William Boyd, min. of Fenwick; issue: Eliz., Ann Elliot, Wm, Margt
Alexander Smart Myers1843-1884b. 1812 Hillside, Montrose, son of John M., merchant; M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1834; ord. 21 Sep 1843; d. 10 Feb 1884; mar. Elizabeth, 2nd dau. of James Drummond, min. of Glenbervie; issue: Helen Forrest, Jane, Eliza, Diana Couper, Jemima Drummond
John Nicoll1884-1924b. 1858, son of John Nicoll; M.A. 1879 B.D. 1882 Edinburgh; ass. Inverness High School; ord. 5 Aug 1884; d. 10 Feb 1924 Edinburgh; mar. 1885 Frances Ann, yst dau. of col. John Patrick Stuart, Inverness; issue: Gertrude Stuart; Francis John, lieut., HLI
George Murray Davidson Short1919-1922b. 1890 Beith AYR, son of John S.; M.A. Glasgow 1912; ass. Cambuslang; ord. 1916 Alexandria, Egypt; adm. (ass. & suc.) 12 Nov 1919; tr. to Barrhead 1922; dem. there on being appointed Indian chaplain 17 Nov 1924; mar. 1919 Janet Anderson, dau. of John Thomson; issue
John Barclay Davie1923-1927b. 1891 Aberdeen, son of Andrew D., merchant; M.A. Aberdeen 1912; ass. West Church Aberdeen, Grange Edinburgh, West Church Greenock; ord. (ass. & suc.) 1 Feb 1923; tr. to Kerse, Grangemouth 18 May 1927; tr. to St Nicholas Leith 1935; tr. to Coldingham BEW 1942; mar. 2 Jun 1923
George Arthur Everett Walker1927-1947tr. from Corgarff 7 Sep 1927; dem. 6 Jul 1947; mar. (1) Edith Donaldson; (2) Annie Webster Japp Henderson

Ministers of Braehead Free Kirk, later West U.F. Kirk, Benholm

James Glen1843-1866see above list of parish ministers
James Roger?-1871-1901-?b. ca. 1839 Edinburgh; d. 1906; min. here for 35 years; mar. 1868 Ann Peter Winton; issue: Jane Winton Meldrum; Annie Winton; Janet Meldrum; David; Isabella; Margaret; James

Ministers of Johnshaven United Presbyterian Church

John McNab?-1861-1889b. ca. 1824 Alyth; d. 12 Apr 1889 Johnshaven; mar. Ann Laws; issue: Eliz. Ann


Monumental inscriptions

Monuments in Benholm Kirkyard bearing pre-1855 information (ca. 100 stones) 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.)

There is a plan of the kirkyard, dated 1892, in the kirk.

See also Benholm Churchyard.

Monument to Mary Keith

Above: part of the monument to Dame Mary Keith in Benholm Kirk. She died on 14 Oct 1620, in her 5th year, the daughter of George Keith, 4th (NOT 5th) earl Marischal, lord Keith & Altrie (who died in 1623) and his second wife, Dame Margaret Ogilvy. A further part of the monument is in the kirkyard. See Davidson for a full description of both parts of the monument.


Benholm war memorial

Photo of the war memorial at Johnshaven.

See Scottish War Memorials Project: Benholm (Johnshaven) for more photographs and details.


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.

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.

Burial records for Benholm and for Johnshaven are held by the Registrar in Stonehaven. See Kincardine and Mearns Burial Grounds.


Church Session Records of Benholm Parish Church

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH2/33/...
Session register1761-17823
Cash book1810-18584
Minutes & book of discipline1833-19255
Communion roll1870-18758
A receipt19259
Poor fund book1782-180910
Poor fund of parish of Johnshaven1806-180811
Communion roll1884-189512
Minute re food shortage179613
Letter re church discipline184413
Property inspection report200014
Misc. papers re church closure2004-200615

Church Session Records of Benholm Free Church

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH3/1556/...
Deacons' Court minutes1843-18672

Church Session Records of Johnshaven Original Secession Church
later United Associate Congregation; Johnshaven United Presbyterian; St John's United Free;
Johnshaven United Free; Johnshaven Ch. of S.

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH3/1553/...
Minutes (Associate Session)1769-18171
do (U.P.)1846-18963
do (U.P.)1897-19034
do (Ch. of S.)1930-19475
Managers'/Congregational Board minutes (U.F.)1903-19156
Congregational meeting minutes (U.P.)1889-19027
Congregational board minutes (U.F.)1915-19468


Land owners

There were 3 proprietors of land in the parish in 1837:


Estate & family records


School records

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

Nature of recordDatesRef.
Benholm School: Log Book1873 - 1920ED/KC5/103/1/1
do1920 - 1968ED/KC5/103/1/2
Benholm School: Admission Register1873 - 1888ED/KC5/103/2/1
do1888 - 1910ED/KC5/103/2/2
do1910 - 1933ED/KC5/103/2/3
do1933 - 1954ED/KC5/103/2/4
do1955 - 1968ED/KC5/103/2/5
Johnshaven School: Log Books1873 - 1944ED/GR6S/K23/1
Johnshaven School: Admission Registers1887 - 1951ED/GR6S/K23/2


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

17551367Dr Alexander Webster
17931557 (538, 1019)*Old Statistical Account
18311484 (457, 1027)*

* the first number in brackets is for the landward area, the second number for Johnshaven


Testaments & wills

Benholm was in the Commissariot of St Andrews.

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 Benholm people from the Register of Testaments of the Commissariot of St Andrews, 1549-1823

Isobel Adamgrandchild to John Adam, in the par. of Benholm (see Robert Adam)22 Jun 1757
Robert Adamson to John Adam, in the par. of Benholm, and sailor
on board the "Leopard" man-of-war, Lord Colvill, commander, and
Isobel Adam, grandchild to the said John Adam, par. of Garvock
22 Jun 1757
Robert Andersontravelling chapman in Kincardineshire, lawful son to
Robert Anderson, at the Burn of Benholm, par. of Benholm
22 Mar 1753
Mary Bairdin Johnshaven26 Oct 1815
David Beattielate tenant in Johnshaven, par. of Benholm1 Oct 1754
Patrick Beattiein Stain of Benholme, par. of Benholme5 May 1617
George Charlesin Hairmure, par. of Benholm26 Jul 1686
John Clerkin Benholme4 Apr 1626
David Cloudsleyfarmer at Moathill of Benholm13 & 20 May 1822
Jean Duncanlawful daughter of the deceased Robert Duncan,
sometime tenant at Miln of Craigie, par. of Benholm
2 May 1753
Gelis Garviespouse to David Andrew, at the Kirk of Benholm5 May 1617
Alexander Hoggardener at Benholm24 Jun 1719
George Largieshipmaster in Johnshaven, par. of Benholm8 Mar 1776
John Largieskipper in Johnshaven, par. of Benholm21 Feb 1750
William Lawfisher in Johnshaven, par. of Benholm1 Jun 1748
Andrew Lundiein Knokie of Benholme, par. of Benholme8 Jul 1635
David Mearnsmariner in Johnshaven25 Apr 1820
Mr James Melvillelate parson at Benholm26 Jul 1686
James Mylnein Nether Benholme, par. of Benholm18 Mar 1689
Margaret Napierspouse to George Burnet, at the Kirk of Benholm28 Oct 1674
Hercules Scott of Brothertounpar. of Benholm12 Mar 1690
Hercules Scott of Brothertonpar. of Benholm5 May 1747
Robert Scott of Benholmpar. of Benholm3 Jul 1772
Bessie Smithspouse to William Cant, in Stone of Benholme31 May 1686
Catherine Smithspouse to Andrew Robertson, alias Soutter, in Forgie, par. of Benholm23 Aug 1620
Elizabeth Stratonresidenter in Johnshaven, relict of Alexander Simpson22 & 23 May 1815
John Taylorin Arbirnie, par. of Benholm2 Apr 1628
Barbara Thomsonspouse to Thomas Mill, in Knox, par. of Benholm13 Oct 1683
George Thomsonin Hairmuir of Benholm30 Aug 1648
Andrew Wallacein Tulloch of Benholme, par. of Benholm25 Aug 1614

Testaments registered at St Andrews that have been lost, for which only entries in the minute books are extant.

Alexander Camlein Joneshaven, par. of Benholm21 Aug 1728
James Dickieshipmaster in Joneshaven, par. of Benholm27 Jul 1726
David Lawin Temple of Benholm10 Jul 1734
Robert Scott of Benholm28 Apr 1742
Mr William Traillminister at Benholm22 Feb 1744
William Welshat Burnhead of Benholm8 Jun 1733

Testaments of Benholm people from the Register of Testaments of the Commissariot of Brechin, 1576-1800
'T' before the date indicates that the copy in the register is lost, but the original testament is extant.

Robert Burnetin Staine of Benholme, and Elspet Barclay, his spouseT. 7 Apr 1658
Elspeth Stratonrelict of Robert Wallace, sometime at the Kirk of Benholm, indweller in MontroseT. 31 Aug 1646
Anna Symmerspouse to Patrick Livingstone of Benholme12 Nov 1656
Barbara Tullochspouse to David Watt, at the Kirk of Benholm30 Sep 1657

Testaments of Benholm people from the Register of Testaments of the Commissariot of Edinburgh, 1514-1600

Jonet Allardicesometime spouse to Thomas Wallace, in the Tullo of Benholme in the Mearns6 Mar 1588-9
Helen Barclaysometime spouse to Robert Falconer, of Ballandro, par. of Benholme, sher. of Kincardine5 Jan 1600
Elspeth Carnegiesometime spouse to Alexander Eldar, in Stane of Benholme, sher. of Kincardine11 Aug 1597
Alexander Elderin Stane of Benholme in the Mearns17 Dec 1576
Christiane Eldersometime spouse to Adam Young, in Muretoun of Brethirtoun, par. of Benholme, sher. of Kincardine14 Jan 1600
Katherine Elderrelict of Gilbert Young, in the Stane of Benholme26 Feb 1576-7
Marjorie Elderpupil, lawful daughter to Alexander Eldar, in Stane of Benholme in the Mearns11 Jul 1597
William Elderin Stane of Benholme27 Mar 1577
Isobel Guthrielast spouse to Robert Falconer, of Ballandro, par. of Benholme, sher. of Kincardine 5 Jan 1600
Christiane Jelliespouse to umquhile Alexander Eldar, in the Stane of Benholme in the Mearns17 Dec 1576
Alexander Keithparson and minister at Benholme in the Mearns16 Jun 1598
Isobel Leipersometime spouse to Robert Young, in Bervie, par. of Benholme, sher. of Kincardine27 Jan 1595-6
Isobel Lindsaysometime spouse to Andro Stratoun, in Arbirney, par. of Benholme, in the Mearns19 Nov 1590
Andro Lundiein Nether-Knokis of Benholme in the Mearns29 Aug 1590
Marjorie Lundiesometime spouse to Alexander Eldar, in Stane of Benholme in the Mearns9 Jul 1597
William Lundieat the Mylne of Benholme14 Jun 1565
Isobel Morisononly lawful bairn of umquhile Mr William Morison, minister and parson of Benholme in the Mearns20 Nov 1589
Mr William Morisonminister and parson of Benholme in the Mearns8 Aug 1588
David Purvesin Johnshavin, par. of Benholme in the Mearns21 Oct 1588
Andro Ramsayin Ardbirney, par. of Benholme in the Mearns27 Nov 1588
William Wallacein the Kirktoun of Benholme in the Mearns4 Jan 1588-9
Alexander Youngin Muretoun of Benholme27 Mar 1577
Gilbert Youngin the Stane of Benholme in the Mearns26 Feb 1576-7
John Youngin the Stane of Benholme in the Mearns22 Nov 1591
Margaret Youngsometime spouse to Paul Young, in Stane of Benholme in the Mearns29 Jul 1588

Testaments of Benholm people from the Register of Testaments of the Commissariot of Edinburgh, 1601-1700

Stevin Cowiein Coittoun in Inchemedden, par. of Benholme, in the Mearns16 Feb 1609
Elspeth Falconerrelict of Robert Falconer, of Ballandrow, par. of Benholme, in the Mearns30 Mar 1603
Isobel Keithsometime spouse to John Young, in Benholme, in the Mearns3 Mar 1606


Jacobite rebels - 1745 rebellion
From: A List of Persons concerned in the Rebellion (Edinburgh, Scottish History Soc., vol. 8, 1890)

NamesDesignationsAbodeActs of rebellion
& circumstances
Where at present
Alexander Anderson-Johnshaven
William Anderson-do
David Bumoss [Burness?]-do
Robert Crookshanks-do
James Gray-Temple
John Mitchellcame from Fetterneer in AberdeenshireJohnshaven
Robert Mitchellbrewer & malsterdo
William Robertson alias Bickers-do
William Wisehartresiding indo


Clock & watch tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Benholm:

NRS ref. E326/12/2/77


Farm horse tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Benholm:


This page updated 17 Mar 2015