Durris (Kincardineshire)

Records, sources & information about the Parish of Durris

Parish number 256

map of Durris

Map of all Kincardineshire parishes
More maps of Durris

Births & baptisms
Books & articles
Census records
Church Session
Clock & watch tax
Deaths & burials
Farm horse tax
Heritors' records
Land owners
Ministers of the parish
Monumental inscriptions
Old parish registers
Parish Church
Places of interest
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 Durris


Maps of Durris

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


Photographs of places

Geograph.org: Durris- Recent photographs of Durris. National Grid ref. NO7796.


Parish church

Located at National Grid ref. NO772965. Built in 1822.


Parish ministers 1560-1932

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

John Duff1560parson
Alexander Gerrit1563reader
George Fraser1568of the Frasers of Durris; entered Aug 1568; probably tr. to Boharm
Archibald Hogg1574-1595of the Hoggs of Blairydrine; min. in 1574; d. bef. 20 Mar 1595; mar.; issue: Patrick, min. of Fetlar
James Irvine1595-1599son of Alexander Irvine of Beltie; adm. 1595; also had Kinnairny in the charge 1599; probably tr. to Tough 1599
Alexander Youngson1595-1630M.A.; min. of Aboyne 1593; tr. to Skene 1599; pres. to parsonage and vicarage here 1 Dec 1595; removed here 1601; still min. 5 Oct 1630; mar. Elspeth, dau. of John Reid, min. of Banchory-Ternan; issue: Alexr; John; James; Andrew, prof. of Philosophy, Abd; Wm; Robert; another son?
William Youngson1653-1656son of above; adm. bef. 25 Dec 1653; still min. 26 Jun 1656; mar. Helen Patoun; issue: Alexr
William Reid1656-1673tr. from unidentified charge in Shetland 1655x1656; ill 26 Mar 1673; prob. d. soon thereafter; mar.; issue: Kath. (mar. John Dunbar, tailor, Edinburgh); Margaret (mar. John Smith, tailor, Canongate)
John Reid1675-1715M.A. Marischal 1669; schoolmaster Banchory-Ternan; adm. 24 Nov 1675; dep. 1715 as Jacobite; d. bef. 2 Apr 1728; mar. (1) Isabel Fraser; (2) Margaret Cruden who survived him
Robert Melvill1717-1758b. 1691, son of Francis Melvill, min. of East parish, Abd (i.e. 2nd charge Aberdeen); ord. 31 Jan 1717; d. 29 May 1758; mar. (1) 1717 Isabella, dau. of George Fordyce, provost of Abd; issue: Ann; Eliz. (mar. John Harper, schoolmaster); mar. (2) 1734 Janet Greig; issue: Kath.; Isobel; Francis, merchant, Amsterdam; Margaret; Sarah; John, mercht, Amsterdam; Jean
Alexander Leslie1759-1771M.A.; ord. 5 Apr 1759; tr. to Fordoun 31 Oct 1771
William Strachan1772-1823b. 1745, son of Robert S., Aberdeen; M.A. Marischal 1766; ord. 9 Apr 1772; d. 15 Jun 1823; mar. 1774 Margaret, dau. of Arthur Mitchell, min. of Skene
Robert Copland1823-1860b. 1780, son of Peter C., farmer, Rathven; M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1799; ord. missionary Enzie 22 Jul 1814; tr. & adm. 30 Oct 1823; d. 3 Jul 1860; mar. 1835 Christina Wright; issue: Robt; Adam Corbet
James Duirs1858-1893b. ca. 1800, son of James D., builder, Laurencekirk; M.A. Marischal 1832; sub-regent Marischal 1840; schoolmaster here 1841-1858; ord. (ass & suc.) 27 Jul 1858; d. 28 Jan 1893 Durris Manse; mar. 1859 Mary Johnston, dau. of James Murray, Stonehaven
Charles James Watt1878-1882b. 1850, son of William Strachan Watt, min. of Foveran; M.A. St Andrews 1870; ass. St Mary's Dundee, St Columba's, Oban and Govan; ord. (ass. & suc.) 11 Apr 1878; tr. to Polwarth & adm. there 21 Mar 1882; dem. Polwarth 1925; d. 5 Dec 1935 Edinburgh; mar. 1891 Margaret, dau. of John Dick Mathie; issue: Charles Cecil; Francis Clifford; Margaret Evelyn
Robert Reith Spark1883-1932b. 1855, son of Archd S.; M.A. Glasgow 1878; ass. here; ord. (ass. & suc.) 18 Jan 1883; dem. 6 Dec 1932; d. 30 Jun 1947 Aberdeen; mar. 1892 Christian Taylor, dau. of James Lyon; issue: capt. Archd Douglas, M.C.; Arthur Percy, M.B., Ch.B.; Ian Robert, M.B., Ch.B.; Cecil Vivian, M.B., Ch.B.; Gladys Agnes; James Christian

Ministers of the Free Church (later, United Free Church), Durris

John Hendry?-1871-1883b. ca. 1814 Fettercairn; d. 12 Aug 1883 Durris; mar. Jeanie Johnston; issue: Jessie E.; John R.; Roberta M.
Alexander Tait?-1901-?b. ca. 1850 Halkirk CAI; mar. Margaret H. ---
James Alexander Russell?-1922b. ca. 1854 Edinburgh; min. Newhills ABD Free Kirk in 1881; min. of Causewayend U.F. Ch., Aberdeen in 1901; d. 21 Feb 1922 Durris; mar. Charlotte ---; issue: Alexr; Robt F.; Cath.; James A.


Monumental inscriptions

Monuments in Durris 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.)

Full texts of all 340 inscriptions (in 1995?), together with plan of kirkyard and location map are in:
Sheila M. Spiers - The Kirkyard of Durris (Aberdeen: Aberdeen & NE Scotland FHS, 1996: ISBN 0-947659-24-2).
The Aberdeen & North-East Scotland FHS has 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 Durris in his "Epitaphs & Inscriptions", vol. 1, pp. 104-6.

See also Durris Graveyard.


Durris war memorial

Scottish War Memorials Project: Durris


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 Durris are held by the Registrar in Banchory. 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 Durris Parish Church

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH2/651/...
Cash book1764-18025
Communion roll1883-18947
Alexander Hogg, Esq.'s mortification - minutes1787-193813
Trust funds for benevolence cash book1896-198817

Church Session Records of Durris Free Church
later, United Free; West Ch. of Scotland

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH3/1277/...
Deacons' court minutes1852-19333
Cash book1856-19334


Durris Heritors' records

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. HR736/...
Minute book1893-19271
Cash book1891-19271
Papers re ecclesiastical buildings, etc. (church, manse, churchyard)1893-19103
Papers re transference of property to Church of Scotland General Trustees1925-19314
Letter book1897-19255


Land owners

Apart from Corsehill Farm, there was only one proprietor in the parish:

1824-18344th duke of Gordon
1834-1871Anthony McTier
1871-1882-?James Young, F.R.S.



There are no surviving records of the Parochial Board or Parish Council.


School records

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

Nature of recordDatesRef.
Crossroads School, Durris Parish: Log Books1873 - 1999ED/GR6S/K15/1
Crossroads School, Durris Parish: Admission Registers1894 - 1998ED/GR6S/K15/2
Woodlands School, Durris Parish: Log Books1912 - 2005ED/GR6S/K43/1
Woodlands School, Durris Parish: Admission Registers1904 - 1975ED/GR6S/K43/2


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

1755Dr Alexander Webster
1790Old Statistical Account


Testaments & wills

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

Jean Andersonspouse to Alexander Gabriell, in Boig, par. of Durris21 Oct 1684
Isobel Blackspouse to Robert Middiltoun, in Densyde, par. of Durris15 Mar 1637
Alexander Brucein Essintillie, par. of Durris25 Apr 1620
Alexander Brucein Brukmonth, par. of Durris11 Dec 1638
John Brucein Wester Durris, par. of Durris4 Jun 1616
Alexander Burnetin Balladrum, par. of Durres5 May 1620
Christian Burnetspouse to James Hog, in Newtoun, par. of Durris15 Mar 1637
Beatrix Cobanespouse to William Hog, in Bog of Bleariedryne, par. of Dures25 Jul 1635
Gilbert Colliein Kincluny, par. of Durris3 Aug 1616
John Colliein Essintillie, par. of Durris11 Dec 1638
Agnes Cowiespouse to William Cowie, in Brachmont, par. of Durris25 Jul 1635
Marion Craigspouse to Andrew Measone, in Draffuird, par. of Durris20 Oct 1635
Agnes Devenyspouse to James Pirie, in Kincluny, par. of Durris4 Jun 1616
Janet Duthiespouse to Alexander Kynneir, in Littill Tulloch, par. of Durris5 May 1621
James Fergusonin Brakmonth, par. of Durris5 Jun 1683
William Forrester, alias Schiphirdlawful son to William Schiphird, in Densyde of Durris, par. of Durris26 Aug 1619
Alexander Frasersometime in Balladroun, par. of Durris18 Jul 1694
James Fraserin Easter Balbrydie, par. of Durris6 May 1641
John Frasersometime at the Miln of Dooris, par. of Durris4 Nov 1714
Mary Fraserlawful daughter of the deceased Alexander Frazer, sometime chamberlain on the estate of Duris6 Jun 1771
Christian Glendinningspouse to Andrew Murray, in Overtoun of ..., par. of Durris21 Oct 1684
James Greigin Blerydryen, par. of Durris19 Dec 1618
Alexander Hogin Aquhinzache, par. of Durris4 Jun 1616
Archibald Hogin Carlingholl, par. of Durris15 Mar 1637
James Hogin Blendyn (Blerriedyne), par. of Durris21 Oct 1684 and 17 Jan 1687
James Hogonly lawful son to umquhile Andrew Hog, sometime in Boag, residenter at the Myln of Bleadyne, par. of Durris15 Feb 1686
John Hogsometime in Bogie of Blaridrain, par. of Durris21 Aug 1673
Helen Kempspouse to William Bruce, in Cloddis, par. of Durris5 May 1620
Margaret Kessiespouse to Andrew Henrie, cottar in Auchinzache, par. of Durris8 Mar 1616
Thomas Lawat the Mylne of Ballandro, par. of Durris19 Jun 1619
Jean Lawsonsometime spouse to Thomas Cobben, in Quithelheed, par. of Durris24 Jan 1683
Thomas Luckiesometime in Nibitstain, par. of Durris3 Jan 1724
Robert Mackiein Densyde, par. of Durris24 Jun 1614
John Malcolmpar. of Durris23 Oct 1685
George Mowatsometime at the Mylne of Blairnedryne, par. of Durris30 Jul 1708
John Piriein Densyde of Durris, par. of Durris27 Feb 1618
William Rosslate in Brownie, par. of Durris7 Aug 1780
William Shepherdin Densyde, par. of Durris23 Aug 1620
Christian Skenespouse to James Fraser, in Balbredie, par. of Durris3 Aug 1616
Rev. William Strachanminister of Durris22 & 24 Jul 1823

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

Agnes Brucerelict of George Collie, in Castletoun of Durris30 May 1739

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

Mr Alexander DickArchdean of Glasgow, and parson of Durris9 Jun 1576


Clock & watch tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Durris:

NRS ref. E326/12/2/79


Farm horse tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Durris:


Places of interest

This page updated 13 Mar 2015