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"KINCARDINESHIRE, - usually called the MEARNS, - a county on the north-east coast; bounded on the north by Aberdeenshire, from which, in a great measure, it is divided by the river Dee; on the east by the German Ocean; and on the south and west by Forfarshire, from which it is divided by the North Esk. The form is triangular, with its most acute angle stretching north-eastward to the city of Aberdeen, and terminating at Girdleness. The coast-boundary extends south-westward for 32 miles, being the greatest length of the county; and its greatest breadth, from east to west, is 24 miles. Square area 380 miles, or 243,444 English acres, of which 1,280 are covered with water; 120,000 consist of cultivated land, woodland, improveable moor, &c; and the remainder of mountains, hills, and general waste. The county is locally divided into four districts, - the Grampian, the Dee-side, the valley or Howe of the Mearns, and the Coast-side."

Gazetteer of Scotland, Vol. II, Edinburgh, 1855.

Kincardineshire Towns and Parishes

For Kincardineshire townships unconnected to parishes, see the list of Miscellaneous places mentioned in the 1868 gazetteer.

For Kincardineshire places mentioned in the 1868 gazetteer, see Where is it in Kincardineshire?

Note that some Kincardineshire parishes are also partly in other counties.

Archives and Libraries

Aberdeenshire Council provides:

Aberdeenshire Library & Information Service [previously North East of Scotland Library Service]
Local History Dept.
Admin. H.Q.
Meldrum Meg Way
The Meadows Industrial Estate
AB51 0GN

Many records pertaining to Kincardineshire can be found at the National Records of Scotland.


"Handlist of bibliography of the shires of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine"
Alexander W Robertson
Published Aberdeen, 1893

"A concise bibliography of the history, topography and institutions of the shires of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine"
James F K Johnstone
Published Aberdeen, 1914 (Aberdeen University Press)

"Bibliographia Aberdonensis: being an account of books relating to or printed in the shires of Aberdeen, Banff, Kincardine or written by natives or residents or by officers, graudates or alumni of the Universities of Aberdeen"
James F K Johnstone & Alexander W Robertson
Published Aberdeen, 1929 (2 volumes)

"The eastern counties: Aberdeenshire, Angus and Kincardineshire"
Nigel Tranter
Published London, 1972

"Pre-1855 gravestone inscriptions: an index for Kincardineshire (the Mearns)"
Alison Mitchell
Published Edinburgh, 1986 (Scottish Genealogy Society), ISBN 0 901061 29 8


General advice on census records and indexes can be found on our Scotland Census page.

FreeCen for Kincardine welcomes more transcribers for this project providing free access to 19th century census indexes.

Church History

Memorials of Angus and The Mearns
Andrew Jervise, Edited by Rev James Gammack
Edinburgh 1885

A history of the churches of Garvock, Kinneff, and Dunnottar is contained in Vol II

The Church and other bells of Kincardineshire
Eeles, Francis Carolus
Aberdeen 1897

Church Records

General advice on parish registers can be found on our Scotland Church Records page.

The Kirk Session of a parish consists of the minister of the parish together with the elders of the congregation. Its role is to look after the general well-being of the congregation and, particularly in centuries past, parochial discipline. Most Kirk Session records are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh and can be fascinating reading.

Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For details of these records and indexes to them, see our GRO tutorial and our Scotland Civil Registration page.

Court Records

Records of testaments, inventories etc. are held at the National Records of Scotland.


See also the entry for Kincardineshire in the 1868 gazetteer.


Researchers may be interested in the Kincardineshire GenWeb pages.


"Angus & The Mearns: A Historical Guide"
Richard Oram
Published 1996, Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1 874744 47 5

Military Records

  • Rolls of Honour and War Memorials (monuments) are one good resource for family historians, but need to be addressed with some caution - it should not be assumed that they are either complete or accurate. Memorials (and Rolls of Honour) were created at the local parish level after asking the local inhabitants whose names should appear. Thus:

    - Some names may have been omitted, for a variety of reasons.
    - Some names may appear on more than one memorial.
    - Some names may be misspelled, or given names transposed.
    - Some people may be listed as killed in action, but were not.
    - Some people may be listed who were not in the service at all.
    - Some people may have been confused with others of a similar name.

    - A Roll of Honour may sometimes list the names of all who served, not just those who died.
    - Some of the original records may have been incorrect, for a variety of reasons.
    - Some (more recent) research may be incorrect.

Politics and Government

See Anatomy of Scotland
Editors: Magnus Linklater and Robin Denniston
Chambers, Edinburgh 1992
ISBN 0-550-21300-7


Kincardine and Deeside [1990]  50920


For a social and economic record of the parishes of Kincardine, see the three Statistical Accounts of Scotland:

"The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, Vol. XIV, Kincardineshire and south and west Aberdeenshire, 1791-1799,"
edited by Sir John Sinclair
(republished 1982, Wakefield)

"The New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1843, Vol. XI, Forfar - Kincardine,"
(Blackwood, Edinburgh 1845)

"The Third Statistical Account of Scotland, The County of Kincardine,"
edited by Dennis Smith
(Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1988)

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