Map of Kincardineshire


"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.

See also the entry for Kincardineshire in the 1868 gazetteer.


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 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.

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

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.


John Fuller has provided details of the SCT-KINCARDINE Mailing List which serves genealogists researching this area.

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

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)