Map of Morayshire

MORAY

"ELGINSHIRE (or Morayshire), maritime county [map shows location], in NE. of Scotland; is bounded N. by the Moray Firth, E. and SE. by Banff, SW. by Inverness, and W. by Nairn; coast-line, 30 miles; 304,606 ac.; pop. 43,788. Along the sea-coast the surface is mostly low and sandy; inland it consists of fertile valleys, divided by low hills, which gradually rise to the mountains on the S. border. In the S. a large portion of the surface is still covered by forest. The principal rivers are the Spey, Lossie, and Findhorn; the Spey and the Findhorn have salmon and grilse, and in the lochs there is abundance of trout; large quantities of haddock, cod, and ling are caught in the Moray Firth. In the lower part of the Co. farming and stock-raising are prosecuted with great success. The principal crops are wheat, oats, potatoes, and turnips. Granite occurs in the S., and red sandstone in the N. There are large quarries of freestone and a few slate quarries; whisky is distilled; and there is some ship-building at the mouth of the Spey; but otherwise the industries, besides agriculture and fishing, are unimportant. Corn, timber, salmon, and whisky are the chief exports. The Co. comprises 15 pars. and 7 parts, the parl. and royal burgh of Elgin (part of Elgin Burghs -1 member), and the parl. and royal burgh of Forres (part of Inverness Burghs). It unites with the co. of Nairn in returning 1 member to Parliament.

[Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]

See also the entry for Morayshire in the 1868 gazetteer.

INFORMATION RELATED TO ALL OF MORAY

Archives and Libraries

Local Heritage Centre
Old East End School
Institution Road
Elgin
Moray IV30 1RP

Tel: 01343 569011

Genealogical records include all monumental (gravestone) inscriptions in Moray, legible when surveyed in 1978-79, with an index and a plan of each graveyard showing the location of each stone.

Information on national archives and links to lists of local archives and libraries can be found on our Scotland Archives and Libraries page.

Bibliography

Cemeteries

Moray Burial Ground Research Group described under Societies below, and see their progress list of cemeteries.

Census

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

Church Records

General advice on parish registers can be found on our Scotland Church Records page. For information on records for a particular parish, please see that parish's page (where available).

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 Archives of Scotland.

Genealogy

There is now an electronic mailing list which covers this county. To subscribe to MORAY-L (covers the three counties of Moray, Nairn and Banff) or to its digest form MORAY-D, send an email message to either MORAY-L-request@rootsweb.com or MORAY-D-request@rootsweb.com. Leave the subject field blank and put "subscribe" in the body of the message.

The Scotland Surnames List maintained by Graham Jaunay includes this county.

Names, Personal

There is now a surnames list which includes this county. If you are researching any families in Moray, please consider submitting details to this new list.

Societies

The Aberdeen & North East Scotland FHS covers this county.

Moray Burial Ground Research Group aims to survey each of about 140 burial grounds in Moray, which also includes part of the old county of Banff. The website has indexes to some burial grounds - it is advisable to read the descriptions before searching.

Statistics

For a social and economic record of the parishes of Moray, together with masses of statistical material, see Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland which was compiled in the 1790s. The account was reprinted in facsimile form in 1982 by EP Publishing Limited of Wakefield, England and volume 16 deals with Orkney and Shetland.

Follow-up works to this were the New Statistical Account (also known as the Second Statistical Account) which was prepared in the 1830s and 1840s; and more recently the Third Statistical Account which has been prepared since the Second World War.

[Page originally created by Vivienne S Dunstan]
[Last major update: 16 Nov 2005 - David Hawgood]
[Last updated 8 Oct 2013 - David McFarlane]