"BIRSE, a parish, in the district of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen, 2½ miles (E. S. E.) from Aboyne; containing 1295 inhabitants. This place was formerly called Press, a word of Gaelic origin, signifying a wood or thicket, and most probably used in reference to the extensive forest and woods in the district. . . . The mansion of Finzean, in the south-east of the parish, and in the vale of the river Feugh, is an ancient structure, built in the form of three sides of a square. That of Ballogie, situated in the valley of Glen-Chatt, is a neat and comfortable residence, partly ancient and partly modern, and, like the former, surrounded with well laid-out grounds and thriving plantations. The male population are chiefly engaged in husbandry, and many of the females during winter in knitting worsted stockings, for which most of the wool produced here is purchased. . . Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Kincardine O'Neil, synod of Aberdeen, and in the patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £158. 7. 4., a portion of which is received from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe of four acres. The church, inconveniently situated in the north-western part of the parish, is a neat substantial edifice, erected in 1779, and capable of accommodating between 500 and 600 persons. There is a Roman Catholic chapel near Ballogie. . . More"
[From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1851) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]



A book of monumental inscriptions for this parish is available from the Aberdeen & NE Scotland FHS.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Birse Kirk, Birse, Church of Scotland

Church Records

Presbytery of Kincardine O'Neil - Synod of Aberdeen

Here are details of the Birth, Marriage and Death records for this parish, available on the OPR films.

Film Births Marriages Deaths
175/1 1758-1819 1782-1819  
175/2 1820-54 1820-54  

Description & Travel

Here is a detailed description of the parish, written in 1875.

You can see pictures of Birse which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Birse has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



This parish appears on sheets 44 & 37 of the OS Landranger Series, and on sheet 257 of the OS Pathfinder Series.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NO566918 (Lat/Lon: 57.015069, -2.715549), Birse which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Here is a list of place names in the parish.



A booklet containing extracts from the 1696 Poll Book for this parish is available from the Aberdeen & NE Scotland FHS.