A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875

The name of this parish is from the Gaelic, Meall-drium, or droma, which signifies "the hill of the ridge." The lands of Meldrum gave the surname and title to Baron Meldrum of Bethelnie, who had charters from King Robert Bruce and King David II. The ancient name of the parish was Bethelnie, and in "Spalding's History of the Troubles and Memorable Transactions in Scotland," Bethelnie is said to be derived from the Hebrew word Bethelnou, signifying "House of our God." The site of the old church of Bethelnie, and the place of interment, remains, and the farm on which the manse stood still goes under the name of the Old Kirk.

It is bounded on the north by Fyvie, and on the east by Tarves; on the south by Bourtie, and on the west by Daviot and part of Fyvie.

The greatest length of the parish, in a direct line from south-east to north-west, is 6¾ miles; and the greatest breadth, from north-east to south-west, is 3¾ miles. The whole area is computed to be 8,111 acres, 357 decs.

The principal portion of the parish occupies the ridge of hills which divides the country, as between the districts of Formartine and the Garioch, running from south-east to north- west, and the northern ridge is that of Bethelnie (803 feet) and Tulloch; the southern being the table land of Old Meldrum, with the western ridges of Ardconnon and Balcairn, which overlook the lower part of the Garioch; the eastern hills of Hillhead and Foresterhill, overlooking the Formartine district. The l6th mile stone, on the Aberdeen road, is 407 feet above sea level; the Square, in the town of Old Meldrum, is 378 feet, the railway station is 285 feet, and the church is 444 feet above sea level.

[A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875]