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Help and advice for Alvah

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"The parish of Alvah is situated in the presbytery of Turriff, and Synod of Aberdeen. Its form is irregular; extending in length about 6 English miles, and at its greatest breadth to nearly the same distance, but in other places to only 3 or 2. On the N. and N. W. it is bounded by the parish of Banff; on the S. W. by Marnoch; on the S. by Forglen; on the S. E. by Turriff; and on the E. and N. E. by King Edward and Gamery. The river Dovern enters this parish about a mile below Forglen, the seat of Lord Banff, and after many beautiful windings through a very fertile valley, leaves it about 2 miles from the sea. It abounds with salmon, trout, and eel, and is frequented by wild ducks, widgeons, teals, herons, & c. On the E. bank lie the estates of Dunluglas and Inrichney, separated by the intervention of a part of the parish of King Edward; and on the W. the lands of Mountblairie, Auchinbadie, Sandlaw, and a small part of the barony of Alvah. About half a mile below the church, the river is contracted by 2 steep and rugged precipices, which are commonly denominated the Craigs of Alvah, where it measures about 50 feet in depth. ..." [From The Statistical Account for Scotland, 1791-1799 Volume XVI, Banffshire, Moray & Nairnshire.]



Monumental Inscriptions for Alvah have been published by Aberdeen And North-East Scotland FHS (ANESFHS) (Booklet AA108).

These are included in the Online Index to the MIs

Presbyterian / Unitarian
Alvah, Church of Scotland


Aberdeen And North-East Scotland FHS (ANESFHS) have published a name Index to the 1851 Census for Banffshire. Alvah (together with Gamrie) is published as code AA212.

ANESFHS also hold unpublished indexes and transcriptions of the 1861 Census for most Banffshire parishes (including Alvah).


Presbyterian / Unitarian
Alvah, Church of Scotland

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Alvah Parish area or see them printed on a map.


Church Records

Kirk of Scotland
  • OPRs held by the General Register Office, Scotland.
    GROS Baptism Marriage Death
    146/1 1711-1819 1720-1819 -
    146/2 1820-54 1820-54 -
  • LDS Film numbers:
    Baptisms Marriages Deaths
    6901965 6901966 -
  • Batch numbers (for FamilySearch)
    Baptisms (C) Marriages (M)
Kirk Session Records

Kirk Session records generally include records of Discipline, which often include information on illegitimate births, and Accounts, which may mention persons on Poor Relief. The surviving Alvah Kirk Session records are listed on a separate webpage.


Description and Travel

A transcript of Parish of Alvah, (County of Banff.) by the Rev. Mr George Sangster.

You can see pictures of Alvah which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Alvah to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

Until 1st May 1891, a small detached part of the parish of King Edward (and of the county of Aberdeen) lay within the overall boundaries of Banffshire, surrounded by the parishes of Banff, Alvah and Gamrie. On that date, this detached portion was transferred from the parish of King Edward to the Banffshire parish of Alvah. Although it affects only a small number of places, this change does have implications for the civil Registers of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, and for the Census. People in the affected locations will disappear from the records for King Edward, Aberdeenshire, and will re-surface in the records for Alvah, Banffshire. Records for other parish/county-based authorities such as the Poor Law may also be affected.

You can view a comprehensive Gazetteer list of places affected. This includes placenames culled from the Ordnance Survey "Explorer" (1:25000) map, the 1896 Ordnance Survey 1" map, the 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census and Thomson's "Atlas of Scotland" (1832).


Names, Geographical

You can view a comprehensive Gazetteer list for Alvah including placenames culled from the Ordnance Survey "Explorer" (1:25000) map, the 1896 Ordnance Survey 1" map, the 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census and Thomson's "Atlas of Scotland" (1832).


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Under the "Poor Law Amendment Act, Scotland" (1845) responsibility for Poor Relief was taken from the Parishes of the Kirk of Scotland, and vested in new Parochial Boards, whose territories largely coincided with the old parishes. The Parochial Boards were not (as in England) grouped into Poor Law Unions, and there were few Poorhouses outside the cities and large towns.

Day-to-day administration of the Poor Law was in the hands of the Inspector of the Poor for each parish, and these Inspectors were obliged by law to maintain detailed records of applications and of relief supplied. The most valuable of these are the "Record of Applications" and the "General Register of the Poor". The "Minutes" are very variable, but on occasion can also contain information on named individuals.

The following Poor Law records have survived for the Parish of Alvah:

  • Minutes

These are held by Aberdeen City Archives. The records are available for viewing, subject to the 100-year rule.



  • according to New Statistical Account:
    Year 1811 1821 1831 1841
    Population 991 1079 1278 1407
  • according to Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1895):
    Year 1831 1861 1891
    Population 1278 1467 1332


You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.