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Location of Deskford Parish

See the Maps Section below for links to a fully-detailed version of this location plan.

"Extent and Boundaries - The length of this parish is rather more than 5 miles, and its breadth somewhat above 3. It is bounded, on the south, by Grange; on the west, by Rathven; on the north, by Cullen, and that part of Rathven annexed quoad sacra to Cullen; and on the east, by Fordyce.

Topographical Appearances - The form of the parish is nearly that of a parallelogram. It is intersected by a small stream called the burn of Deskford, which rises in the adjoining parish of Grange, and is increased in its course through Deskford by many streamlets from the rising grounds on each side of it, running down small glens or ravines, beautifully fringed with natural wood on each side of them, as is the burn."

from: The New Statistical Account of Scotland (1836)


Aberdeen And North-East Scotland FHS (ANESFHS) hold some unpublished MIs for Deskford. Members may request lookups

These are included in the Online Index to the MIs

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Aberdeen And North-East Scotland FHS (ANESFHS) have published a name Index to the 1851 Census for Banffshire. Deskford (together with Fordyce and Cullen) is published as code AA214.

ANESFHS also hold unpublished indexes and transcriptions of the 1861 Census for most Banffshire parishes (including Deskford).

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Church Records

Kirk of Scotland
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 Deskford Kirk Session records are listed on a separate webpage.

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There is a wide range of maps available for Deskford, historical and modern, on paper and online. Many ancient placenames continue in use, and will therefore appear on modern maps, but as parishes ceased to be of any significance for Local Government in Scotland in 1974, parish boundaries will be found only on historical maps.

Maps on Paper
Maps Online

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Names, Geographical

You can view a comprehensive Gazetteer list 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).

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Poorhouses, 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 Deskford:

These are held by Aberdeen City Archives. The records are available for viewing, subject to the 100-year rule.
Items marked * are included in a name index compiled by Aberdeen And North-East Scotland FHS (ANESFHS), and held by both ANESFHS and Aberdeen City Archives.

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[Last updated: 12 Dec 2004, Gavin Bell]

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